Mother Goose had her proverbial “day in court” this past Wednesday. We are honking with delight to report that she was acquitted by the Honorable Justice Regina M. Sonopoplio. The traffic courtroom was packed, and you could have heard a pin drop as the judge called Mother Goose to the stand. (You may recall from an earlier report that Mother Goose was ticketed and charged with “failure to reduce speed” leading to a three car collision on October 27 of this year.)
The fowl heart of Mother Goose was pounding as she approached the Judge. My daughter and I had been taking this episode quite lightly up until now. We had been scolded by a sheriff’s deputy outside the courtroom for giggling about silly things, like bringing Greek yogurt through the security check post. As we waited for the judge to enter the courtroom, we had imagined ourselves in a Lifetime movie with Mother Goose in the starring role of the undeservedly accused woman.
But now it was time to get serious.
“Mother Goose.” I stood before the judge. “Good morning,” she said in a friendly manner. “How are you?” And I thought about how I should answer that question, but she was busily shuffling through her papers, so I just smiled in a nervous sort of way. She called the name of one of the other parties involved in the crash. “Dennis Stoppers.” There was no response and no reply. The plaintiff in my case was not present in court! The judge looked to the ticketing officer and the court’s legal counsel. “Was there personal injury?” I began to walk over to the lawyer and the policeman to explain that my knee was still hurting from the accident. “No, not you, Mother Goose. You just stay right here with me,” sternly warned Judge Sonopoplio.
The counsel and the police officer spoke briefly, and then the counsel spoke quietly to the judge. And, of course, you can imagine the bony legs of Mother Goose quavering by this time.
“Your case is dismissed,” the judge announced.
Incredulously, I replied, “Thank you, sir.”
She looked at me in a strange way, and then said, “And here is your driver’s license.” And I extended my shaking hand, took my license and turned to face the courtroom. Loud cheering and thunderous applause spontaneously broke out as I gathered my jacket and my bag. It was more than I could bear, and tears of joy rolled down my feathery cheeks as I walked out. Behind me, I could hear the judge pounding her gavel over and over, “Order! Order in the court!”
Exonerated! Free at last from the burden of defense and the worry of evidence and proof and the fear of incarceration!
Of course, there was a media circus waiting for me outside the Richard J. Daley Center. With microphones shoved in my face and flashbulbs popping all around me like fireworks on the fourth of July, I held up my hand for silence. “Justice has been served. Today Mother Goose has been acquitted of all charges stemming from the rear-end collision last month and now walks away vindicated and pardoned. Thank you. No other comments.”