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Baptism by fire

Before the start of every docket, I said a little prayer. I prayed that that the judge would be patient with me, I prayed that an officer wouldn't complain to my supervisor for dropping his case, I prayed that no one would notice that I accidentally wore navy pants with a black blazer because I dressed myself in the dark, but most of all I prayed that the defense attorneys wouldn't be able to expose how little I knew. I was working out my traffic docket fairly well. It helped that all the defendants wanted to plead guilty in front of this particular judge because he rarely sent anyone to jail. A third-time DUI offender who had struck another vehicle was pleading guilty now and was asking the judge for no jail time. "Well, it is your third offense and you really ought to see the inside of a jail cell," the judge said. "I'll tell you what, I'll sentence you to a weekend in jail and you can pick your weekend. How about that?" The judge propped his elbows up on the bench as leaned his chin on his clasped hands. He looked at the defendant adoringly like an 80 year-old cherub.

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