Wednesday, April 23, 2014

REDRUM, He Wrote

The paper had an interesting story today -- and photo -- of a guy charged with murder. That's everyday stuff, of course, but what made this interesting was the tattoo on his neck. Looking at him straight on, he had REDRUM tattooed, reversed to see it better in a mirror. And it was huge, estimating it to be a 1000 pt outline font. Counsel has moved to allow him to cover it or have it removed, lest the jury find him YTLIUG and he's YAWA TUP.

Whatever happens to that guy, I'm sure you'll join me in wishing for him a completely fair trial, with the prosecution prevailing only if they prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The fact that he has REDRUM on his neck, in my opinion, doesn't say anything incriminating necessarily.

There could be lots of reasons -- from an artistic bent to sheer antisocial cussedness -- for his tattoo. I know a lady with a pretty flower on the back of her leg, and that doesn't mean she's good at gardening. In fact, she lacks a green thumb.

I've always been that way about fair trials. As an average citizen, I read the paper and form opinions. But these accounts are always lacking some of, usually most of the evidence. In a different case, this other guy charged with murder, who is allegedly a hothead, went with some folks on a pleasant outing in the country. Apparently something turned sour, as everyone but him was brutally murdered, including a toddler whose body was found in a creek. Of course my first thought is Bigfoot. Then I start considering this guy. But if I'm on the jury, or I'm the judge, I go for the reasonable doubt conclusion.

I think I would've made a great judge. We've got a pesky defender or prosecutor, moving for a bathroom break. I go, "I'm the judge, I'll say when we have a bathroom break ... bathroom break! 10 minute recess. Be back in 9. If you take 11, you'll spend the rest of the trial in stocks. And anytime I see a juror even start to nod, it'll be one lash of the cat 'o nine tails for you. OK, sorry, I went long, be back in 8."

Other than messing with them like that, I'd be impartial and good. Soaking it in, proud when the bailiff calls out, "All rise! The honorable Tobias G. Slump presiding!" I look out, nod, have everyone be seated, wink at the cute bailiff, which whom I've just been in quarters, and admire the defendant's interesting tattoo, a guy sneaking a canoe out of Walmart, coincidentally the same crime he's charged with. The final verdict: Innocent! (I believe the defense, that the canoe was put in his truck by person or persons unknown, invisible to video surveillance.)

It's my prayer -- which I expect to be answered -- that someday soon we shall get past all this. For you see, I fervently believe in the perfectibility of man. Call it the new heaven and new earth, call it the Millennium, or just call it the pink-starred la la land I'm favored to live in. But I see a day when there's no REDRUM, drug-dealing, bank robberies (even by bankers), or the stealing of canoes.

In my new world, every person is so content in their being and Ultimate Being, in fact we're One! Each of us will follow -- by a redeemed nature and social setting -- the Golden Rule. Or, to refine that statement, our will won't will evil, our wont won't be toward evil. All mankind will possess their own person in peace, dwelling peaceably under the communal fruit tree, nothing really their own except maybe a nice shirt, a pair of pants, suspenders, and shoes that shall never wear out.

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