The Tribulations of Cooles Sugar (I)
You picked the wrong victim.
You may not believe me now, but you and your cronies are someday going to run aground on the muscular fact that Cooles Sugar is a man who loves going to court.
It’s not law itself that excites me – much less being sued.
It’s the competition.
The Socratic clash between deeply trained and seasoned adversaries who have been polishing their weapons night and day for months.
I’ve even developed a certain routine.
On the day of the trial, I like to wake up hours before the first fall of the judge’s hammer. If it’s a warm morning, I sit on my porch with coffee, listening to the wind in the leaves and the distant traffic, letting my mind play ever so lightly over my arguments — not needing to review the points in depth, just hefting each one, testing its edge and watching it glow.
Then I freshen up, don my favourite black suit, and set off whistling at a brisk walk, passing through parks and down sidestreets, energetically approaching the turrets of the city court. Over one shoulder, slung diagonally like a guerilla’s bazooka, will be my special quadruply insulated thermos, the only receptacle of any kind that can keep my dark roast hot and invigorating for the long day ahead at the stately court of the law.
I’m usually the first to enter the courtroom. I hang my overcoat ceremoniously, hooking its neck lovingly over the coatrack’s mahogany globelet, and then I seat myself, laying out my missile-silo-shaped thermos and my notebook, and from then on until the end I exist in the centre of a bubble of peace, still as a stone in the dusty sunlight of the high-windowed courthouse, taking notes in careless shorthand, not self-conscious in the least but instead Zenly aware of the world around me, alert not just to every word but even to small details like the slivers of light twisting on the bailiff’s belt-hung handcuffs, or the odd angles and foreshortening wrought by the towering height of the judge’s pulpit.
Perhaps you are beginning to understand, Nem, that you’re not the first person who has attempted to sue me.
Just about everyone wants to throw their legal weight around, to make some money and win the argument, and so they turn their legal might upon me. Accordingly I’ve had to familiarize myself with the law, and in fact I’ve developed a taste for its form: not just for the brutal melee of words or the careful dignity of the protocol, but for the structure of the knowledge of the law itself: from the root constitutional principles to the mighty trunk of rulings to the finest heaven-reaching intricacies of statutes and interpretations. Many parts I’ve been compelled to commit to memory, and in the course of time I have indeed focused my personal microscope on the exact passages of the law code relevant to our little misunderstanding… and if you would consent to discussing what happened over dinner, I could save you thousands of dollars in lawyer fees by proving to you, without having to consult a single tome in my personal virtual law library, that you have no case: none.
Your suit will tank.
Anyway, please let me know about dinner.