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Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Bomb

Category: Humor/Satire

The small audience chuckled softly as the next set of participants filed into my courtroom. The defendants always came in first. This one, a celery stick of a man in his forties, his black hair styled, fluffed, and obviously dyed. A few steps behind trailed his accuser, a painful sight to see.

She was a big woman, and with the mountain of orange ringlets, she hit six feet, easily. But her height isn’t what drew the audience’s attention. It was the purple satin pant-suit she had packed herself into for her first television appearance.

Now I’m a big woman myself, a size twenty, but being a judge, I’m a bit more conservative with my fashion choices. This was a five pound ham stuffed into a three pound can. With the line of her bra and panties bulging out enough to cast their own shadows, I considered having the woman arrested for indecent exposure. Instead, I went on with the show.

“What’s your name, young lady?”

“Adrianna Camacho,” she said, squeezing her shiny black purse to her ample chest.

  The guy operating Camera 1 noticed her outfit too, and he rolled his camera forward into the perfect position for a full body shot. There are a lot of words I could use to describe this show but tasteful isn’t one of them.

“Miss Camacho, why are you here?” I asked as professionally as I could manage.

She glared at the defendant, chin lowered. “Because I want Lazlo to pay my hospital bills.”

“Fat chance,” Lazlo muttered.

Again, the audience tittered, and Lazlo glanced back at them with a smirk, obviously proud of his snappy comeback.

Another wise-ass. I directed my attention to the comedian. “And what is your name, sir?”

“Lazlo…Lazlo Delacroix…Your Honor, and this woman is crazy if she thinks I’m ever gonna―”

I shot him one of my patented Judge Portia stares. “Just reply to the questions asked, Mr. Delacroix. Right now, I’m going to listen to Miss Camacho’s statement, and after that, you’ll get your say. Is that alright with you?”

As I expected, the smirk slid off Lazlo’s face like it was buttered. “Yes, ma’am.”

“Good.” I looked back at the giant purple grape. “Now, Ms. Camacho. You say you want Mr. Delacroix here to pay your medical bills. And why is that?”

“Because it’s all his fault.” The woman stuffed her hand into her purse and produced a stack of papers which she shook violently in Lazlo’s direction. “I did him a favor, and because of that I ended up in the hospital with a twenty thousand dollar bill to pay.”

“I’m not paying you a dime,” Lazlo shouted, then glanced at the audience for backup. Camera two swung their way, and the crowd supplied him with a few whoops, mixed with a smattering of laughter and applause.

“Mr. Delacroix, you’ll have your say in a minute. Until then, I expect you to keep your mouth shut.”
Lazlo studied his shoes and nodded.

“I’m not down there, Mr. Delacroix. Please look at me when I address you.”

His eyes flickered upward. “Yes, ma’am, I understand.”

“All right.” I turned back to the Camacho woman. “Continue.”

“We were taking a trip to Cleveland together, Lazlo and me. We’re both hair stylists, and we were going to a big convention. Lazlo was already at the airport when he called me up. He said he forgot a package he wanted to take on the trip, and he asked me if I would stop off at his apartment and get it for him.”
“And did you?”

“Yes. And I almost missed the flight too. I was the last one to board.”

“Now let me get this straight. He asked you to pick up a package for him, and you did. What was in this package?”

“Hair products. Lazlo needed them for the convention.”

“I see. And how big was this package?” I held up my hands about a foot apart. “Like this?”
“A little bigger.”

“Okay, a little bigger. I still don’t see how this leads to Mr. Delacroix being responsible for your medical bills.”

Lazlo opened his mouth, but another healthy glare cut him off.
“Continue,” I told Miss Camacho.

“I got on the plane, like I said, the last one to board, and I saw Lazlo sitting a few seats back. So I called out to him, ‘Lazlo, I got the package you asked me to bring you.’”

Lazlo let go a high-pitched groan and clutched his head as if he expected it to explode and was hoping to catch some pieces.

“And then what happened, Miss Camacho?”

“Well, everybody started screaming.” Her breasts heaved as she relived the event. “People were shouting, ‘Terrorist! Terrorist!’ Some ran to the exit. I didn’t understand what was happening, so when I saw the people running, I ran too.”

“You ran back into the terminal?”

“Yeah!” She nodded. “And they arrested me there!”

“Were you arrested too, Mr. Delacroix?”

“Hell yeah, I was arrested!” The words burst out as if he’d been holding his breath. “Before I knew it some guy had his arms around me and slammed my face onto the carpet! I missed my flight too―and the convention―and―”

I raised my palm in Lazlo’s direction, cutting him off. “Okay, I get it, but I still don’t see where the hospital bills come in.” I raised my chin to the bailiff. “Bring me those papers.”

The bailiff, a stocky man with a gray flattop you could rest a cup and saucer on, took the papers from Miss Camacho and handed them to me. I ran my eyes over them and came away slightly less confused than before.

“It says here you had a heart attack.”

“Yes.”

“And you were in the hospital for a week.”

Her eyes rimmed with tears. “Does that surprise you? Four men grabbed me and threw me to the ground. They jumped on top of me screaming, ‘Don’t move! Don’t move!’ I was in shock. I didn’t know why they were doing this.”

Palms pressed together, Lazlo pleaded, “Can I please speak now, Your Honor?”
“Sure,” I said, rolling my eyes. “I can’t wait…”

“She left out the most important part,” Lazlo said waving both arms at the woman as if shaking out an invisible rug. “Yeah, she saw me and called out. But she didn’t say she brought me the package.”

“No?”

“No. She got on the plane all right, but like a moron, she calls out across the plane for everyone to hear, ‘I got the bomb, Lazlo.’” He raised his palms to the sky. “What did she think would happen?”

I couldn’t believe my ears. “What?” I screeched and scowled at the Camacho woman, “You told him you had a bomb?”

“Not a bomb, ‘The Bomb.’” She reached into her purse and pulled out a white jar with The Bomb written across the front of it in bold black letters. “It’s a hair product. We use it at the shop all the time.”

The audience roared with laughter, but I didn’t join them. What I wanted to do was jump over my bench and smack this Camacho woman a good one. Our producers sure knew how to pick ‘um.

Still clueless, Miss Camacho crossed her arms across her chest self-righteously, glaring at Lazlo as if proud the truth had finally come out.

“See?” She said accusingly. It was all his fault. When those men jumped on me I was so scared that I had a heart attack and passed out. When I woke up, I was in the hospital. That’s twenty thousand dollars he’s got to pay me. If it wasn’t for him, this would have never happened.”

After all this, Lazlo’s attitude was making more and more sense. “Miss Camacho, how many times have you flown since 9-11?”

“Two times, once five years ago and this one.”

“And did you notice any increase in the airport security during those two flights?”

The woman’s lower lip jutted out as she thought, giving her a spoiled, pouty look. “I know they made me take my shoes off.”

Elbow on the bench, I propped my head with two fingers. “And that’s all?”
She shrugged.

I’d never asked for the audience’s opinion before, but it seemed the situation called for it. I stood up and addressed the twenty-odd people in the back of the room. “Ladies and Gentlemen. Raise your hand if you believe this woman should have known better.”

Camera 2 spun around in time to catch twenty odd hands pop up like meerkats after a hyena alert.

I dropped back into my chair. “Miss Camacho, it appears you aren’t a very observant person. If Helen Keller were with us today, I believe that even she would know better than to use the word ‘bomb’ on an aircraft.”

“But that’s the name of the product.” Once again, she held up the jar. “It’s called The Bomb, I showed you!”

I scowled down at her, the volume of my voice escalating, “Miss Camacho, what you did wasn’t just dangerous, it was stupid… as reckless as shouting fire in a crowded theater.”

“But it never would have happened if Lazlo hadn’t asked me to bring him that package!” She stomped her foot, and her honeydew sized breasts bounced against the podium, rocking it.

Lazlo slapped his thighs with both hands. “See what I mean? She’s an idiot.”

“Sadly, I believe Mr. Delacroix is correct in his evaluation.” I leaned forward and picked up my gavel. “Miss Camacho, ignorance of the law is no excuse. Your claim is denied. In fact, if anybody should be suing anybody, it’s Mr. Delacroix.”

I slammed down the gavel. “Case dismissed.”

Posted by Diana C on 11/24 at 04:39 PM | Permalink
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