Court today | "You're free to go."

I was in court today. Spent most of the day there. So if I seem disorganized, that's probably why. It's not an experience I would characterize as particularly edifying or spiritually rewarding.

Supreme CourtThe only people I know who spend more time in court .. are those who work there. Otherwise, I don't know anybody who's even close .. to the number of days I've logged over the years.

First thing I always do after entering the courthouse (.. after clearing the metal detector) is » pop an Advil. =) It has become a ritual of sorts. Okay, let's do this.

I could never be a lawyer. Least not in Family Law, where the emotions (kids & custody) are so high. The stress must be brutal. Tho few would argue the decisions rendered in Family law courtrooms are some of the most important, cuz they affect kids.

Takes wisdom to wield that kind of power. Lots of it. How can it be 'just a job' when kids are involved?

I usually get sick a couple of days after court. Takes a toll, emotionally. Brought along a copy of The Road to read. Story about a father & son trying to navigate a challenging environment.

I used to think courts were about right & wrong. Now they've become something of a trip to the twilight zone.

[ Imagine, if you will. You're sitting in a courtroom. Where horrible things are being said about you. The most horrible accusations you could imagne. Everybody is staring. They don't know you. Nor do they know the truth.

And maybe somebody sitting there has had bad things happen to him. Similar to the things you're being accused of. Very similar. Maybe he thinks he doesn't like you very much. Just imagine. ]

Funny how reality can change your idea of things.

Here's something I never thought I'd hear in court » "You're free to go." Has a nice ring, no?

You never seen me exit a place so fast. Didn't even stop to talk to my lawyer until we were out of the foyer and into the hallway. Ooh! I said. You. Are. Good.

Did you understand what just happened in there? she asked. [ Not really. But I understand 'You're free to go.' ]

»» Nuclear powered ballistic missile submarineWisdom of the SNOB

In the waning days of my Naval enlistment, when I became the SNOB (Shortest Nuke on Board), shipmates would send the new guys to hear my words of wisdom, distilled from years of experience, stationed aboard a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (.. where we ran a floating reactor for the military).

I had 3 rules. Every SNOB has 3 rules. The term 'short' refers to the number of days remaining on your 6-year enlistment .. as in » ".. so short I'm tripping over dimes." A 'nuke' is somebody who works with a (nuclear) reactor.

The SNOB is next in line to return to civilian life .. usually because he has become disenchanted with the military (.. else he would re-enlist & stay in). Or maybe it's a purely financial decision. Either way, his experience makes him both valuable & respected.

It's not an official position, yet one that comes with responsibility and a proud tradition to uphold. Here be my 3 rules:

••• today's entry continues here below •••

  1. Keep up on your showers, cuz you never know when they'll be secured (.. for days at a time).

  2. When the food is good, eat all you can. Cuz you never know when it'll be good again.

  3. When they say you can go, get off the ship post haste. Don't stop until you're out of earshot. Cuz if you stop to chat with one of your buddies, they might call you back .. to work all night. [ We were already working 80-hour weeks. ]

Hence my rapid exit from the courtroom. C-ya! Didn't want to give them a chance to change their mind. » Oh, here it is. Excuse me, sir. Please wait. We found it. Yes, we found the smoking gun. Look. It's still warm.

The first two I heard from other SNOBs. Last one I added myself. Based on personal experience. =)

The uninitiated thinks court is about the law and the merits of the case. But it's not. Because laws are interpreted differently by different people.

Review any Supreme Court decision for an example of what I'm talking about. These are supposedly our nation's best & brightest legal minds .. yet rarely do they all agree. Far more frequently they take positions that represent polar opposites. I bet they even sometimes feel like smackin' one another.

And most cases contains so many 'merits' that people are free to pick-n-choose whichever one happens to appeal most. Something profoundly important to me .. may be of little consequence to you.

So if court isn't about right & wrong, and it isn't about the law & the merits of the case .. then what IS it about? I'm no lawyer, but I've spent enough time in court (more than enough, sadly) that I can answer that with ease.

The bottom line » it's not a very fun place. (Advil is something we take for pain.)

Not very fun .. in the sense that the Colosseum wasn't a gladiator's idea of a picnic. For everyone else, of course, it was a bla$t. Long as you can sit in the 'stands,' a courtroom provides endless eyebrow-raising entertainment. Just when you think you've heard it all.

Makes me feel good, sometime .. cuz I realize how much worse others got it.

First thing I did upon walking out into the bright light of day, a free man (.. squinting like a mole in February) was .. to place a call, looking for the Bug. Cuz today is his day with his dad. Placed many repeat calls. Even stopped by his house. (Twice.)

Never was able to locate him. Hopefully, he'll turn up tomorrow.

We do what we have to. Sometimes that involves pain. It would seem.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rad published on August 4, 2010 8:04 AM.

Using MySQL Databases with PHP | Conceptualizing a Physical Model was the previous entry in this blog.

Inception Review & Game Levels is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.