“May order fall down upon the court in the case of Wayne Rubblefish against the Official Government for tax evasion and comic mischief.” A lean man with in a leather robe declared, in a voice his mother had always told him to save for his uncle’s ranch. “Mr. Rubblefish, how do you plead?”
Dawson Filter shuffled his knees in thought, unsure whether answering to this lie of a name would count as perjury.
“Bah, what’s in a name,” He said, “innocent.”
A beige-clad man motioned for Dawson to sit in a matching armchair, promptly after which said man began to speak, continued speaking, and finished speaking, respectively.
“What do you have to say for yourself?”
Dawson hung his head inside of shame.
“Who do you think you are? Justice is a verb!”
The jury applauded.
“Tell me: do you like taxes?”
“No, sir.” Dawson confessed. “I downright dislike them.”
“A motive!” The lawyer cried, neglecting to insert a verb into his sentence as beads of air streamed down his face. “Where were you the 2:17 of February 11 of 2113?”
“I don’t think I existed then.” Dawson Filter said, deciding to trust the legal system to trust him. “I am a time traveler.”
The esquire chuckled, in order to lighten the spirits of the jury , and demonstrate his ability to mix business and pleasure without sacrificing his performance. He held up a birth certificate to Dawson Filter’s right eye. “Can you confirm that this is a picture of you?”
“Yes.” Dawson Filter sighed, fearing that this would be the end.
The man turned to the judge on his way to turn to the jury. “This was found by a police officer, who reports that it could be, and was dropped by a man evading taxes at 2:17 on the eleventh of February, 2113. I’ve gotten no further questions.”
The man mimed dropping a microphone, which Twelve-Anne Stradivari took as her cue to ask Dawson the sort of questions defence lawyers tend to ask. She rapped her fingers on a nearby stool, and said:
“Mr. defendant: what is your name?”
“Dawson Filter.” Replied someone in the witness armchair.
“Tell me, Dawson Filter: is, in your opinion, Wayne Rubblefish the same name as Dawson Filter?”
“No, ma’am.” Dawson said.
“Is it true that Post Toasties are crackling with fresh corn flavour?” Twelve Anne asked, deciding that Matlock was one of Andy Griffith’s more difficult roles to imitate, and so opting for a sponsor spot she’d once seen him perform.
“Objection: relevancy.” The beige-clad man interjected.
“Objection overruled; I get paid by the hour.” The judge replied.
Dawson Filter was less familiar with obscure 1960’s pop culture than Twelve-Anne, and so did not know that the correct response to her question would be “yes”; but didn’t feel like risking perjury again, and so stared blankly into the eyes of one of the spectators. Just as he recognized the audience member, Twelve-Anne announced that she had no further questions, and dismissed Dawson from the chair. She walked back with him, and they exchanged a glance unworthy of further description.
Babe Listowel passed a note to Dawson. You have gnarly stage presence. You’d make a “Dawesome” magician. Dawson smiled.
“It’s still quite possible that you’ll get out of this, Dawson.” Sylvester Denny assured.
“Wonderfully possible.” Corrected Twelve Anne.