By Guy F. White
Last Friday I found myself in one of those situations that lawyers dread. I needed to have five hearings, in three different courts, in two different counties, at roughly the same time. Therefore I had to drive to Manassas by 9 am and PRAY that I get out of there fast enough so that I could make the half hour drive to Fairfax by 10. And since it was so close to Christmas, my clients were demanding and stressed about having their children with them for the holiday.
Almost everything depended on getting my 9 am cases called at the front of the docket. In turn, getting called early is almost entirely dependent on how the court staff (in this case the bailiff) decides to call the cases. If he takes pity on me, great. If not, well I could be in Manassas all morning and all the phone calls in the world to Fairfax assuring the court that I was on my way, wouldn’t get the Fairfax judge to resolve the matter in my clients’ favor and therefore wouldn’t keep my Fairfax clients from wanting to skin me alive.
So I get to Manassas early to beg the bailiff to call me early. He seems totally unimpressed with my predicament as he scowled. Not good. After I sit down, the bailiff, with all the arrogance of a Roman Caesar at the Coliseum who decides whether you live or die with a simple thumb up or down, acknowledged another lawyer wearing a Red Sox tie and growled, (and he appeared completely serious while growling), “You’re a Red Sox fan. I hate you. You’re going last. I’m a Yankee fan”
Oh great. A Yankees fan. My fate was in the hands of a Yankees fan. This day couldn’t get any worse. Naturally, I have seen lots of rivalry kidding through my almost 50 years of being a baseball fan, but God help me, this guy wasn’t fooling around. Figures. Only a Yankee fan could be this much of a jerk. Over a baseball team. Are you freaking kidding me? I leaned back exasperated, trying to figure out how I scheduled my Friday so poorly and wondering if anyone needed to be fired (including, perhaps me). The bailiff, noticed my despair and glared at me. I sighed again. He glared again. Harder.
At this point I figured I had little to lose so I said softly, “How are you on Met fans?”
“Are you a Met fan?”, (um duh)
“Yes I am. Born and raised just over the city line on Long Island”
“I’m from Brooklyn. I have no problem with Met fans. I like them. Hell, us New Yorkers have to stick together.”
And then he winked at me and smiled. Somehow, my case was called up first in line. FIRST!!!! I thanked him and I was off to Fairfax. My life was spared for one more Christmas season. All because of the benevolence of a Yankee fan. Wow.
Huh. Maybe there really is hope for Peace On Earth and Good Will Towards Men. Never mind, Democrat/Republican; North/South; Arab/Israeli, if a Yankee fan can show graceand mercy to a Met fan, maybe, just maybe someday we can all get along. And isn’t that a large part of what Christmas is all about? I drove back to my office humming, “Peace on earth and mercy mild . . .”
So Merry Christmas, Seasons Greetings, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year to New York baseball fans one and all. Wherever ye may be. Even Yankee fans. Heck, maybe especially Yankee fans. And until opening day, may God hold you all in the palm of His hand.
LET’S GO METS!!!!!!