We had a lengthy trial session, but no one was unpleasant, just long-winded.
Then, for the mandatory appearance calendar, we had far more people than could be seen in one hour, let alone seated in the courtroom. We also had a large number of translation matters, which slows things as well.
The commisioner, always game, began the instruction.
One of the crowd, a very large mammal with a great villain's glower, decided to interrupt, "Can I say something?"
"Just wait," says the commisioner, "then when it's your turn before me, you can ask your question then."
"No, I want to say-"
My Gorilla ain't havin' it. "No, sir!" I interrupt, "Wait your turn, as instructed. Do not interrupt the court again. You can leave, or you can wait silently, those are your options."
He glowers, even pouts a little, but shuts his mouth. He's still shaking his head, and because he's a large mammal standing in the back of the courtroom, his every movement is obvious to the court staff. My Gorilla starts pacing back and forth, but eventually settles down to pick at his fur.
As usual, we have a few people come into the courtroom early that are scheduled for 6:30. I tell them the usual, and after the fifth interruption, I step out for a moment to tell the waiting crowd that we are going to be late getting to their matter.
There is a man waiting in the hall who had mistakenly come to our trial session earlier in the day. I distinctly remembered him because he wore a black velvet tux jacket, matching bow-tie and pink ruffled shirt. He has returned, but must have considered the tux too formal for an evening engagement and is wearing a Juicy sweatsuit. Picture Rick James with a relaxed perm and you won't be far off.
So, as I turn to re-enter the court Rick James says from behind me, "Excuse me, Officer."
I turn to him. I catch him staring at my ass. My Gorilla doesn't even bother to get up at this point. I do work where I work, after all. I am no homophobe; indeed, I have been told by many women and a few men of whose desires run that way, that I have a nice ass. Some have even called it great.
The stare lingers longer than it ought to, though, so I say, "My eyes are up here, sir."
Rick James doesn't reply, but he does bring his gaze to meet mine.
"What was your question?"
Rick James sniffs, tosses his hair, but doesn't otherwise deign to reply.
Blinded by anger, my Gorilla howls and charges the cage, stunning himself in his eagerness to slap some little-girl squeals from Rick James' mouth.
"I do not appreciate your inappropriate conduct, sir. Mind your manners."
Just as happy my Gorilla is still stunned, I return to the courtroom.
Inside, the atmosphere has changed from when I left. And not for the better. I walk around the counter, see that Her Honor is on her feet, speaking to the crowd at large, "He is a trained law enforcement officer, his firearm is perfectly safe and he is armed merely to keep us safe. There is no cause for concern, he's trained how to use it."
My Gorilla is still too stunned from the headlong rush at the bars to really build a head of steam, so I manage to add, with relative good humor, "And when not to."
Things settle,but the atmosphere remains strained. Court resumes. Suspecting Large Mammal instigated something while I was out, My Gorilla gets to his feet and starts wobbling around his cage.
I get a text from one of the clerks. He tells me Large Mammal had been laughing when I left court, attracting Her Honor's attention. When told to stop disrupting the court, he decided to ask if it was legal for officers to have a gun in the court, claiming he thought it dangerous. The tail end of Her Honor's response to that being what I heard on re-entering the courtroom.
Glad to have that confirmation of my assessment of all the elements in the equation, I settle down for a tense session, even give the Gorilla a little slack to give Large Mammal my gimlet glare.
Rick James enters the court. Miffed he can't get a seat, he sets about attracting everyone's attention with a whine-and-pout routine.
Her Honor tells him that a seat will be opening up in a bit, provided there aren't any additional disruptions.
He doesn't get the hint. "Well, your guard or whatever was all angry 'cause I was lookin' at him," Rick James says as he leaves the courtroom.
My Gorilla snorts and huffs, sounding suspiciously like, 'Motherfucker.'
Large Mammal's matter is seen to. He's very difficult to understand. His madness does not touch on our reality in very many places, and where it does, it does so lightly.
When he leaves, I go outside to make another announcement, asking for patience. Rick James is in a sulk, but his lover is there to pat his hand.
I return to the courtroom.
At about 6:40, in comes Pirate with his Parrot, causing a bit of a stir. Pirate claims the animal is a service animal. I think the Parrot is the brains of the operation, or at least translates Pirate into English while manipulating his host like a ventriliquist.
"Yes, it's a parrot. Get over it," I tell the crowd. I lower my voice and tell Pirate he's early, not late. I remembered the pair from their last visit.
A group enters the courtroom, rather noisily. "If you are here for 6:30, we aren't quite ready for you. Wait outside and I will come get you when we are. If you are late, be seated and be silent."
"Six-thir- Ok," says the young lady in front, getting it and turning to leave.
Her Honor, growing impatient with the repeated disruptions, tells the group, "Be silent or leave."
The last man in the group ignores us both, looks at me and asks, "So you'll come get us?"
This monolithic display of stupidity draws uncomfortbale titters from the crowd. Rarely have they been so entertained, I'm sure.
My Gorilla starts to whimper. Where are these tormentors coming from?
I give my best 'Really?' stare to Oblivious.
Oblivious doesn't get it, of course.
Oblivious eventually edges out of the courtroom, his question unanswered.
At least for him.
I go get him and the rest at 7:15.