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Law is a Ass by Bob Ingersoll
Join us each Tuesday as Bob Ingersoll analyzes how the law
is portrayed in comics then explains how it would really work.

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THE LAW IS A ASS for 04/22/2003

"Court's Adjourned" Installment # 3

Originally published on World Famous Comics April 22, 2003

For reasons beyond my control--not the least of which is that I've discovered to my horror that I don't have computer file copies of column installments 170-185 and only have hard copies of them which I have to scan into my computer, then correct all the stupid transcription mistakes that OCR programs make that turn simple commas into sub-scripted alpha-numeric number ones and other such strange glyphs, and then bring them up to date before I can post them here--I don't have an installment of "The Law is a Ass" for today. Probably won't next week. And I'm even giving myself a break for the week after that.

See, I don't have time to scan all those columns into my computer, correct all the stupid transcription mistakes that OCR programs make which turn simple commas into sub-scripted alpha-numeric number ones and other such strange glpyhs, and then bring them up to date at the moment. So I'm not going to do all that at the moment.

Instead, for the next few weeks you'll be getting some "Court's Adjourned" installments about my trip to Orlando and MegaCon back in March. This, I hope, will buy me a few weeks during which I can scan all those columns into my computer, correct all the stupid transcription mistakes that OCR programs make which turn simple commas into sub-scripted alpha-numeric number ones and other such strange glpyhs, and then bring them up to date

It's either than or several weeks of blank screens.


"Court's Adjourned"
Installment # 3
Bob Ingersoll

It started early--much too early. Life in the land of airport security checkpoints. If you want to leave for your trip early enough that you arrive at your destination with most of the day still available--the two-for-one economy package; it's a travel and a sightseeing day--then you have to get up ungodly early enough that you arrive at the airport two hours before that early flight. (Yes, I know it was a run-on sentence. If it exhausted you to read it, then you know something of what I felt that morning. Think of it as the newest in writing techniques synaesthetic writing.)

Anyway, the alarm clock went off that Tuesday morning at an hour usually reserved for people getting ready to enter the morning rush hour in a San Fernando Valley suburb, and my trip to Orlando, Florida and MegaCon 2003 had officially begin. (Yeah, I know I wasn't even on the plane yet, but when you're getting up as early as I did, you have to pretend that the vacation has actually started to psych yourself into getting out of bed. It's self-delusional, but I know how gullible I am. I fell for it.)

I arose, broke fast, showered, and dressed. I debated going to the airport nude, figuring having no obvious hiding places for weapons might get me through those aforementioned security check points faster, but, and fortunately for those who still valued their vision, modesty prevailed. Well, modesty and the fact that winter in Cleveland this year has been every bit as bad and cold as you've read.

So, having done all those essential things that make me as presentable as I can ever get, I waited for Herd brother Thom Zahler, who was on the same flight down to Orlando. My wife drove us both to the airport and we left for Orlando.

Let the fun begin.

Well, first there was that whole airport checkpoint thing, but after we got through that, the fun began.

Tuesday in Orlando actually started out badly. The sky was a frightening, unnatural blue and it was dominated by this large yellow disk. But then deep-buried ancestral, vestigial memories of something called "the sun" came forth from that nine-tenths(and growing) portion of the brain I don't use, and I calmed down.

Thom and I met Herd brother Roger Price in baggage claim, where we claimed our baggage. (You were expecting, maybe, we grew mangoes?) Serendipity reared its head at this point; even though Roger was flying out of a different city on a different airline that Thom and I had used, our respective airlines used the same concourse and the same the baggage claim carousel. So finding each other was easy. After that we went to Thrifty Rent-a-Car to rent our Thrifty car. (You're not expecting me to repeat that mango joke, are you?)

Ordinarily, I don't spend a great deal of time in my con reports relating my car-renting stories, because who has car-renting stories? But, for some reason renting a car in Orlando is always a new experience. One year it was trying to figure out why the person behind the counter was renting me a "Lame Ass" from Daewoo, before I found out it was a Lamos. Last year, the counter agent spent ten minutes trying to convince me to upgrade to a premium car, because the economy car I had reserved wouldn't be big enough for the two people who were going to be using it, only to have, after I convinced the agent that I didn't want a premium care and that the little economy care would be plenty big enough for two people and two suitcases, the computer which randomly chose one of the available cars in the lot to assign to me, randomly assigning me one of those small, not-roomy mini-vans. This year featured the first time any counter person has ever gone into a hard sell to try to get me to accept the insurance riders we all waive.

Really, first she had me read the disclaimer about what the riders covered, so I would know exactly what it was that I wasn't accepting. Then she tried the Scared Straight method: going over, point-by-point, what would happen to me, my economic status, my children, and all those starving children Sally Struthers has been bogarting the food from, if the car were damaged while I rented it. But, after she had invoked the ten plagues of Egypt on me, I still turned down the insurance riders. What's a vacation for, if not to live dangerously?

I'd like to share with you the exciting adventures that happened to Roger, Thom, and me as we drove from the airport to our hotel and checked in. But not even I would inflict that level of minutia on you. After all, this isn't a blog.

In much the same way, the thrilling exploits of our lunch at the new Mall at Millennia in Orlando, our shopping for groceries, and our changing for dinner is not exactly the stuff of legends. But such things are necessary, if only to prepare one for a night out on the town.

Our first thought was to go to one of the night spots in Orlando that wasn't an over-touristy Mecca. Downtown Orlando has an area of reclaimed warehouses near the old Church Street Station train depot called Church Street Station. (Ah, the level of creativity in the Orlando Chamber of Commerce is awe inspiring!) Anyway, this was an area of town which had become largely unused and Orlando, like many cities with these largely unused warehouse districts, gentrified the area. Yuppie dwellings, upscale stores of the Sharper Image variety, and restaurants and clubs now fill the formerly empty warehouses. We figured we'd be able to find somewhere to eat there somewhere. But, in the immortal words of someone else, "There's no 'there' there anymore."

We thought maybe it was because it was a Tuesday night in late February, not exactly a famous night for clubbing. Or, we thought, maybe Church Street Station lost most of its business to Universal's CityWalk and Downtown Disney/Pleasure Island. Anyway, for whatever the reason, we found the streets around Church Street actually and physically barricaded and couldn't, for the life of us, find a single club, bar or restaurant that was open.

Turns out both thoughts were wrong. Seems someone purchased much of Church Street Station and is renovating it. So on that Tuesday night, it was the proverbial "Closed for renovations." Now it's possible that on Friday and Saturday night, the restaurants and clubs and bars are open. Not just open, but bumping. But this was Tuesday night and we were hungry then. Not even the snootiest of restaurants or clubs would expect you to wait until Friday for a table you requested on Tuesday. So we went to our back-up plan: Heads we'd go to Universal's CityWalk, Tails we'd go to Downtown Disney.

It was heads. Roger, Thom and I walked around CityWalk, which is probably why they call it CityWalk and not CityJog.) What can I say about CityWalk that hasn't already been said? It's gaudy? No, I think maybe someone has said that. I know this was a Tuesday night in late February, as I said, not exactly a prime night-on-the-town night, but the number of people who weren't in CityWalk was staggering. If you added all the people who weren't in Church Street Station and all the people who weren't in CityWalk you'd have more people than you could find in the Greater Orlando White Pages, who had, apparently, used the Greater Orlando Yellow Pages to find other evening venues. That or American Idol is even stronger than Disney.

Anyway, CityWalk was pretty much as dead as my comic-writing career, assuming that which never really lived in the first place can be said to have died in the second place. It was so empty, we could probably have walked into Emeril's CityWalk restaurant without a reservation and gotten a table. But we already had a reservation at Emeril's new Orlando restaurant for Sunday, so decided not to go there. There is, as they say, a wide selection of restaurants; all of them themed, none of them great, but a wide selection. And, somehow, in all this wide selection we managed to pick the restaurant whose themed food made "not great" something to aspire to.

We chose Pat O'Brien's because it's supposed to be an exact replica of the famous restaurant in New Orleans, complete with flaming fountain and their patented drink, the Hurricane. The physical lay-out may have been an exact duplicate--and there was a flaming fountain--but the food couldn't have been the same. It gave even theme park food a bad name.

There were some friendly young women at the table next to ours, one of whom has the theme of Angel as the ringer on her cell phone. Finally, people who showed sufficient respect of our adventure last Summer, when we spent a day on the Angel set. When the girls learned that we were going to Disney World the next day, they told us we had to have the margarettas in the Mexico portion of Epcot's World Showcase. They also recommended what they called the "around the world tour" which consists of having one drink en each of the "countries" in the World Showcase. But if we couldn't manage that much drinking, we absolutely, positively had to try the margarettas in Mexico.

Our dinner dined--at least as much of it as we could stomach putting in our stomachs--the three of us returned to our hotel and reacquainted ourselves with the backside of our eyelids.

Which brings us to as good a time as any to end this installment of Bob went to Orlando and all you got was this lousy "Court's Adjourned." Next week, Bob goes to Disney World and still all you'll get is a lousy "Court's Adjourned."

Bob Ingersoll

<< 04/15/2003 | 04/22/2003 | 05/06/2003 >>

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