Today was my court date for the unruly dogs. (Who have now been licensed and have current rabies shots, as well as shiny new collars for their tags.) Bu went with me for moral support. I was nervous a little, and was teased incessantly at work and home. As we drove there, Bu regaled me with predictable BDSM jokes about handcuffs. The story:
Bu’s Dad’s old partner’s working the door, and had told Bu’s Dad that (a.k.a. Papaw) that he’d try to get the ticket thrown out. I meet H, the partner, who tells us to wait around until he can talk to us. There’s a hall with a stairwell occupied by lounging young women and one man, all in prisoner-orange ensembles complete with matching orange handcuffs. I didn’t know these come in colors. I try not to look/act as uncomfortable as I feel, and I feel like a big dorky princess snotty person because I am weirded out by casually-hanging-out handcuffed people. One of the girls, who’s sitting between Pretty-Vaguely-Angelina-Looking-Girl and Skinny-Thin-Hair-Tall-Guy is bumming a cigarette from a young woman who came in behind us. She says “Yeh, I know all about smoking while pregnant” and I can’t tell if she means it was hard to quit or what. Then H gives Ciggy Pregnant Girl, Angelina and Tall a cigarette apiece from the woman and another cop escorts them outside. Bu and I distract ourselves by reading the docket, whereupon my name appears four times, two counts for each dog. I think how taking Bu’s last name was a brilliant upgrade from R. to E. and am glad I’ll get out sooner than those unfortunate R-Z initial peeps.
We see many people filing in, including She’s-Gotta-Be-a-Lawyer, who’s in a great suit, He-Seems-Like-A-Stoner-Frat-Guy, Ew-I-Hate-Her-Eighties-Outfit-and-Scrunchy, and GQ-Dude-With-Goofy-Nose-Who-Is-a-Hottie. I feel like an ass for being judgy. I am there too, right? Maybe all these guys are sweetpeas who were too broke to license their dogs and have a big yard so they are careless about letting them roam free. Or they are potheads and I like potheads and think it should be legal, so stop being an uppity bitch. I have to pee. I see a sign that explains in great detail, like 6 steps, how to get to the restroom. I decide to hold it. I’m bored, and I cross my arms across my chest. Because of baby elephant arm’s shortness, this means they sit on top of my boobs. I remember this makes them leak, so I quickly drop my arms.
Finally, H. comes over with GQ hottie and they explain they can’t throw out the charges but the judge probably will. If not, I’m to plea not-guilty and H can talk to the human officer later to “fix” it. We go in to the courtroom. It’s crazy full, but we find a place to sit together. The clerk calls the role and people are responding “Here” like in school. It seems silly. I would rather say “Yes.” She calls my name and I say “Here” like everyone else. They go through the people with jailable offenses, and it’s all very slow. I start counting time since I pumped and am convinced I’ll have to face the judge with milk spots on my shirt. Bu leans in, tells me my top button’s undone. It is on purpose, to show off my necklace. I decide the judge, being up high and all, could see cleavage and that is not good, so I button it, very sneakily. I tell Bu, “I’m totally blogging this.” I daydream about Matrix-type technology so I could blog in my head while I’m bored in court.
At last, I get called up, show Judge the licenses and rabies records. He smiles, asks me how a German Shepherd puts up with a Lab. I smile back and tell him they are good girls and get along well. He smiles again- very smiley this guy, but in a genuine way. He dismisses the unlicensed charges but not the unrestrained beastie charges. I plea not guilty, feeling like a perjurer, but that’s what the prosecutor said to do. He gives me papers to sign. I’m nervous, and literally forget my name for a second, floundering with maiden vs. married. Take a deep breathe, and I’m done. I have another court date next month, which might go away if H can make it so.
So we meet H outside, and he leaves us while he copies my ticket. We are approached by Bluetooth-Thingy-Wearing-Missing-Teeth-Guy. He says how he can’t believe how high the fines could have been for unleashed dogs. “Yeah, man, crazy.” Then he says, “Yeh, Fucking cops. The cops up in Michigan came and got on me for keepin’ my dog under my trailer. That’s why I’d like to fuckin’ kill me some cops. I hate goddamn cops. My uncle was a cop and I wouldn’t fuckin’ talk to him when he was in uniform.”
So, I pissed myself.
Not really, but holy shit.
Dude leaves, then H comes back, just in time to not hear Bluetooth rattle on about poppin’ caps in pigs. I resume normal breathing. We leave, avoiding eye contact with all bystanders.
And, finally, I get to pee.