Best Place To Waste Time

St. Louis County Traffic Court, North Division

Yes, you could hire a lawyer and just stay home. And yes, the fine for "air pollution by motor vehicle" really isn't all that big. But why pass up the chance to stand in line, especially on a night when the docket exceeds 1,000 cases and you're under threat of arrest if you don't enter a plea? You can quit smoking. You can catch up on your reading. When you're done with that (and you could finish reading -- or even writing -- War and Peace by the time your case gets called), you can listen to the human drama of silly excuses: "If he hadn't been so close, I wouldn't have hit him from behind, Your Honor"). Watch the suit-and-tie lawyers go to the front of the line no matter when they show up because, well, they're wearing suits and ties and they're lawyers. They're also getting paid, and all that makes them more important than you. And after four hours on a metal folding chair, smile as you get a nolle prosse and a heartfelt thanks from the prosecutor for being so patient -- never mind that you were innocent all along. Then it's off to Denny's for yet another slam because that's the only place still open.

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