so i dress up all nice and professional like, in my pin stripe dress pants and nice white shirt (andrea: i think black would look better. aubrey: so do i, but i'm on FOOT. the sun likes black. and the sun is aaangry today.), and freak out all the way to the bus stop, during the bus ride, and through my walk to the courthouse.
lemme tell you about the bus driver. he was thee BEST city bus driver i think that I have ever encountered on public transit. I shit you not (i wouldn't shit you, you're my favorite turd!). He cheerily treated the entire journey as if it were a sightseeing tour, instead of growling at us when we clambored aboard, and racing off almost before we finish disembarking. He beamed a hello at me as I gave him my $1.25, and stopped to ask how my day was. as the bus came to this part on the route that has always been my favorite, coming over the top of a hill and getting a GLORIOUS view of the Columbia River, he took the words right out of my mind "And if you look ahead of us, as we round this corner here, you will witness a spectacular view of the Columbia River and the Washington/Oregon coastline. Notice how clearly you can see Mt. Hood to the left today!" when we got to the bus depot, many of us stopped to thank him for the wonderful ride. i told him that he made my stressful day so much easier, and that a bus ride like that was EXACTLY what i needed.
fast forward to the courthouse. i get to the courtroom, which has only one other person in it that is not currently up at the stand. the judge, Judge Wulle, is listening to two attorneys argue about go carts of some kind, something dealing with a one person suing another person for a malfunction resulting in destruction of property. convenientely, the defendant had already sold the go cart in question, so they were working on TONS of hearsay, and zero concrete evidence. the judge kept laughing at them, and asking them why on earth they thought they would have a concrete case with testimony like "well, john said that the guy he sold it to sold it to another guy that said that ...." he joked with them with a dry sense of humor and a cheery disposition.
i loved him immediately.
eventually, two other sets of people showed up: an older gentleman dressed in a business suit sans jacket, and a couple... lemme tell you bout this couple.
they were both probably in their 50's or 60's. the man was wearing a bermuda shirt with gigantic sailboats on them and white jeans. the woman had a giant beehive and came clad in a tank top and BRIGHT sky blue TIIIIIGHT jeans. when she stood up to walk around, i was extremely shocked to NOT see the trailer trash scuffed off white stilleto heals. i was ready to put my money on the fact that everyone calls her something like "Kitti" or "Dot". they walk in and sit RIGHT in front of me, blocking my view of the current proceedings, when the entire ROOM is empty besides me and one other person.
the woman sits down nicely, the man immediately slumps waaaay down on his seat and flops his arm around Kitti, as if to proclaim his possession of her. he immediately starts whispering complaints in her ear.
the judge calls Older Professional Guy up, who informs the judge - very politely - that he served the opposing law firm with papers for continuance or something of that sort. the opposing attorney (who looked 5 years my junior... pretty blonde girl in a royal blue pin striped suit.) says "huh. i've never seen that. it's probably sitting in loose filing back at the office." the judge says "huh. that's too bad. okay, you still need to go in and talk to the lady and answer her questions. it's not her fault that she hasn't seen the paper yet." Older Professional Guy grunts, nods his head, and is led off to the Secret Room.
Next is Sailor Man and Kitti. they go up to the stand and IMMEDIATELY pick a fight with the judge. "We were out of town for six weeks. we motion to move this to a later date. i haven't had time to get anything together." Judge Wulle "um.. you were served several months ago. you still need to go in and answer her questions." "well that's just dumb. don't i have a right to an attorney?" "why, yes, you do, and you've had MONTHS to get one. answer her questions." "but but but but *chomp chomp chomping angrily on gum*... well this is just dumb." "i'm sorry, but i don't care how dumb you think it is."
i have NEVER understood in my LIFE why people choose to be so disrespectful to the judge. i can understand attorneys, somewhat, but to the PERSON THAT HOLDS YOUR FUTURE IN THEIR HANDS? heeeeeelll no.
they parade through a ton of other names, although i'm the only other person sitting there. the judge giggles as he calls a very obviously EXTREMELY asian name (something like Thuan Ting?) and says to me "i doooon't think that you quite fit the ethnicity of that.... why don't you just give me your name then?" he calls me up, and asks to make certain he is pronouncing my name correctly, as he grins from ear to ear at me, and says "everyone always mispronounces my name, so I always take great care that I don't do the same to them." which is something i'm CONSTANTLY saying to people. well, not constantly. but certainly from time to time :)
i go up. the judge puts me under oath. i'm sent to sit back down as the judge goes to lunch and Attorney Girl takes first Older Guy and then Sailor Jerk and Kitti into do their questioning.
finally, it's my turn.
i go in. i sit. she asks me all of maybe 10 questions: where do i work? where do i live? do i have a bank account? a car? do i rent or own? etc. i sign the bottom. she thanks me for actually showing up (i was number 35 out of 35 cases... only two other people showed up. eeeenterestink! someone will be writing up a grip load of bench warrants!) the whole ACTUAL thing taking like 5 min.
and that was all.
i lost SLEEP over that? yeesh.
i also stopped by a credit union on the way home to see if they would allow me to open an account. right off the bat, i said "okay. i made a mistake a couple of years ago. it was ONLY $150. i paid them back. but i am still blacklisted for another THREE YEARS. can you help me?"
no. go to hell. go to hell and DIE.
actually, John was really very nice, though as soon as i told him my story, he instantly started treating me with a combo like i had just told him i had inoperable cancer, and that i was also wasting his time. *shrug*