Copyright 1985, 1986 by Gregory S. Swann. All Rights Reserved. Direct inquiries to CIS I.D

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Copyright 1985, 1986 by Gregory S. Swann. All Rights Reserved. Direct inquiries to CIS I.D. 75115,1341. ___________________________________________________________________________ My Day In Court... By Ramblin' Gamblin' Willie Wouldn't you know it?: I got hauled into Reality Court. Literally hauled. A giant slob of a cop showed up at my door and dragged me to 101 Centre Street. I was tempted to resist, but he called me some unpleasant things and threatened to 'put the cuffs' on me, so I thought better of it. As fashion accesories go, cops are eye-catching, but not appealing. Being dragged through the streets of New York by a burly, blue-suited thug =will= get you noticed, but you're not likely to enjoy the attention. So I was happy when he finally dposited me in Courtroom 101, Reality Court. But the indignities were far from over. In Civics class, we are told that in the United States one is presumed innocent until proved guilty. Evidently, court clerks and bailiffs are exempt from Civics, for they treated everyone in Room 101 as if they were already guilty, even the companions-of-the-accused, who were not required to be there at all. "Take off that hat!", "Close that newspaper!", "QUIET!!". And nearly constant gun-belt adjustments, just so no one misses the point. I tried to ignore it all. I mean, I felt outraged by the whole thing, but it was clear to me that outrage would not change anything. So, instead of being angry, I got interested in watching the proceedings. Do you know about Reality Court? It's the latest thing, so you may not have heard about it. It's a new Court the City established to provide a means of litigating against nature. You see, it was discovered that most of what people call 'injustice' is not anyone's fault, but simply the way things are. For instance, the first case I saw was a young man suing Reality for breaking his leg. He and his friends had gotten drunk one Friday night. On a 'double-dare', he had tried to walk, tight-rope-style, along a wall. He fell and broke his leg. His lawyer claimed that Reality was unjust in breaking his leg, costing him several weeks of work plus medical expenses. The judge agreed, fining Reality for the young man's costs, plus punitive damages. In another case, a young woman sued Reality for getting her pregnant. She claimed it was unfair of Reality to cause this to happen, and that it should be made to pay for the child's room, board, and expenses. An open-and-shut case: the judge awarded her the damages sought and chastised nature for being so cruel and unfair. In a third case, a professional golfer sued Reality for taking the edge off his swing. He averred that it was not his fault, but that it had cost him much of his annual income. The judge awarded him his settlement and demanded that Reality return him to the height of his powers. Then my case was called: A bailiff cried, "Case of Willie For Sale versus Ramblin' Gamblin' Willie!" Willie For Sale? I =knew= I was going to get in trouble for that... There was a lot of legal folderol, but what it boiled down to was this: Willie For Sale was suing me for impersonating himself. =Me=! His creator! How's that for gratitude? A chunky clerk with short hair and a long gun swore me in. She said: "Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?" "I don't believe in god..." "Oh," she said. "Then you'll have to take the affirmation: do you affirm that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?" "I always tell the truth." "Answer 'yes' or 'no'." I said: "Yes or no." "'Yes' =or= 'no'!" "Yes =or= no," I said. She gave me a =very= cross look. She looked as if she were about to strike me. The judge said, "Let the record show the witness has agreed to tell the truth." He looked bored. Wille For Sale's lawyer, a greasy man I once saw at a protest march, began to drill me. "Is it true," he demanded, "that you once purchased two cases of empty soda cans?" "Well, yes," I said, "but--" The bailiff said: "'Yes' or 'no'?" "Yes or no," I responded dutifully. "Is it also true," the Shyster continued, "that you threatened to put tatoos on the knuckles of one of our finest citizens?" "Yes, but, you see, he was trying to steal--" "'Yes' or 'no'?," the bailiff insisted. I said: "Yes or no." "And is it also true," the Shyster went on, "that you have formed a group with yourself as the sole member?!" "Yes," I said, "but you don't understand the circumstan--" "'Yes' or 'no'!" "Yes or no." Frankly, I was mystified. The Shyster was speaking to the judge: "Having established that the witness has lost his grip on Reality, we demand that the Court find in favor of the plaintiff." "...?" I said: "Now wait just a darn minute!" The bailiff said: "QUIET!" "I will =not= be quiet! Not in my own story, dammit!" The judge said, "You will either contain yourself, or I will find you in Contempt of Court." I said, "That would be appropriate... I =am= in contempt of this court." "Well!!," said the Shyster. "QUIET!," hollered the bailiff. The judge said, "Young man, you're in a bad hole as it is. Don't dig it any deeper." "=I'm= in a bad hole??" "You're charged with a very serious offense," said the Shyster. "Yeah!," said Willie For Sale. "Throw the book at him!" I couldn't stop myself: I burst out laughing. The judge was stern. "Crimes against Reality are nothing to laugh at, young man!" "You are not real." The judge was aghast. He gasped, "WHAT!!" I turned to Wille For Sale, fixing him with my sternest glare. "=You= are not real." "Willie help me!," Willie For Sale said. I chuckled. "'Praise Willie'?" "Praise Willie!," Willie For Sale intoned. "'Spread the =Word= about Willie'?," I asked. "Amen!!" I said: "I wrote that." "WHAT!!" They all said that; Willie For Sale, the judge, the Shyster. "I wrote that," I said. "I =am= Willie." "Blasphemy!," shouted Willie For Sale. "QUIET!!" "I am Willie. The Willie that Willie For Sale sells. Author of all the Willie stories. Creator of Manny Kant and the Yuppie Burglar and the One Person PAC. Creator of Reality Court, for that matter..." "Blasphemy!," Willie For Sale sputtered. "I will =not= permit him to sit there and take the name of Our Lord in vain!" "QUIET!!" Deep breath. "Do you want proof? All right... Willie For Sale, your true name is Eugene Huntswald." Willie For Sale gasped. "You changed it in 1955, when you started your ministry." I turned to the judge. "Your wife has a drinking problem. She's been in detox twice, and you fear you'll have to put her away for good." The judge gave me a resentful stare. I looked to the Shyster. "You're wearing that underwear for the second day, so drive carefully." The Shyster's face turned beet red. "Praise Willie!," Willie For Sale intoned. "We implore the One True Merciful God!" "What?," I said. "I am not god." "Willie is God!," Willie For Sale insisted. Deep breath. "I am not god... Greg might be god, but I'm not sure." "Greg," said the judge. "Who is Greg? Young man, I've read the whole Book, and there is no Greg in it." "Greg is not in the Book." "WHAT!!" The Shyster said: "Everything that is Real is in the Book. That's a law of nature." "Greg is outside of the Book. Willie--," I point at my chest, "--is inside the Book. And I created all of you. But Greg created =me=." Willie For Sale looked confused. "Then this Greg is God...?" I sighed. "...it gets complicated. Greg says there is no god, but I'm not sure he has a good reason for saying so... Anyway, it's enough to say that Greg is Real and the Book is Real. But nothing inside the Book is Real." "Oh," said Willie For Sale. "But wouldn't that imply more than two dimensions," the Shyster posed. "It is a scientifically proved fact that there cannot be more than two dimensions." "Greg has three dimensions." Gasp! "He says every Real thing has three dimensions, including the Book." Gasp!! "Mac says there are four dimensions!" "Identify this Mac," the judge demanded. "He's someone Greg knows..." "Is =he= Real, too?" "...I don't know... I guess he must be. Wait, though; it gets worse. Ellen said she read somewhere that there might be seven=teen= dimensions." The judge asked, "And this Ellen, is =she= also Real." "Almost certainly. At least, Greg spends a lot of his time thinking about her..." "...," said the judge and the Shyster. In unison. "Spare me, Dear Willie," said Willie For Sale. I guess I'm not much of a god, but Willie For Sale isn't much of a supplicant. I did my best to look the part: "You are spared, my son." "Praise Willie!" "Praise Greg," I corrected. "He's the one who got the book printed." "Do you mean," asked Willie For Sale, "that we are now guaran=teed= life e=ter=nal?" "Yes." "We will never =die=? We will never grow =old=?" "Yes." "=Glory= to Willie!," Willie For Sale shouted. "Glory to Greg," I corrected. "Whatever..." "...?," said the Shyster. "Did I miss something?" "Is is," I replied. "Is Not is not." "Hunh?" The Shyster was scratching his head. "One equals One. Zero equals Zero. Zero does not equal One. Every moment you spend attempting to =prove= that Zero equals One is a moment wasted." The judge said: "...what are you driving at...?" "That the nature of life is such that only =correct= notions, those that recognize that Zero can never be the same as One, can result in any sort of benefit. All others are null, except where they are harmful." The Shyster's face was defiant. "I have the right to think whatever I want!" "Yes, of course," I replied. "But you have no right to escape the consequences of error..." "What a thing to say!" The Shyster turned to the judge. "Make him stop!" "What!!," thundered Willie For Sale. "Would you muzzle the One True God!?!" "QUIET!" The judge said: "The witness will restrain himself to the subject at hand..." "Which is...?" I shot a hard stare to the Shyster. To Willie For Sale. "Do you negatively exponentiated Zeroes =still= claim you have the right to try me in a court of my own creation?" "Well...," hedged the Shyster, "it =is= without a precedent..." "I withdraw my charges!," spouted Willie For Sale. The judge looked disgusted with both of them. He said, "Case dismissed." "Praise Willie!!," shouted Willie For Sale. "QUIET!!" I said: "Get it straight, bozo. Praise Greg, not Willie. Greg is a One. Willie is Greg's Zero." "...whatever." The Shyster and the judge both looked confused. Willie For Sale undertook to explain to them as I walked out of Reality Court, again a free man. That is, as free as we Zeroes get, which is a lot, considering. You Ones don't know how good you have it. I guess that means you won't have it for long... =Willie!= _-_ # # # @ @ # {# ( ) #} | #"# | ##^## ###

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