Sunday, June 10, 2018

Tank N Tummy #4

Aaron was mopping the floor of the Tank N Tummy when MaryJane came in. She was a fairly tall girl with long brown hair and sleepy hazel eyes. She had a kind of pointed nose and was dressed in a lavender-ish pantsuit.

“Hey, guys,” she greeted then slipped a little on the wet floor. “Whoa! You should put up the wet floor sign. Someone’s gonna fall and sue you.”

“I’ll put it up,” Aaron said.

“I told him,” Ryan shook his head.

“Aaron likes to break the rules,” Dominic joked.

“This is Aaron?” MaryJane went ecstatic and eyed Aaron up and down. “Yeah. I’d do that,” she smirked.

“The floor is wet and I clearly have a mop. People can figure out that the floor is slick without a sign,” Aaron argued. “I’ll put it up when I’m done.”

“What are you doing here, MJ?” Dominic asked.

“Ugh. They had me working in the law library. Nobody comes down so I’m taking an extra long lunch to gaze at eye candy.”

“What’s on the menu for today?” Ryan asked.

“Girls in chokers, skinny Latino guys.”

Dominic nodded in appreciation.

The door opened and a guy came in. “Hey, Joey,” Dominic, Ryan, and MaryJane said in unison.

“Hey,” he muttered. “Joey grabbed some candy and chips and then grabbed a fountain drink. As Joey walked to the counter, his foot hit a wet spot and went out from under him. He landed hard on his back, tossing the candy across the floor and spilling his drink.

“Now I have to mop again,” Aaron said.

“Told you, you should’ve put the sign up,” MaryJane shook her head.

“Having the sign wouldn’t have made Joey less likely to slip and fall,” Aaron argued.

“Now Joey’s going to sue you,” Ryan said.

“No he won’t,” Aaron rolled his eyes.

“I would. I would never just let hundreds of thousands of dollars just sit on the table like that,” Dominic said.

“Stop…” Aaron sighed.

“Yeah. I’m going to sue,” Joey announced.

“Stop…”

“I know the perfect lawyer to represent you, too,” MaryJane said.

“Ryan and I will be witnesses,” Dominic offered.

“Why are you helping him do this?”

“Don’t worry. I’ll be your lawyer,” MaryJane put her arm around Aaron’s shoulders. “It’ll be great practice.”

“Practice?”




Weeks later, the five of them met in court. “I hate all of you,” Aaron said.

“Please refrain from talking to the prosecution, Mr...Aaron,” MaryJane gave a thumbs-up and wink to Joey’s lawyer, who nodded in approval.

“Why are you even taking this case? Isn’t this kind of beneath a lawyer of your stature?” Aaron asked.

“I would never just let hundreds of thousands of dollars just sit on the table like that,” the lawyer said.

“Man after my own heart,” Dominic said.

“All rise,” the bailiff announced. “The Honorable Harold T. Stone, presiding.”

“Where have I heard that name before?” Dominic asked himself.

“Please be seated,” Judge Stone said. “So Mr...Joey slipped and fell at a Tank N Tummy convenience store that was being mopped by Mr...Aaron who refused to put the wet floor sign. Mr. Aaron, why didn’t you just put the sign up?”

“It wouldn’t have stopped him from slipping and falling. He could see the floor was wet but chose to walk normally anyway,” Aaron explained. “Joey’s kind of an idiot.”

“Objection!” Joey’s lawyer stood up.

“Sustained. Ms. Brun, instruct your client not the insult the prosecution.”

“Yes, sir,” she slapped Aaron’s hand.

“Mr. Joey,” Judge Stone began but then seemed to change his mind. “Counsel, please approach the bench. Why don’t your clients have last names?”

“I honestly don’t think my client has one, Your Honor,” Joey’s lawyer admitted.

“And I’m not on a last name basis with my client,” MaryJane said.

“Go sit back down. Mr. Joey, please tell the court your account of your slip and fall.”

“It was a beautiful day that became dark and cloudy after I entered the Tank N Tummy, which has always been like a second home to me. When I came in, Aaron began sticking the mop between my feet trying to make me fall. I grabbed my purchases and just wanted to get out of there. Aaron hit my feet with the mop again and this time my feet slipped and I fell to the ground. I landed hard and although I was lucky enough not to die, there are some time that I wish I had,” Joey sniffed and covered his face with his hands. His lawyer gently hugged him and patted his shoulder.

“What?” Aaron exclaimed.

“Quiet, you monster,” MaryJane hissed at Aaron as she wiped a tear from her eye.

“MaryJane, you were there. You know that’s not what happened.”

“But his story spoke to my emotions.”

“I’m going to get the death penalty.”




Judge Stone recessed the court for a couple of hours for lunch and to make a decision. “I’ve reread the statements of Mr. Joey and Mr. Aaron and the two witness statements from Misters Hall and Conrad. My ruling is that Mr. Aaron be required to treat Mr. Joey to a...Tank N Tummy lunch some time in the near future. Also, pay for all court fees and expenses,” Judge Stone gaveled. “Court dismissed.”

“Pretty sweet deal,” MaryJane held her arm up for a high five.

“This has all been a waste of time,” Aaron said. “I didn’t need a judge to tell me to treat Joey to his daily sup at the Tank N Tummy.”

“Well, now you have a first-hand account of the American legal system.”

“That’s why we have Law & Order reruns,” Aaron said.

“Mr. Aaron, my bill,” Joey’s lawyer handed Aaron a receipt.

“Wait. Why am I getting this?”

“You have to pay all court and lawyer fees. Judge’s orders,” MaryJane said. “And here’s my bill,” she smiled, handing Aaron her own receipt.

“This is twice as much as I make in a year,” he freaked out, glancing back and forth from each bill. “I’d rather have the death penalty.”

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