I had gone to the county courthouse in Dallas and put my name in the box of names to be drawn for court-appointed attorneys. I was very ragged-looking; my hair was long and I was just wearing a pair of dirty old blue jeans and a shirt. I knew I would have to change clothes if I were actually going to be appointed to represent anyone. My heart wasn't really in being here, and I tried to make myself as inconspicuous as possible among the other attorneys. Finally I decided it was a mistake coming here without having cleaned up and changed clothes. I had a few things with me, gathered them up and headed for the door.
Just then the drawing began and my name was the first one picked. Amazing. I knew I would be appointed to defend someone, but the appointment wouldn't take place until 9 a.m., a half hour away. I had a clean suit in my car, parked outside, which I could change into in the meantime. I decided I might as well do it – after all, it was a quick $100 I would make from the appointment.
I walked out and got into my car, parked in an inclined driveway which led to the basement garage of a house. I intended to pull the car to the other side of the street where I had another car which I wanted to get into to change clothes. When I prepared to back out, however, I realized someone had parked behind me blocking my way. I sat here perplexed at first, wondering what to do. If the owner of the other car was inside the courthouse, it would be highly unlikely that I could find him. Time was running out; it was already a quarter till nine.
Behind the car blocking me, someone had placed a brick, as if to signify that the driveway wasn't open to the public for parking. It suddenly hit me – I was parked in someone's driveway and the car behind me probably belonged to the person who owned the red-brick house in front of me.
I opened the door to my car and suddenly noticed something lying on the floor of my car close to my feet: a dead pigeon! It was already beginning to putrefy and was a rather messy sight. It appeared that whoever had parked the car behind me had also thrown the pigeon inside my car. I picked up something and knocked the pigeon out onto the ground.
I walked up to the door of the house and knocked. A portly woman (probably in her late 50s) answered. Although I didn't realize it at the time, her demeanor and actions were vaguely like those of my ex-mother-in-law, Vivian (the mother of my ex-wife, Louise). She knew what I wanted and we exchanged few words. When she indicated she would be out shortly to move her car, I walked back to mine.
I was surprised by what I now saw. A window in the house directly over my car had been broken out. The glass from the window had fallen down into my car, had apparently broken the windshield and covered the front seat with a fine, white glass. Chagrined, I walked over to the car and wondered if the glass was the type which didn't readily cut. I tried to sit down on top of the glass but immediately got a couple of slivers of glass in me. Obviously it was the kind of glass that did cut and it would all have to be cleaned out before I could do anything.
The woman finally came out, got into her car and put it into motion. She was obviously a poor driver. As she tried to negotiate out, she put the car into drive and scraped the front of my car. I hollered at her to stop, but she paid me no heed. She continued banging around on my car doing considerable damage. Finally she did manage to get her car out.
I was in a rage. As she got out of her car, I immediately accosted her, complaining of the damage to my car. My right front fender was severely bent and the right side was badly scrapped. I began talking about the broken glass and I asked her about the pigeon. I was surprised to hear her admit that she had thrown the pigeon into my car. My mind raced and I realized with that type of admission I would surely get a judgment against her if I were to sue her in front of a jury. I also might sue her for the $100 I would have lost for not being able to get the court appointment, which at this point was out of the question. If possible I needed to get a picture of the dead pigeon.
The woman seemed to be coming to her senses and she realized she had incurred some liability. The damage amount of $800-$900 was mentioned; but I wasn't satisfied with that since I thought that amount would probably only cover the cost of the damaged fender.
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