I must admit that it IS nice spending time in a courtroom where I am not the center of attention. Ahem.
For those of you who are just tuning in, I’m covering the Obrycka vs. The City of Chicago and Anthony Abbate Jr. civil trial for Gaper’s Block. So far, it’s been challenging, frustrating and shitloads of fun. To answer your next question, as a matter of fact I DO have a twisted idea of what fun is.
During my time sitting on a hard bench in a cold courtroom, I’ve noticed a few things:
Journos are fucking RAUNCHY as hell (yes I knew this, but experiencing it in person is completely different). I sat next to two well-respected female journos and what they were uttering to me under their breaths about the trial made me blush. I had to disguise a couple of laughing fits with coughs. Fortunately, most of the people in the courtroom are illin’ so my ruse fooled no one.
With the exception of a few folks, including the judge presiding over the trial and her staff, those who work in the courthouse have this death-warmed-over pallor about them. I didn’t want to make direct eye contact with any of the older courtroom denizens for fear that I’d disappear in a puff of smoke.
All courtrooms need a drink cart for the observers. And a cake cart.
All courtrooms should have an actual court jester. The jester should distract the courtroom during sidebars, lead the jury in and out of the jury box the way a band leader guides a marching band, and highlight objections with a jig.
I could wear judge robes all the damn time. Think about it, you know this is a grand idea. You wouldn’t have to wear anything underneath it or you could wear whatever you wanted to. Me? I’d wear pajamas or sweats and Hooters t-shirts. Or, better yet, one of those obnoxious “Porn Star in Training” t-shirts because when you’re wearing a judge’s robe who says you have to display grace and class underneath it all.
Finally, I keep waiting for the attorneys to treat the witnesses as hostile. I wanna see sobbing on the stand. I wanna see the smug look on an attorney’s face after he or she makes a witness weep and wheeze. Also, I wanna see the judge bang her gavel so hard it breaks and hear her bellow “ORDER IN THE COURT OR I WILL CLEAR THIS COURTROOM!” Finally, I’m waiting for the judge to utter one of my fave smart-ass tee vee judge lines “You’d better be going somewhere with this, counselor.”
I’m only in week one of three, so there’s still a possibility that one of my hopes will be realized before the jury delivers the verdict.
Until then, check out my first installment here.