At age nineteen I operated an autobody shop I had purchased from my father.
In that shop I rebuilt a car for a friend’s brother who was disinterested in retrieving the car once it was complete.
Periodic bills (I’m a fucking autobody guy, not some accountant!) failed to attract his interest.
Finally one day after one and one half years I sent him a note saying I was going to sell the car to pay his bill.
The car was sold to one of my suppliers for the amount owed for work done on the vehicle.
Soon as my customer’s dad found out, he went ballistic. He sold your fucking car?!
NO FUCKING WAY!
They phone the RCMP.
Cop I know comes to see me.
He’s friendly. Brings me coffee. We talk in his car.
He writes shit down. This is the charge he says. Theft under five thousand because it was a car he says.
I didn’t go through the proper channels to legally sell the car he says. Cop’s right in what he says.
Cops know how the law works.
I sure didn’t.
I finish my coffee and sign the charge. Theft under five thousand.
I have no idea what I have just done. (made friends with a cop I think…)
Copper waves goodbye and says he’ll see me in court.
See ya pal!
Couple of days before court I ask a friend to come with me to court.
For what? friend says. Oh, just this and I tell him this story.
Theft under five thousand!? friend asks.
Yeah, why? I ask.
You’ll be a fucking criminal is why! friend exclaims as if I’m a moron.
Holy shit! I exclaim moronically.
I thought I would just explain my circumstances to folks and they would understand, I said.
You are stupider than I thought, friend says.
You might go to jail if you plead guilty. Change your plea to innocent and take your chances with the judge, friend advised.
And get a fucking lawyer!
I got a lawyer.
Wowsers my cop pal was upset when I told him about my plea change.
He swore! Fucking cops swear?!
Now shit’s going to go bad for me, previous cop pal warns.
I wonder if I shoulda left well enough alone.
Don’t wanna lose friends and all…
Lawyer said just like friend said. I’ma stupid cunt for providing evidence against myself.
What am I, an inbred? he asks smilingly while I fork over a ton o loot. ($800 1976)
You people fuck each other out there or is it becausa all that oil in the drinking water? rhetorically slops from his ignent legal pie hole as he slips the stack into his jacket.
See ya in court inbred…
In court an RCMP officer with three years on the force reads the charge against me and my statement against myself.
Theft under five thousand dollars.
A judge listens and Judy, the court stenographer taps away on a machine as he speaks.
My lawyer tries not to shake his head as my evidence is read against me.
Fuck, I hear him mutter under his breath.
The RCMP corporal sums up his testimony and the judge gives my lawyer a chance to earn the dough already swindled from me.
My lawyer wants to hammer the prosecution’s witness which just also happens to be his client.
Lawyer asks me about did the cop read me my rights and did I know what I was getting into and yeah, the cop read me my rights but shit did not unfold the way he said.
The cop lied on the stand and without my lawyer asking me to clarify I turned to the judge and told him the truth and how it differed from what officer tongue as long as a telephone wire had said.
The judge was pissed by what I said. His eyebrows smoldered and I wondered how far over some line I had gone.
In the hallway awaiting the judge’s decision Lawyer called me the stupidest client he had ever had and he was fistpumpingly gleeful that I had paid the bill up front.
Lawyer told me I had it all wrong.
Justice he said, has nothing to do with right and wrong. Justice is about winning and losing. And you, my short peckered friend, just LOST!
The judge disagreed. He believed me over Sargent Snide. Charges dropped.
Lawyer didn’t say sorry.
Cop tried to shake my hand on the way out of court (small town). No hard feelings, idiot says.
Fuck you I grunt straight into his lying cop eyes.
Lawyer doesn’t even say goodbye, just saunters across the road to his paid off car.
One month later legal idiot gets electrocuted welding on his motorcycle in the rain.
I shoulda paid him in installments.
Thank you, friend.