Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The justice

It's Friday. The week is over. Stu liked Fridays. Because they aired his favourite show on the WTV - "The perfect crime". Every week they'd pick up one of the cases where the jury failed to find the consensus - and rerun it on air live. And collect the instant responses from the audience to make the verdict based on the simple majority. The direct democracy: crowd wisdom at its best. The audience would make a decision whether the person goes into the recycler or not. There were thousands of the replies - one can't be wrong with such a sample. But still the result was uncertain each time until the last moment. He liked the tingling sensation these shows would bring - it reminded him the good old times before the machines took it away from him.

He was a skyscraper window washer. He was not in it for the windows - it was that tingle sensation that attracted him. He mastered the corner wipe better than everyone and was rightfully proud of his skill. But he could not compete with the machines - they were cheaper - did not require insurance and would never make mistakes, except when mis-programmed. He helped the geeks who came with the machines to hone their skills, but being the cyber-shepherd was not for him, so he moved on to become an instructor in the local climbing club and opened a little food shop in the ground floor of his house. But all of that was not the same - and that's why he liked Fridays.

Today's case promised to be interesting. It was an investigation into an accident that was suspected to have been cooked. The defendant, a young woman, was fully aware she was the only available suspect - and has already told her story. She was visibly nervous, but in her last words she said that she firmly believed that the nation will judge her right. Because it was not her.

Something in her tone, in the way she was talking, made Stu believe she was a victim of the circumstances. He usually would not press the button during the shows - but today he had a feeling he probably should. Even though almost every time they'd say something to try to convince the public. But this time it was different.

The noise of the broken glass downstairs. Not good - need to check. There's been a few burglaries lately in the neighborhood - someone said it was the gang of homeless, the others claimed it was the underground communist cell refilling the replenished reserves. And this of course had to happen just today, when he had blown off the fuse. Sigh. Got to take a flashlight.

The quick inspection of the door revealed nothing suspicious. Windows - intact as well. The dietary supplements corner revealed the truth. Some visitor had smelled the Valerian and did not properly close it. Flasky, his cat, took this upon himself to fix this - of course, smashing all the rest of the glass in ecstatic joy. So all of that noise was for nothing, after all. The damn animal had just spoiled a nice evening in front of the TV. Stu collected the glass and put it into the bin. Hopefully he can make it in time to at least see the result.

As he was climbing the stairs, he heard the polished voice of the host - "Thank you. Thank you to all who participated in today's poll. The decision was extremely hard for you - the difference is only one vote! But you voiced your opinion, the nation of Tivyland. And the verdict is: Guilty".

Damn cat, he mumbled. Should have listened to Johnny and sterilized it. Gonna do that on Monday. He went on to his fridge and wrote in the planner attached to it, right where the hearts of weekend were turning back into the spades: "Take care of Flasky".

Then he opened the fridge and took another beer. He still had an untouched six-pack and Friday evening was just beginning. There were still some other good shows later on tonight.

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