Angle on deposed

It is a pity that I can’t write about being deposed, because there would be a ton of material.  But, if I were to write a little allegory, it would be about a weird little pseudo-crime, and a few bumbling yet hostile attorneys. 

Let’s pretend Person A bought coffee from a drive-through, and it ended up on their lap.  Person A is suing person B, who manufactured the cup.  Let’s imagine I was the person in the drive-through window who saw the whole thing go down, and have been subpoenaed to tell what I saw. 

Person B could defend himself by asking me questions, like, was Person A eating a burger, driving a manual transmission, and talking on the phone when the coffee spilled? Could it have been operator error? 

But instead, Person A zeroes in on what kind of oil we use for French fries, and where I learned to cook them, and if I’ve ever been cut with a knife, and what the procedure would be if that were to happen.  We spend hours on these random lines of questioning, until eventually it’s Person B’s turn.  Person B has unearthed a scrap of paper with a phone number on it from 1998, and spends a whole ‘nother few hours asking me if I recognize it (no), or if I recognize the names on it (no), or if I recognize the handwriting (no), and by the time we have to stop for the day, no one has even mentioned the coffee or the spill yet, so there will more days in the future.  Which is a shame, because  I used up my one outfit.

All of this is interrupted several times by our attorney, who says things like, “I object to the line of questioning, which is irrelevant to the case at hand, hostile in tone, and requires the witness to speculate,” making me feel a tiny bit like I’m in a Perry Mason rerun.

For some reason, for the rest of the day all that came to mind was a natural history course I took in college, which was advertised as a class on local fauna.  It was taught by an entomologist, who, believe it or not, was married to another PhD entomologist, just to give you an idea of how important bugs were in her life.   (Yes, if you’re imagining what she looked like, you are correct.)

The students like me had all grown up watching Wild Kingdom and reading My Side of the Mountain, and were hoping to learn about actual wildlife, as in, things that you could see with the naked eye and what they ate for dinner, but instead, we spent all our time looking under rocks and logs for insects, capturing them in tiny bottles, and studying their little thoraxes and other tiny body parts under the microscope.  Once, an actual owl flew by and landed in a nearby tree during class, and she got really annoyed that we took our focus away from the little spot under the log where the insects live.   The whole deposition thing reminded me of that.


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