Mission from God...

Rohit Khare (khare@pest.w3.org)
Fri, 14 Feb 97 15:07:13 -0500

[RK: Fwded from dee-interest, and quite funny to boot :-]

Date: Mon, 10 Feb 97 15:30:09 EST
From: John Francini <francini@nashua.progress.com>

Of course, the "illegal to cross a street at a 45-degree angle" rule would
never fly if it were Boston rather than California. Here, jaywalking and other
crossing maneuvers are an art form. But I digress. It's still a funny and
satisfying piece...


Date: Mon, 10 Feb 1997 14:54:33 -0500 (EST)
From: Juliette Tai <jtai@emc.com>

Moral of the story: Never piss off a lawyer.

This report from a friend of mine who's still a bit high from the
bar exam.

A quick narrative. I always wanted a hopped up muscle car when I was
younger. I couldn't afford one. Now I can, and I have one. It is a '70
Mustang, and her name is Bessie. Bessie is the prototypical juvenile,
male-caveman, scratch your crotch and drink cheap beer car. Chromed
engine, dual exhaust, 250 horsepower, big tires, tra la la la.

I'm driving Bessie on Beach Boulevard behind an ancient guy in a beat
up truck. He decides to turn in front of me without a blinker. I
accelerate to swerve and avoid him, and this *&^^%*%^^, over-aerobicized
woman jumps in front of my car with her hand up.

Meet Ethel, the neighborhood busybody/nuisance. She proceeds to yell in
my window, "Hey, slow down you *&^^*&^^ idiot." I'm a well-bred, mellow
guy by nature, so I ignore this. As I drive away, she yells, "*&^^%*&%"
at me again. Twice? (*&^^(*&^^ that. I turn around and drive up next to her.

"Do you have a problem?" I ask.

"Yeah, why are you driving like an idiot?"

"I was driving like an idiot? How, exactly."

"You were speeding. I watched you."

"You were? I see. How did you measure my speed?" (Ever the
interrogator, I am.)

"I heard you."

"So, you measured my speed by ear?"

"I can hear."

"How fast did you HEAR me going?"

"Look," she says, "I don't have to take this. Here comes a cop.
I'll wave him down."

THE POLICE? This woman is a trip. She waves him down, and
proceeds to tell him that she observed me speeding.

"What happened?" he asks. I told him the story, and told him that I
accelerated to an indicated 33 mph (the speed limit is 35) to avoid a

"Are those mufflers legal?" Ethel asks.

She's pushing it. I reply, "I have a C.A.R.B. exemption for them." I
give the paperwork to the cop.

She tries to find another thing to screw me with. She says "What about
those big tires? They CAN'T be legal." I began feeling little
overheated gears in the back of my head start to turn.

"These tires were available on the 1970 Boss 429," I told
the cop, "Which makes them street legal as a replacement."

Ethel gets angry. She whines, "So you're not going to give
out any tickets to this *(&^^(*^^&?"

The cop says, "No, I am not."

I've about had it. So I say, "Sir, tthis woman told you that she left
the street at the corner, and she met up with my car here. According to
Title 39, pedestrians have to cross the street at a right angle. This
woman admitted she crossed at a 45 degree angle, which is a ticketable

"What?" The cop looks confused.

"Also, she told you that she walked in front of my car to stop me. A
citizen can't detain someone without probable cause, under Terry v.
Ohio (My new favorite case). Since she couldn't measure my speed, she
had no probable cause to detain me. That is an indictable offense."

The cop says, "But, I didn't see any of this."

"But," I said, "I did, and, as an officer of the Court, I can demand
her arrest. I'll agree to dismiss the Illegal Detention charge, but I
want her cited for not crossing at a right angle and Hazardous Conduct
on a Public Street."

The cop called his Lieutenant, and after the cop told the story,
he authorized the summonses.

She went home with $215.00 worth of traffic tickets, and they are
worth a total of four points against her license, as well as the
appropriate insurance surcharge!

OF course, if she demands a trial I won't prosecute. But the look
on her face as she walked away was more than enough satisfaction
for me.

Yea, I've passed the bar, and I'm on a mission from God.