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Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Traffic Court

For many months, I have remained silent (as is my right) regarding some criminal charges I have been facing. I have told no one of this plight save my roomie juju and her boyfriend, Metro. I also told my pet chimpanzee, Cathy, because it is impossible to keep a secret from her.

Today a trial was held against me for charges of failure to obey a traffic sign. The sign in question stands on the Morrison Bridge and tells everyone, in a very bossy tone, NO LANE CHANGES ON STEEL GRATING.

One morning in December, I flipped off the sign and changed lanes on the Morrison Bridge, although I was not yet on the steel grating. Then an officer in the watchtower got on his little Radio Shack walky-talky and told another officer on a motorcycle to pull me over. I received a ticket and a fine for $257, in spite of the way I flexed my arm as it dangled out the car window.

I pled bullshit. Or Not Guilty. Whatever the proper term is.

Today in court, I came prepared for the battle ahead. After my name was mispronounced and called three times, I took my seat at the table. The judge really slaughtered my last name, and I muttered "dumb ass" under my breath.

Next, the officers read their notes describing the incident. They did it in unison, like a choral reading, which is when I knew I had some heavy competition. I had some surprises up my sleeve, however, and was undeterred.

The officers made no mention of my biceps on the morning of the citation, in spite of the fact that I had just done a heavy upper body workout before I was pulled over. They seemed completely unimpressed. This was disappointing to me, but I did not let myself get discouraged. This was war.

Sitting at the Defendant's table with me was Cathy the chimp. She had a very small harmonica, which I had coached her to play at appropriate moments during my testimony. I had also written special theme music for my trial. As she softly played a plaintive (not plaintiff) tune, I proclaimed my innocence.

"Your Honor, I was framed. I had just completed a strenuous set of hammer curls and was headed to work when the officer on the motorcycle pulled me over. I was excited at first, but when I realized he was not hot, I became agitated. My biceps were engorged with blood and looked very large as I pulled to the side of the road. I want you to know that I did not change lanes with my big arms on the steel grating (not so loud, Cathy) and I resent the implication that I am anything other than a law abiding citizen.

Tru, I did not argue with the officer because Portland police officers will shoot you at the slightest provocation. Also, as I previously stated, the officer was not hot, and I only speak to hot cops. My point is, I was innocent and remain so to this day unless you count the Dilly Bar I stole from Dairy Queen yesterday."

At this point Cathy played a boisterous pirate jig, which was actually supposed to be played after the verdict of Not Guilty was delivered, but it did fit in quite nicely so I didn't strike her.

The Judge then began to deliver the verdict.

"STOP. I HAVE A SURPRISE WITNESS," I shouted using all caps. A dissonant and very dramatic chord was produced by Cathy. That is when Metro walked through the courtroom doors wearing a chiffon prom dress and swim fins. And the surprise in the hallowed halls of justice was palpable, let me tell you.

"Your Honor, I know that the officer in the watchtower could not possibly have seen the Defendant commit this traffic violation, because I was with him in the tower administering oral sex to said officer."

"What is the meaning of this," shouted juju as she stood up wearing her very stately red suit with matching pillbox hat. "This man in the swim fins is my boyfriend! I declare a mistrial."

After forcing me to put on a tight-fitting glove and explaining some strange stains on one of my shirts, the state dropped the charges against me. Cathy inappropriately played the Song of the Volga Boatmen (stupid ape), and Metro and I embraced.

Then juju slapped Metro, and the four of us went to get coffee.

Okay, I confess.

The truth is, the officer who issued the citation did not show up for court and my case was dismissed, but who wants to read about that?

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