27 June 2010

Day 92: Dan Walker (guest blogger)

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  ISBN: 9780446310789.

Someone I knew once told me about a Monty Python sketch he'd seen live.  One man came on stage, sat in a chair, and began a rambling monologue about how he "coulda been a judge" but ended up instead as a coal miner.  My friend said it was hilarious.  I've had the phrase "I coulda been a judge" rattling around in my head ever since.

Although in my case, it's more "I want to be a judge".  I've always had an appreciation for the law, and for judges in particular.  I love courtroom dramas, like the one that plays out in this book.  Secretly, I have always wanted to be a judge, a Supreme Court justice especially, although my reasons for wanting that position are definitely less than stellar.

I watch shows like Judge Judy for that one moment where the plaintiff is being a jerk, his prattling driving home the pointless nature of his claim, the defendant standing there stifling laughter as he lets his opponent make an idiot out of himself.  Then, the moment comes: Judge Judy or Judge Joe Brown or whoever is presiding says, "That's enough, get out of my courtroom."  The schadenfreude!  It's delicious to fantasize about having that kind of power over people, not just to decide who was in the right and help people along in their disputes, but to be able to say, "You're both idiots and I have nothing but contempt for you," and getting away with it.

It's childish, I'll admit. The Supreme Court even gets control over who comes into their courtroom in the first place, which has always appealed to me.  But it isn't like I don't have any appreciation for the law; on the contrary, I consider myself very law-abiding, moreso than I think other people who think of themselves as law-abiding do.  I watch Atticus Finch weaving a logic thread, or Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men using courtroom procedures to his advantage, and I wonder if I might not have had a future as a lawyer.  I'm not very good at thinking on my feet, but I think I could have done pretty well in law school, had I given it a shot.  I honestly never even considered lawyering, but... well, Atticus is pretty awesome, I have to admit.  It goes double for the fact that, despite being fictional and all, he's inspired a lot of people to become lawyers, and he even has a monument dedicated to him in Alabama (source).

I guess I was inspired, too.

Dan Walker (pseudonym) is a writer from Northeast Ohio, who would be teaching ESL if he wasn't unemployed. He received a BA in Creative Writing from Wright State University in 2004 and a Masters in Teaching English as a Second Language from Kent State University in 2009. He will make some lucky librarian a wonderful husband someday.

*Post was originally written June 6, 2010 and was saved so the original author could watch some Judge Judy.

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