When I saw this sign at a park off Highway 99, a whole slew of bizarre images were conjured up in my tired mind.
The prosecution lawyer advanced to the front of the courtroom. The defendant sat meekly before him. At first, the lawyer said nothing; he wanted to revel in the guilty expression gracing the defendant's face, with his head dropped, his hands folded, and beads of sweat forming. That image alone may have swayed the jury against the favour of the poor defendant.
"So, Mr. Zigglefroo. You see all these people before you. The allegations are clear," the lawyer chided. "Do you realize the implications of this allegation?"
"Yes sir," the defendant whimpered.
"And what do you have to say about these charges?", the lawyer pushed on.
"I .. I have nothing to say."
The lawyer stopped his pacing, and moved to the middle of the courtroom. "He has nothing to say!", he announced. "Mr. Zigglefroo says he has nothing to say! Is that what you told the police when you were caught red-handed in the despicable act you are accused of?!"
"I .. I didn't do anything!" The defendant was nearing tears. The prosecution lawyer felt no sympathy.
"Nothing! He says nothing! My friends, your honour, what this man calls nothing is far from nothing. This man was caught in one of the most vile, most devilish acts in the history of the parks commission. This man, Mr. Zigglefroo, by his own admission threw his culinary waste into a trash receptacle while not in the state of tourism!"
Gasps from the audience. Then silence, broken by the footsteps of the prosecution lawyer as he continued to pace the courtroom.
The defendant continued his whimpering, "I didn't do anything!"
"Nothing? Nothing?! You mock the law! You break the law, then you mock the law! It is people like you who are the bane of our society. You start off as toddlers, playing games meant for three-year olds while you're only two. You tear the labels off pillows which specifically warn you against tearing said labels. You eat just one Lays potato chip, and you can believe it's not butter! And what do you say you've done? Nothing!"
The sweat begins to drop more profusely. Mr. Zigglefroo's face is red.
"And then one day, you'll walk into a zoo with a sawed-off shotgun and start killing pandas left, right and centre, strangling ostriches while chewing on the cartilage of squirrels!"
Objection! Overruled! Other typical courtroom clichés! The defendant, poor Mr. Zigglefroo, sat all alone as the murmurs amid the crowd became louder, more pointed, more accusing. And the lawyer would not let up.
"This man, Mr. Zigglefroo, is a criminal! The sign was clear, 'Tourist Use Only!' And was Zigglefroo a tourist? No! He was on business! And all others dumping refuse will be prosecuted! And here he is now, proving his guilt by his silence! He was no tourist - but soon he'll be touring JAIL! Hahahahahah!!!"
Pandemonium ensues. The crowd begins throwing crumpled papers and rocks toward the defendant. A brawl breaks out amid the jury. One lady gets punched in the face, and she returns the favour by smashing a chair against someone else. Another gets hit in the head with a stapler. She throws a pencil.
Finally, Mr. Zigglefroo broke. He leaped out of his seat alone at the front of the courtroom, his whimpering face turned to rage and insanity.
"Yes! I did it! I did it! And I'll do it again! Yaargh!!!" And with that, he began running around the courtroom in circles, grabbing the gavel off the judge's desk, while the bailiff attempted to tackle him and restore order. But even as he was pinned underneath the bailiff, Mr. Zigglefroo managed to shove the gavel into the gaping maw of the bailiff.
"Whoops, sorry Mr. Bailiff! Your mouth didn't say food use only!! Yargh!!"
The judge came down from his platform, let his robe drop to the ground, and kicked Mr. Zigglefroo in the head knocking him unconscious. Finally, order restored. The judge then pulled the gavel out of the bailiff's face, taking another quick jab at the jaw of Mr. Zigglefroo with the blunt end.
"Court adjourned," he stated.
And thus Mr. Zigglefroo was dragged from the courtroom, and all the others proceeded to file away. Everything was left in disarray; papers scattered everywhere, coats and glasses and briefcases spread across the room, and for some reason, there was an injured turtle resting limp in the aisle. And so it remained until evening.
Finally, a janitor entered the room, surveying the carnage. He began sweeping his way through the spoils of the drama, until he realized something was awry. "Hmm.. where do I throw all this out?"
Disclaimer: Obviously, I know nothing about the legal system.
Oh, and I feel fine.