Tony at the Red Line Tap.


I greeted Sean and nodded to Tony.

“Bottle of Brugse Straffe Hendrik,” I said. “Room temperature.”

“Cool, dude,” said Sean somewhat garbled by his pierced tongue.

Tony stared at ESPN Classic Sports which was showing the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series Lipton Tea 250.

“Any news about Marty’s TV career,” I asked?

“Oh, man. She quit that. Hooked up with a mandolin player dude in an industrial rap blue grass band and moved to Austin. She got a job at a place, I think it’s called Cheer-up Charlie’s in East Austin.

“Hope she’s happy,” I said.

“Hey, Tony,” said Sean. “It almost time for the People’s Court. I’m changin’ the channel.”

“What the hell?” said Tony. “There’s still 150 miles left.”

“Sorry, dude. Gotta watch Judge Marilyn Milian hand out justice. These are real people with real cases and they have agreed to have them dismissed and settled, there, in the people’s court. See, man. I’m into the concept of a people’s court. Right on for the people’s court!”

“I miss Marty,” sighed Tony. “This kid is driving me crazy. “I keep hoping he graduates and moves on. But he’s got a triple major in philosophy, marketing and pre-law. So I fear he will be here a while.”

“Speaking of the law,” said Tony. “What’s your guess on what the Supremes will do about your pension?”

“No guess,” I said. “Are they in the pocket of Madigan? Will they stick to what the constitution says? What the intent of those who wrote the pension protection clause was? I’m thinking fifty/fifty.”

“Dude. It’s too bad you can’t dismiss the case and all agree to have it handled in the people’s court,” said Sean as Sean Penn in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

“Put Marilyn Milian on the court instead of Fast Eddie Burke’s wife!,” said Tony.

“Dude! That would be so cool. See. Judge Marilyn Milian is why I decided on pre-law as one of my majors. She is so deep and so wise. I know so much about the law from watching her.”

“Like what?” I asked, wondering if I had been pulled into a conversation from which there would be no exit. Like Alice Through the Looking Glass.” Which of course, did have an exit.

“Three things. If a dog is off leash and bites another dog or bites some dude, it’s the dude who owns the first dog’s fault. Two. Don’t work for a relative. And…”

“Most of my cousins would be unemployed if they listened to her,” mumbled Tony.

“And, dude. Most important of all. The most important principle of jurisprudence. Get it in writing. Make sure you have a contract.”

“That didn’t work for my pension,” I said. “We had a contract.”

“Take it to the people’s court, dude” smiled Sean.

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