So, yesterday I posted that the new position wasn’t going to happen. Not that great a disappointment, but swimming the chum-filled waters of the Chief’s floor during such a time of ‘transition’ is always a bit nerve-wracking.
Then, for the second-to-last court session, a regular poker of sticks at my Inner Gorilla, the self-dubbed, “Prince of Torts and King Of Courts” arrived. My Inner Gorilla stirred on seeing him, but not a great deal- the PoT & KoC was found guilty the last time he was in our court, though he left vowing to never do the community service he’d been sentenced to. Of course, he arrived too late to get a continuance and go.
PoT & KoC did come with stick or two, jabbing my Inner Gorilla as he left. Came back. Left. Came back. Left. Came Back. Left. Came back. I lost count.
Still, I managed not to bark at the asshat. Instead I watched as those forced to sit with the man edged away and avoided him as much as possible.
Perhaps a description of the man, that you might feel a tenth part of my pain: not large, not small, mid-sized, with massive feet in outsized tennis shoes. Unkempt hair in unruly kinks, small eyes rendered tinier still by coke-bottle bottom glasses. A voice that attempts stentorian tones but achieves only a mockery of gravitas as it passes bent teeth and slobbery mouth.
So we slog through the calendar having far too many people to see in one hour, our time punctuated by the squealing hinges of the door as PoT & KoC does his in and out routine.
Eventually the pain draws close to its conclusion. I step out to bring the people scheduled for last calendar in. I return to the court to find PoT & KoC standing in front of the counter where the clerk fields requests for continuances after the regular business of the courts.
The judge is calling his behavior into question and he is leaning over the counter, a put-upon expression on his face as the judge tells him not to speak to the staff with disrespect.
The clerk has stepped back from the counter, likely concerned for her safety.
“But I don’t want more time to do the service.”
“Then you can go home and wait for the letter from collections, sir,” I tell him.
“Wha-” he says, turning to face me.
“Either do the service or go to collections,” I repeat.
“Man, I don’t want to do that,” he turns to face the clerk, “Just give me more time, like a year. Six months.”
“No, you’ll get a month, sir,” the clerk answers. It’s more than you deserve we all think. Even the people now taking their seats for the last session.
He takes the receipt with the new date, then goes to collect his battered briefcase, pulling files from it. I follow, just to be sure he doesn’t get out of control. He waves a stack of paper, turning to face the judge, “Your honor, this has been removed to federal court.”
“No it hasn’t.”
“You must leave, now sir,” I say.
“I’m not leaving,” he says to me, “Your honor, you must see this,” he says.
My Inner Gorilla skins lips back from his teeth and pounds his chest, cheering the challenge.
“Don’t make me remove you from the court,” I say.
“You ain’t putting hands on me.”
“Then leave,” I am done repeating myself.
“Leave the papers with the clerk,” the judge says.
He does as the judge tells him, turns to leave but has to go back to his briefcase. He then trots around the court, looking wildly about, clearly searching for something, “I left a file.”
I see the file on the counter with the first clerk. I grab it, “Here it is.”
“I will give it to you outside,” I say, walking slowly out the door.
“I don’t respond well to such demands. Come out and I’ll give it to you on your way out.”
The Prince of Torts and The King of Courts snarls, pouts, but finally follows. I give him the file on his way out.
I return to a quiet courtroom and easy last calendar. No one wants a repeat of the nonsense, and no one is nutter enough to try my Inner Gorilla having glimpsed how tight the reins were held.
We are still later to leave than I am used to, but no big deal. I get on the bike and fire it up, headed home.
I get on the on-ramp where I was almost killed by a gore-cutting motorist last spring, twisting the throttle to get up to speed. This gore is super long, smooth, and ends in a merge at the very foot of the bridge.
At fifty miles an hour, the bike starts to slow, dumping speed at an alarming rate. I twisted the throttle, checked to see I hadn’t somehow bumped the bike into neutral. No dice. The bike continues to slow.
There is a tiny emergency lane on the left, and nothing on the right, not to mention my speed is already down to twenty miles an hour and crossing four lanes at that speed would mean certain death.
I head for the emergency lane, barely make it. I smell gas.
I leap off the bike, fearful of flames. I check; no flames. There is a bit of gas on the ground.
I remove my gear and call my friend, a bike mechanic. He tells me it sounds like my fuel line has popped off or snapped, tells me where the line can be located. I hang up, worried that one of the cars speeding five feet from me might take me out. I walk the bike further into the emergency lane and into the better lighting from the upper deck.
It takes twenty more minutes, but I locate the fuel line where it comes out of the tank and into the fuel pump. The line is barely visible between the tank and frame above the engine on the throttle side of the bike. The line has popped off the nipple, spewing gas any time I try to start the engine.
I push the connection closed, barely able to see it, let alone reach it. I start the bike. Bike dies.
Cars continue to roll by. One, driven by a texting moron or other species of asshat reduced the cushion of space in the emergency lane to two feet before swerving back into the roadway proper.
I dismount, jam the line down hard on the nipple as hard as I can given the tight space I have to work in. I start the bike. It continues to run this time. I gear up and white-knuckle it back into the flow of traffic.
The bike continues to run all the way home.
Today, to the dealership.