Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Pet Peeves

I get really annoyed when work meetings go off in a tangent or when the discussion enters the microbe realm. This is probably a battle scar from the time when I attended a mandatory school meeting when my daughter started the first grade and one of the fathers extended the already too long assembly with a lengthy discussion about how unfair it was that his child had gym and soccer practice on the same day. Should the child bring one towel to school or two? Why couldn’t the school change the class schedule around? Aren’t two damp and heavy towels too much to carry for a child that has undeveloped bones? It did not help that another parent angrily asked what the school intended to do about the uneven ratio of girls to boys in the first grade. How were they going to fix this? No one interjected with the only answer to this dilemma: the principal be forced to adopt 23 six year old girls and thereby bring the ratio of the sexes in the three 1st grade classes to 50/50.
It is good to know what annoys you as then one is in a better position to avoid such annoyances. As an engineer I try to avoid meetings, as a writer I try to avoid writer’s block. Were I a farmer I would try and avoid crop circles in my fields. This phenomenon would be certain to get on my nerves.

But speaking of what gets on your nerves in an occupational sense, I rambled onto a youtube video of a girl in the States that managed to annoy a judges while facing him in court. She seemed really young, eighteen or nineteen, and the dialog was too messed up to discern what offense she was charged with. It cannot have been very serious since she did not seem like a hardened criminal at all. More like some silly kid that got caught smoking weed or shoplifting. The judge sets her bail at 5 thousand dollars and smilingly says “bye-bye” (his exact words) she replies with “adios” and for that he ups the bail to ten thousand dollars. The kid gets upset and slyly gives him the finger when walking away – not slyly enough since he sees it and sentences her to 30 days in prison for contempt of court. Talk about touchy.

In Iceland no one would ever, ever, ever get 30 days for contempt of court for flipping off a judge or get a fine (we do not have bail) doubled for saying something as innocent as “adios”. That is not to say that Icelandic judges are immune to getting insulted and all in a huff. Recently someone spit on a judge here and called her a “c**t”. He got six months in prison for this, despite coming up with the not so brilliant defence that his words were intended for a completely “different c**t” in the courtroom and that he had spit on the judge’s robes, not the judge herself. He probably would have been better off pleading whooping cough and Tourette’s.

The strange thing about the 6 month sentence was that a few days earlier another culprit got away with a fine for attacking and punching a police officer while letting out a stream of obscenities aimed at the officer. Does not really match up does it?

Why is it more serious to say something bad to a judge than a teacher for example? Is it not to be expected that people lose their cool when being handed out a sentence? I am not promoting extreme reactions or complete rudeness but what makes a judge so special? A judge is just a person like anyone else, aside from the cape that was fashionable about two hundred years ago. All people should be treated with respect no matter what their occupation. Either you get 30 days in jail for giving someone the finger or not. I really do not see the difference between a judge and the pizza delivery guy in this respect. Or an engineer come to that.

But then again, who am I to judge a judge?

Yrsa - Wednesday


  1. I shall pass on an almost irresistible temptation to state what the principal could have suggested to the parent as a means for equalizing the boy/girl classroom ratio. Instead, I'll offer this observation on the Miami courtroom tape that I chased down as a result of your (as always) delightful post: Wow. (just type, "judge, girl, birdie" into your browser and you're there.)

    I understand the need for preserving decorum in the courtroom...and judges have a lot of power in that regard, but in this case I think the judge lost it.

    The girl was charged with Xanax possession (used in the treatment of anxiety or panic disorders)...possibly with an intent to sell. She obviously was a bit high--or worse--but so far as I could see, she wasn't abusive or insulting as much as "out of it," that is, until the birdie incident.

    Frankly, the only reason I can imagine for the Judge doubling the bail on the defendant's "adios" comment was because he somehow took it as an insult to his Hispanic roots. But then again, it seemed the girl was also Hispanic.

    Bottom line. Always be courteous to a judge in his courtroom. Just respectfully object, make your record, and move on to have the miserable ba**ard reversed.

  2. I also never understood why, in my State, a person can get the death penalty for shooting an armed police officer, but not for shooting an unarmed grandmother. Being an unarmed grandmother myself, and one who does not believe in the death penalty,probably prejudices my view of this,