Friday, March 12, 2010

Ninja Rain

"Wherever I am,
Anyone in need has a friend.
Whenever I return home,
Everyone is happy I am there."
- Ninja Warrior Creed

Ninja Rain: (Attacking noisily outside the window) Hah! I scoff at your puny landscape, small and stunted, slowly being swallowed by the creeping Sonoran Desert. Drink this, puny carbon-based life forms!

Me: Hah! I care not toothless villain! I report to the courthouse these days; subjected to bad coffee, strange jur-fellows and metal detector lines almost daily. I have no fear of your pathetic attempts to overwhelm my back yard with fresh water.

Ninja Rain: Hah! BTW, You, what’s your case about?

Me: Hah! I engage daily with the forces of stupidity, vacuity and poor oral hygiene on slow and crowded elevators. I endure attempted conversation with “peers” who have attention spans as short as their opinions are shallow. While I dote on grand-child-aged relatives, oddly I’m not as captivated to hear about yours, dear. Besides: see this book I’m holding open on my lap? I was reading it. Where light conversation has proved difficult for four weeks, I now cower to think of attempting to collaborate and deliberate the final week with my fellow jurors. Ergo Ninja Rain, your noisome rain is like music to my ears.

Ninja Rain: Hah! I shall depress your spirits, Seasonally Affect your mood Disorder and enforce a chronic light shortage. Not to mention increasing your aging roof’s leak potential to Sesame Street Terrorist Threat Level Bert. (He’s the orange one, right?)

Me: Hah! Leaky roofs are the farthest thing from my mind!

Ninja Rain: BTW, You, what’s your case about again?

Me: Hah! I shall not capitulate to your assassination attempts on my confidence in our legal system. I have already had at least two nightmares about being tried by jury of my peers. In fact leaky roofs go to the heart of the matter of this case. So, shut up.

Ninja Rain: Ha ha! Hah! No seriously. Sorry. Hah!

Me: Very Master Ninja-y of you, NJ. But you gotta listen here. My case is about a homeowner who suffered winter rainstorm damage and fought the insurance company. Talk about Threat Level Bert. Here we sit, six years later. Listening to battling expert witnesses, silently witnessing revelations of shady conduct, trying to keep track of over 600 surprise exhibits, tortured by logic and the lack thereof, and by fornicating plaintiffs living an alternative lifestyle several pay grades above the jury members. Funny undisputed fact: The roof still leaks.

Ninja Rain: Hah! Sounds like a noble assignment: Everyman vs. The Man, and Hapless Small Business General Contractor. Meet the ungainly and unlikely heroic sole proprietor subcontractor trying to make an honest living practicing his craft and ending up as collateral damage. Pretty sure it's an undisputed that this guy doesn’t have health insurance.

Me: Yeah, huh? Greed, lies, revenge, innuendo, shady unasked questions, and disputed answers. Objection. No foundation. Sustained. Stricken, Question. Day after rainy day taking notes on technical details about insurance lingo, advice from architects and structural engineers about all the nasty things rain can do when roofs leak.

Ninja Rain: Ok, but still, sounds pretty cool. Dark arts, deceptions, class warfare. Did the workers rebel against their overlords and save the day for Socialism? Viva Revolution, eh?

Me: NJ, I know more than I ever dreamed of about leaky roofs, covered damages, mold remediation, obscure construction attempts gone bad, code violations, lies, and damn lies. So technical at times I had to clench my fingernails in the palm of my hand to keep from nodding off. So gripping at other times that Juror #6 woke up.

Ninja Rain: Hah! Puny juror! Sounds to me like you’re really mad that you didn’t get to sleep in mornings, and fool around blogging. Just for that, I’m going to blow a branch into a bird feeder, knocking it on the patio where the birds too drenched to fly can waddle around the all you can eat buffet.

Me: Well, NJ, good for the birds, and for me. The trial is over. So I’m back home to my favorite job – playing around on the innernetz when I should be cleaning out the old e-mail in-box. So rain your little head off.

Ninja Rain: Wait, You. What was your verdict?

Me: We reached a verdict midday yesterday that will displease “The Man” and “the man” about equally, and will please only the innocent contractor. I’m completely satisfied that we did the right thing. My only regret is that we did so for reasons having more to do with the personalities of the characters that performed before us for 5 weeks than with the carefully outlined jury instructions on the law, or the objective and undisputed facts of the case, or even the basic principles of accounting.

Ninja Rain: You win some, you lose some. Others, you merely screw up.

Me: Thanks, Ninj. Your precipitous wind-whipped wetness, bringing the haunting residual smell of the prehistoric glacier melt is just what I need today to clean the salts out my flower pots and the cognitive dissonance of jury operation in my brain. Besides your winter El Nino rain is a far cry from a shower of silver shurikens whizzing toward my chest. By the way, if you ever wanna make an origami shuriken, check this out.


Cicero Sings said...

You have the most interesting mind ... I think you and my sister would hit it off. She doesn't have internet however.

Five weeks, FIVE! Oh my, I do hope I can get out of this. We only have one car and my husband is back working .... the court town is a 55 minute drive away (all true) ... do you think my excuse will work?

Martha in Michigan said...

I am glad, for the sake of your sanity, that you actually got to deliberate, instead of having them settle at the last minute. Your intimations of class warfare are interesting, hinting at the lack of "peer"-ness that results when juries consist only of those who cannot get out of serving on them. Then again, poor and under-educated is probably the majority of the population anyway. I say this because I have just reviewed a report from last fall that substantiates the fact that in many states, including mine, 4th and 8th grade "proficient" scores in state-mandated math and reading tests are below NAEP's "basic" level. Our level of educational achievement, as a people, is declining precipitously. What up? I suspect it has a lot to do with kids not reading much anymore. I think most of our literacy skills always came from that, rather than from direct instruction in school. And then there's the brain damage incurred from ubiquitous pollution and inadequate nutrition....

kate smudges said...

You must be happy to be back to internet surfing fun. I'd have gone batty (or even more batty than I am now) if I'd had to sit on a jury ~ unless I could knit. I bet one isn't allowed though. Making origami shurikens would help too. I clicked on the link in the post and was swept away in the magical world of origami. That was yesterday and I'm only now getting back to comment.