It all started several weeks ago, when he got into a car accident. Today was his court date, and leading up to it, he started to Freak the Crap Out, which is how he generally operates in new situations. So he consulted with Noah, our resident legal expert and slave to The Man.
Kyle: "What do I do when I get there? Like, do I say, 'not guilty your honor'?"
Noah: "No, if you say 'not guilty' then you go to trial."
Me: "At that point they'd handcuff you."
Kyle: "Wait, so I should say 'guilty'?"
Me: "As long is you're in the correct courtroom. Like, don't accidentally wander into the murder courtroom and say 'guilty.' Make sure it's traffic court."
Noah: "Don't say anything."
Poor, dopey Kyle. He's the only 20something person in the country not on Xanax, and he could probably legitimately use it. Of course I understand this is a new world for him. Me, though, I'm accustomed to fielding phone messages from the local D.A., officers in the Navy, and other public figures—the president, foreign dignitaries, what have you.
In the end, all Kyle had to do was find the traffic courtroom, wait until the D.A. called his name, then show her the paid insurance claim, and leave with his arrest record intact.
Sigh. If I'd had more time, I might've convinced him to plead not guilty and announce he'd be representing himself. As it is, I was thisclose to persuading him to bow and address the judge as His Holiness.