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2 November 1996

Doggy Style Justic

There's a dog in my neighborhood called Exterminating Destroyer. It's a silly repetitiously redundant name, but no one seems to mind. In fact, listening to Mr. Walbanke holler--a pudgy, balding lardish middle age banker--yell "Exterminating Destroyer! Here Exterminating Destroyer!" is one of the small rewards for living here.

Exterminating Destroyer is actually a very docile canine, so I was surprised to hear it had been accused of attacking the postman. The Postal Commission pressed charges against Mr. Walbanke; its attorneys argued that Exterminating Destroyer should be exterminated, destroyed.

Mr. Walbanke, who was not unfamiliar with the netherworld of the legal system, hired J. A. Kilpatrick-Simon--an accomplished solicitor--to defend Exterminating Destroyer. The transcript shows it was a good investment.

Kilpatrick-Simon: "Would it be fair to say that you provoked the dog in question?"

Postman: "No."

Kilpatrick-Simon: "Isn't it true that you taunted the dog?"

Postman: "No, I just spoke to it normally."

Kilpatrick-Simon: "Is it 'normal' to address a guard dog as 'Fluffy?' "

Postman: "I suppose it is."

Kilpatrick-Simon: "And it also routine to taunt a dog by calling it 'fluffy poodles,' 'fluffy poodles-woodles,' and 'widdle fluffy poodles-woodles?' "

Postman: [no reply]

Kilpatrick-Simon: "Your honor, in light of this provocation I ask that the charges be dropped."

And they were.

Since the trial no one's called Exterminating Destroyer "Fluffy" and the dog hasn't bothered anyone. It's one of those rare occasions where the system does seem to work.

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©1996 David Glenn Rinehart