Pashmina correctly notes today that blogging is a good thing, because it inspires you to go out and do stuff so that you have something to write about.
If I didn't have this blog, for example, I would never have skinny-dipped in the phosphorescent waters of the southern Caribbean, attended an obscure electronica festival in Helsinki or met cyberpunk-tastic author Bruce Sterling.
But when I got up this morning I was convinced that today's shenanigans would top all of those. Ever since that time I was tear-gassed in Park Lane amid the burning cars, I've quite fancied myself as an urban guerrilla, a lone fugitive from justice, an off-world outlaw cruising the meatspaces and metaverses of West London armed only with a samurai sword and a copy of Elle Decoration.
My mysterious-lone-renegade status manifests itself in many ways, including, it seems, accidentally failing to pay for vital local authority services. So when I was summoned to court for not paying The Man's own repressive Council Tax, I judged that I had two choices: submit weakly, or defend myself heroically in a Court of Law. 'I could just phone the council,' I thought, 'but going to court - now *that* would be something to blog about'.
So off to court I went, having taken the sensible precaution of actually paying the council tax first, just in case they wanted to send me to prison or something. That would be something to blog about as well, but I don't think they let you take laptops in, and even if they did, they probably don't have wi-fi.
In my mind, I'd imagined it would be like the climactic courtroom scene in JFK, with Kevin Costner (me) delivering a moving and brilliant soliloquy that demonstrated beyond any doubt that The Man had no case against me, and that I had as much right to have my rubbish removed and my street illuminated as any other tax-paying resident of W12.
To my great disappointment, it wasn't like that at all. I was ushered to a table where a nice lady told me that I wouldn't have to pay any court charges, seeing as I was up to date with my payments, and asked me if I wanted to pay by direct debit from now on. I said 'yes please' and filled in a form. The whole thing took two minutes. I briefly considered creating a scene, just so I could have something to blog about, but I had to get back to work.
I didn't even get to use the blog post title that I'd made up on the way there, which was 'I Mumbled A Bit At The Law, But The Law Won'. Still, I *did* get to use the phrase 'hauled before the beak', which is one of my favourite expressions in the whole of English idiom. So perhaps it wasn't a wasted effort after all.
tags: courtroom drama
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