by Mark C. Wallfisch

It was a stuffy, summer day in the courthouse, and I had two appearances to make.  First, I argued a motion before Judge Coleman, who had ordered me to appear in person to request a third continuance for what she called a “run-of-the-mill” slip-and-fall case.  Judge Coleman was right; though the plaintiff had slipped and fallen in the grocery store, I had dragged my heels representing my client.

Second, I appeared before a different judge with a criminal defendant, who, against my advice and the overwhelming weight of the evidence, wanted to go to trial instead of pleading guilty.  It was 4 o’clock in the afternoon, but the judge told the prospective jurors, “Don’t worry about being kept late.  This trial will take even less time than jury selection.”  That’s when the defendant whispered to me that he had changed his mind and wanted to plead guilty.  The change-of-plea hearing was short.

After that appearance, I smoothed my hand over my wrinkled seersucker suit as I headed for the elevator down to the lobby of the courthouse.  I was alone in the slow, hydraulic elevator as it eased its way down from the third to the first floor. 

I farted.  My pungent, gaseous discharge filled the elevator.

The door opened at the first floor, and all I could say to the one person waiting to ride up was, “Oh. Hello, Judge Coleman.  I didn’t expect to see you again today.”

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