I am a little ill at ease for the moment. I am looking ahead to my manslaughter charges and trying to plan, not that I intend to manslaughter anybody. In the extremely unlikely event I should be charged with causing someone else to slip on a banana peel at the Lakewood Whole Foods at some point in the unforeseeable future, I want to know how to handle it. In case it happens. You never know.
It's all about the district attorney. Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins shows no signs of going away any time soon, after the extremely able former county judge John Creuzot backed out of a Democratic primary race against him recently after deciding Watkins was unbeatable at the polls. So I figure that figuring out Craig Watkins is the only way to beat the banana peel around these parts.
What do we know? We know that Watkins will bring trumped up criminal charges against a rich person as a favor to another rich person who gives him campaign cash. We know that I am not rich, so Watkins' special relationship with rich people should not affect my chances for beating the banana-peel rap unless, of course, the person who slips is a rich person, in which case I may be somebody's flambé bananas.
We notice also, however, that Watkins seems to be ordering his assistant prosecutors, all of whom are either Democrats or soon to become, to run for election against Democratic judges who have pissed Watkins off by accusing him of doing special favors for rich people. So here's another pickle for me in the dock: what if my case winds up in the court of a judge who used to be an assistant D.A. two days ago but just got elected judge to replace a judge who pissed off Watkins? See what I mean?
I could hock my house, get a night construction job for my wife, take out my checkbook and hire the biggest fattest defense lawyer in town: If the judge in my case is actually a prosecutor, I'm still going to wind up looking like bananas foster (any similarity to any person now living strictly coincidental).
Here's what I think. There's always a guy. For every situation, some guy emerges who can handle it for you. Back when the D.A.'s were all old white Republicans whose avowed purpose in office was to send innocent Democrats up for life just for grins, the guy was a defense lawyer named Peter Lesser. Still very much a force in the courthouse, Lesser has always been just the kind of ex-hippie, New York-born, tough, smart, scorched-earth courtroom guerrilla you needed if the old white chaw-wad guys were trying to turn you into banana pudding.
So who will it be under Craig Watkins? Who is it now, in fact? I believe that somewhere out there is the guy. Because I don't know his name yet, let's call him Peter Greater, and let's assume he's pretty much the political and legal contrary of Peter Lesser.
I go to Peter Greater. I plead my case. The guy was in the next row over at Whole Foods. I never saw him. Yes, I may have nibbled briefly on a portion of a banana, but only because you can never tell about the fruit. No, I do not remember what I did with the peel.
Yes, the peel may accidentally and inadvertently have slipped to the floor. Um, yeah, the little Whole Foods dude in the green apron was yelling at me, accusing me of things. Yes, I did attempt to leave the scene hurriedly.
NO! Absolutely not. The person I pushed from behind was an old lady with a cane, not some rich guy. What? The person accusing me is an old lady with a cane? Shit from Shinola. What can you do for me?
The job of Peter Greater will be to help me get some cash to Craig. Oh, not directly. Please. People are not crude. No, I mean that there's always a way to get some money into the campaign coffers of one of those little assistant D.A.s out there all the time running against judges who have pissed off the boss. The new smart guy, the guy to hire, will be the guy who knows where to put the money. Peter Greater.
The only real question at that point is how much more it will cost me to get that old dame tossed in the slammer for malicious damage to agricultural products. Where there's a wallet, there's a way. It's all about the Peter Principle.
OK, my mind is at ease. I can sleep. Now I know how things will work. Any similarity between this hypothetical scenario and certain events that did transpire last night at the Lakewood Whole Foods is entirely coincidental. Anyone looking for female night construction help please contact me here.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.