Friday, May 22, 2009

Traffic Court

I sat in the trailer which acts as the temporary Manchester General District Court yesterday morning and fumed. I had to take off of work to come into this hell-hole and act as a witness to the accident where my truck was nearly totaled.
And, let me tell you... this was a scene out of Night Court.
I'm going to skip the plethora of cases I had to sit through and get to one of the real gems...

There were two older black folks - one man and one woman - sitting on either side of the court-room in wheelchairs. She was dressed nicely while he was... not. He was missing his teeth and kept drooling/spitting into a towel that he had draped across his jeans. When the case was finally called, each person's handler got up and rolled them to the front of the court.
Apparently, they lived in a nursing home and he liked to torture her... he'd hit her chair with his, slap her in the face over and over, taunt her, block her rolling path down the hallway, etc. When the judge asked him his side of the story, he lifted his head and I THINK he stated:
"Ah aimenent guht nubbthin t'say. She a lahruh. I aimenent ne'r duhn nubbthin ter," and then dropped his head down again. The judge pleaded with him to not engage in the behavior again or else he'd have no choice but to send him to the city jail.
It was vaguely sad, yet damnably amusing...
And then around 12:45pm (nearly 90 minutes after the session began, The Case was called.
I stepped up to the front of the court and stood alongside the officer as the judge began to explain the charges against the girl. I never got a good look at her at the accident but while everything about her screamed Hood Rat, she was actually kind of cute... and then she opened her mouth to answer the charges...
"Nah Gitty."
The judge sighed and explained what he had in the notes of the case (location of the accident, the makes and models of the vehicles, etc), and then asked if she'd like to add anything.
"Ah gitty of hittin' him, but I AIN'T gitty of NO rrrreeckless drivin'!"
There was a pause as he stared at her and then looked to the officer:
"Officer, please give me the details."
The officer explained the further details of the accident and was quickly interrupted.
"Ah AIN'T gitty of NO rrrrreckless drivin'!"
Another long pause.
It was almost a deliciously awkward pause.
I basked in it.
Wallowed, even.
The officer cleared her throat and added, "Your honor, her exact quote to me at the scene was 'I was listening to music on my cell phone and I couldn't stop."
The judge nodded and looked to me. "Mr. Spidle, do you have anything to add?"
I kind of smiled and said, "No, sir." You've been damnably patient with everyone that's come through here this morning and you showed amazing leniency on everyone who showed you the bare amount of respect, Your Honor. In this case, you didn't have to give her the rope, she brought her own. Fire away, Your Honor!
"In that case, I find you guilty of reckless driving."
The galley cheered, I wept in vindication, and they dragged her kicking and screaming off to prison while her loved ones looked on with a mix of shame and hatred.
Or the last three people in the court room waited for their names to be called as I strode out of the court and she went off to pay her fine in the clerk's office.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Orgasms in 1080p

I love HD Television and all of the random pretty programing that goes with it. The sunrise channel? Yes, please. I'll stare at the cone of a volcano as the sun crests the horizon... for an hour. It's pretty.
A plane swooping over the mountains of Vermont in the fall? Uh huh. Gimme.
Curling? In HD? I'll shrug, get a beer, and watch Canucks sweep ice for hours...

But the HD Music Channel? Live concerts impeccably recorded? Tickle my bag and call me Sally! This is fantastic! Sure... it's the Gin Blossoms or Maroon-5-3-Doors-Emo-Loving-Christina-Agui-Mayer, but I don't have to stand next to some A&F-smelling Dockers-wearing DMB junkie! I can see if they are any better live without... well, the hassle of the "live" part.
Every so often, though, they get it right. Someone sneaks out of the programming prison and slips an unmarked disk into the transmitter and something like what I am watching now - David Gilmour in Gdansk - hits the digi-waves and it's a thing of sheer beauty.
Fuck the sunrise, the vomit-inducing plane ride, and those god damn broom-wielding cheese-eaters... THIS is what it's about...

Monday, May 4, 2009

Years May Change, But the Actions Remain the Same

A week ago I received my first riding lawn mower as an adult.

It’s a hand-me-down, sure, but the machine is a fine example of the “build it like a fucking tank” mind-set. It’s a hoss of an older Snapper Hi-Vac, and a real beast. After spending Sunday afternoon replacing fuel lines and battery, I was disappointed that I couldn’t get the damn thing running. Then, after the purchase of a battery charger, I was dismayed that turning the key resulted in a belch of oil and gas from the exhaust.

Sure, may just have been a stuck valve, but I found a super deal on a replacement B&S 12.5hp block that I simply swapped out with little problems. Once I figured out the fact that I had not adjusted the throttle/choke control correctly the thing started right up and now just needs a bit of tinkering with the idle to get it running cleanly and smoothly.

Oh, yeah, and then there’s the fact that the fucking thing won’t fucking roll fucking forward…

Why does all of this feel familiar? I’ve been here before, haven’t I?

Oh… right… almost every FUCKING time I had to mow the lawn with the Murray we used to have when I lived with my folks. How EVER could I have forgotten about that monstrosity…

Currently, I have the mower in the front yard where it ran with no problems until it had to go up an incline. First, I thought it was my fat ass causing the problems, but no… no, it’s something in the friction-drive of the transmission. It’s definitely making full contact and is adjusted correctly – I have little to no doubt about that, but it just doesn’t seem to be able to move forward – even when I am not sitting on the damned thing. My only guess at this point is that maybe there’s oil or grease on the spindle face or on the drive wheel…

All I DO know, is that I lost Azmo yesterday in the forest that has sprung up in the back yard…