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A Meager Glimpse at Justice for The Poor
by Leah Sellers
2016-05-02 08:59:59
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“Now, let me get this straight, Lula Belle.  You just got evicted from a residence you do not reside at?”
“You got it, Hiram.  And not only that, but the Court ordered me, the Lady who was too poor to pay for her own lawyer, to pay Mr. Bad Flowerboy‘s, the goofball who forced me into Court in the first place over all of this foolishness’ lawyer, four hundred and fifty dollars for his three hours worth of work that he dubiously said that he did on this ridiculous case, and his costs to get to Court,”  Lula Belle said grumpily.
“Nobody offered to pay me my costs of lost work and travel to be there at that stupid Court date.  That lawyer makes in one hour of shufflin’ papers around, what it takes me two days of work at minimum wage to earn.”  Lula Belle further harumphed.
“Well, darlin’, how in the world does anything that illogical take place in a Court of Law ?  How can anybody be evicted from a place they no longer live at ?  It makes no sense at all.  Who was the cotton pickin’ kangaroo judge overseein’ these nonsensical proceedings anyways ?”  Hiram queried.
poor01_400“A Judge Gavel.”
“Gavel, heh ?  Gavel-headed is more like it.  And you, Lula Belle, are the nail he decided to hammer.  Go on now, start from the very beginning of this illogical tale, and let me know all of the circumstances and facts that led you, Mr. Bad Flowerboy and his highly paid lawyer, and Judge Gavel to this fiasco of a miscarriage of Justice,” Hiram cajoled.
“It began over the New Year’s holidays, Hiram.  After work, I stopped by the local H.E.B. grocery store to get my $350.00 money order for January’s rent at Mr. Bad Flowerboy’s RV Park.  It was Thursday evening, December 31st.”  Lula Belle began.
“I also picked up a large veggie and fruit platter for the New Year’s Eve party that I was attendin’ that very evenin’. You should have seen it, Hiram, all of the radishes were cut up to look like little roses.”
“I’m sure that they were a sight to behold, Lula Belle.  Please, do continue,”  Hiram gently prodded.
“Well, on my way home, I began to feel a bit queasy, but I tried to ignore it as I got cleaned up and dressed for the party I was determined to get to.  I was really lookin’ forward to playin’ Trivial Pursuit and Charades with everyone that evenin’ and then toastin’ in the New Year.  But I just kept on gettin’ sicker and sicker, until finally I just had to give in to it, and spend some time huggin’ the commode.  And then, havin’ to decide on which end to use on the ’ole commode first.  I wound up with my bottom on the ‘ole commode and my head stuffed down the inside of my bathroom waster paper basket.”
“It was not a pretty sight, Hiram.  I had picked up the flu from my nephews, who had picked it up at their school.  I was sicker than a dog, and was runnin’ a fever of around 101 F.  So, I reluctantly called to cancel out on all of my New Year’s fun, and planned work days, and spent the next four days in bed or singing “Woe Is Me” to my toilet or my waste paper basket.  I was not a Happy Camper, Hiram,”  Lula Belle sighed.
“I can only imagine, Lula Belle,”  Hiram, attempting to hide his half-grin, said comfortingly.
“Well, I got up to get back to work Monday mornin’, and dropped my rent off at Mr. Bad Flowerboy’s drop box.  And didn’t think any more about it until I received a text from Mr. Bad Flowerboy’s wife, Matilda, sayin’ that I owed them a twenty-five dollar late fee.”
“I texted Matilda back explainin’ about my bein’ sick over the holidays with the flu, and a fever, and that I had given them my rent as soon as I was back up on my feet, Monday, January 4th, which was also the first day, since the long holiday weekend that the Banks were even open for business, and that I hoped that they had had a wonderful New Year’s Eve celebration.”
“Well, the next thing I know, I’m getting’ an email a day later tellin’ me that I now owed them a $28.00 late fee, and that three dollars would be added to the late fee every day that I did not pay it.”
“Once again, I explained that I had been ill and that the Banks had not even been open for business, once again, until January 4th.  That my money order was dated December 31st, showin’ my intent to pay on time, and I added that the escalatin’ fee that they were tryin’ to get out of me was unjust and unfair.  And I also told them that ironically my New Year’s Resolution was that I was not gonna’ let anyone take advantage of me, if I could help it, this year.”
“Hiram, I didn’t hear a peep out of them, until I got home late from work one evenin’ and was greeted by a policeman at my door with a paper sayin’ that I had to attend an eviction hearin’, with Judge Gavel presidin’, some time in February.”
“I was appalled.  First at bein’ greeted at my home by a policeman, and then at bein’ ordered to attend an eviciton hearin’ over some little ‘ole unjust and unfair late fee the Flowerboys wanted to extort out of me for bein‘ sick over the holidays.  I had never heard of or experienced the like,”  Lula Belle expressed loudly.
“Well, I showed up to the February hearin’ with all of my paperwork, receipts and text messages in tact, and in hand, for the eviction hearing, and a couple of witnesses to boot, in order to prove that I had missed my New Year’s holiday fun due to that stupid ’ole flu.”
“Judge Gavel took a look at all of the paperwork, and heard everybody’s account, and dismissed the case,”  Lula Belle said with satisfaction.
“Do you mean to tell me that there was more than one hearin’ that took place over this mess, Lula Belle ?’’ Hiram asked.
“Yes, I do, Hiram.  You see, the Flowerboy’s are terrible gossips.  They had bragged all over the RV Park that they were gonna’ get me evicted for not payin’ up my excalatin’ late fee.  I, on the other hand, had not said one single word to anyone about what was happenin‘, because I felt it was a private matter between me and the Flowerboys.”
“In bein’ such mean gossips the Flowerboy’s fenced themselves into some really bad behaviors toward me, in order to look all righteous and mean and tough to everyone else livin‘ out at their RV Park.  And they were tellin’ everybody that they were gonna’ make an example out of me.”  “
“Some of my neighbors, who shall go unnamed for their protection’s sake, told me all about what was bein‘ said and done behind my back.  When I asked them why some of the folks out at the park were treatin’ me differently, they explained that they were all takin’ the Flowerboy’s side because they were too were afraid of bein’ asked to leave.  And that they all liked livin’ in the countryside out there.  I had suspected what the reasons were, but I just felt I had to confirm it by askin’ neighbors I trusted,”  Lula Belle explained.
“Two days later, after the stupid case got dismissed, somebody out at the park shot my precious cat, Sami, full of pellet shot and sicked their big ’ole dog on him.  Sami died a few days later.  He had too much internal organ damage done to him.  The Flowerboys, and some of the other RV residents, proclivity for nasty, mean-spirited gossip, had created a dangerous atmosphere for me and my pets,”  Lula Belle sniffled.  A tear streamed down her face.
“Sami’s dead ?”  Hiram asked, genuinely concerned.  “Lula Belle, you know me, I’m not much of a cat person, but that day that Sami ran out from under the house to get in between you and that strange dog that was barkin’, and lookin’ like he was gonna’ try and take a chunk out of either you or me, really impressed me.  That big ’ole black cat of yours scared the beejeebies out of that ’ole stray dog, and gave us the courage to help finish chasin’ it away.”
“Sami was one real fine cat, Lula Belle.  I’m real sorry that happened to him.  I know how much you loved Sami.  Do you know who the low life was that killed your cat ?”  Hiram asked gently.
“Yes, one of my neighbor’s saw it happen right in my very own yard while I was at work.  Just like they saw one of my other neighbors steal electricity off of my electric pole in order to build their outdoor deck, while I was house sittin’ and takin’ care of some other folks two precious dogs, for two weeks, a few months before.”
“I questioned my bill that month, because it was so high, and it should have been much less because I had not been there to burn electricity, except to briefly feed my cats every mornin’ and evenin’ those two weeks of that month.  I got a gobblety-goop answer from the Flowerboys, so I just paid the bill without any further to-do, and went on my merry way.”  Lula Belle recounted.
“Anyways, my neighbor was afraid to speak out about either event in my defense, because he and his partner were even poorer than me, and don’t have a car.  They didn’t want to take the chance of bein’ the next ones targeted for the unwarranted wrath of the Flowerboys.”
“Can’t say as I blame them.  When you’re poor, there’s a lot you have to swallow that other more fortunate folks don’t, and don’t have any understandin’ of or tolerance for either.”  Lula Belle said testily.
“This is the kicker, Hiram, after Sami died, my love for the woods out there where I was livin’ ebbed.  I started lookin’ around for another place to move  my motor home to at the end of February.  I placed my name on a few waitin’ lists around the area I needed to stay within for work purposes, and was waitin’ to hear back from any of them.  I even texted the Flowerboys and told them what I was doin’, and that I would be out of there as soon as any of the other parks had a vacancy.”
“Well, those sidewinders were mad about losin’ the first eviction hearin’, and when I got home late one evenin’ I found some papers from another policeman, who had missed me, taped to my door.  It was another eviction hearing which had been scheduled at Judge Gavel’s court for April 18th.”
“I cannot tell you, Hiram, how sick I was of havin’ policemen constantly at my door with this paper or that paper, and what it must look like to my nosy, gossipy neighbors,”  Lula Belle sighed heavily.
“Luckily, I finally heard from one of the parks I had signed up at.  So, I arranged to give them a deposit and first month’s rent April 5th.  But, a little later that week, I also heard back from another RV Park, that was further out in the country, and filled with some really friendly folks, that I had already met.  So, I decided to move in with them instead.  After gettin’ my money back from the other park, I set about to move my motor home to its new RV Park home.”
However, because of my workin’ seven days a week, and not gettin’ home until 8:00 every night, it took me until April 15th to dismantle my little garden-kitty gazebo area that I had set-up beside my motorhome, and get everything moved over to my new location.”
“Do you like it as well out there, Lula Belle ?”  Hiram asked.
“Oh yes, I’m still out in the country.  I can’t wait for you to see all of the wild flowers, and herds of horses, cows and goats out that way, Hiram.  And most of the folks out there are Workin‘ Folks, like me, and not retired folks with nothin‘ better to do but gossip and cause others grief all day long.”
 “I really miss my Sami.  I raised him from a kitten, and had him in my life ten good years.  But my other two adopted kitties are so sweet, and they depend on me.  So, my heart is slowly mendin’ over Sami’s loss.  Hiram, the worst thing about Sami’s death was how he died, and all of the pain he suffered through.”
“I think Sami tried to hang in there as long as he did Lula Belle, because he loved you so much..”
“Thank you for sayin’ that, Hiram.  That’s mighty kind of you.  You’re a good friend, and a good man, Hiram Buckner.”
Hiram cleared his throat uncomfortably and said,  “So, how did you wind up with this outrageous verdict from Gavel-head after all of this, Lula Belle ?”
“I just don’t know, Hiram.  I just don’t know.  I moved out of there as fast as I could after Sami’s death.  I was completely out of that awful place by around two o’clock, April 15th.  So, how could Gavel have ruled against me, and say out loud in Court that he was evicting me from an RV Park I no longer lived at ?  Maybe Judge Gavel felt I needed to be made an example of, too.  I just don’t know how he could have ruled that way, Hiram.  Because it was a lie.  An outright prevarication of the Truth.  I was so disappointed in Judge Gavel.”  Lula Belle began to tear-up again.
“However, I do know that I played everything fair and square.  I paid the Flowerboys my pro-rated rent and utilities through the Court and the Flowerboy’s lawyer, because they refused all of my payments for the month of April twice before we got to Court.  They were probably tryin’ to make me look like some kind of dead beat, but I called them out on it.”
“But Hiram, I have no intention of payin’ their lawyer one red cent.  I couldn’t even afford my own lawyer to speak up for me against all of this nonsense, and I’m not about to pay for theirs.  The Flowerboys are cruel and mean-spirited liars and bullies, and I will not give into their negative behaviors and ugliness.  Not one whit,”  Lula Belle proclaimed with conviction.
“So, their ugliness and Judge Gavel’s illogical decision have given me a criminal record for a non-eviction-eviction, and have turned me toward further criminality, because I will not let them take of advantage of me.  I will not pay that lawyer’s fee.  They will have to arrest me and put me in jail, because it is unfair and unjust, and I will not pay it.”
“It is not my fault that they went and spent so much money on bein’ so mean, Hiram.  Especially, when I told them that I was movin’ out as soon as possible.  I will not pay it, and that fact will make me a real criminal in the eyes of an UnJust Court decision,”  Lula Belle paused.  “Will you come visit me in prison, Hiram ?”
“Lula Belle, if they try and stick you in the calaboose over all of this idiocy, they’ll have to arrest me, too, darlin’,”  Hiram grinned.
“Hiram, I wonder if a person can be evicted from prison as easily as you can be evicted into one ?”  Lula Belle asked sardonically.
“Well, wherever you reside, evicted or convicted or not, Lula Belle, I will always drop by for a visit, because that is what a good friend and a good man does,”  Hiram said still grinning widely.
“Hiram, I may be poor in the pocketbook, but I am not poor in Spirit.  I probably won’t be able to have a Trivial Pursuit game with me in prison, but we could always play Charades,”  Lula Belle smiled mischievously.
“Honey, the real Game of Charades is what happened to you at that dad-blamed Bad Flowerboy’s RV Park and then in Court.  We will not take this illogical and unreasonable Justice for the Poor lyin’ down, darlin’.  No, we won’t !  I‘ve got some long overdue calls to make on your behalf, Lula Belle,”  Hiram said with conviction.
Holding his coffee cup high into the air toward his old friend, Lula Belle, Hiram said,  “This one’s for Sami.”
Clinking her coffee cup against Hiram’s, Lula Belle whispered, “For Sami.”

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