That's what I was asked when I stepped out of the elevator on the 8th floor of 401 Fifth Avenue. Are you here for a case? And I was offended. Because I was there to sit in the audience at People's Court. Do I look like a potential plaintiff or defendant on People's Court? I hope not. I like to think that at least I look like I could settle a small claims suit out of court with a little fisticuffs or bribery or blackmail. Actually, I hope to never be involved in a small claims suit at all, if I can avoid it. I think all I really have to do is never own a truck or buy rims online or have a deck installed by "Correct-A-Deck."
Those were the three cases I saw. And each and every time the People's Court music came on my insides shook with joy and I couldn't stop giggling.
Really long and boring dispute about a roidraging Jersey guy using the wrong nails to install a deck. Only highlight: when the plaintiff showed a video of him removing parts of the faulty wood, his dog came into frame and he started yelling at it.
Much more interesting. It began with the plaintiff, a 60 year old man, stomping to his podium wearing rubber gloves and carrying a large box. He opened the box with much anger, and then delicately removed his gloves and placed them on the table in front of him. The box had fancy tire rims that one would expect to see on an Escalade... he bought them to pimp out his Altima. This one ended pretty abruptly. The old man was suing the wrong person for the chrome flaking off his new bitchin' rims. He was supposed to go straight to the manufacturer.
This was BY FAR the best one, and most television worthy. A man who's head probably weighed 5lb more because of his hair gel was suing his ex-girlfriend for throwing a bag of beer cans at his truck. He brought in the back of his truck for evidence. Words cannot explain how perfect this made my People's Court experience. The best part was that the woman's defense was: "I wasn't aiming for his truck, I was aiming for his head." She also tried to counter-sue for over $1000, for a depreciated $100 CD player and "being kicked out in the middle of the night." Judge Milian asked, "What's the $1000 for in regards to being kicked out in the middle of the night?" "For my rent that I've had to pay for the past few weeks." "Why should he pay your rent?" "I don't know." "That's right you don't know! Sometimes, honey, they're just not that into us. And ya gotta LET IT GO."
Other than the cases, the best part of my experience was that I got to sit next to James.
James is the tiny Asian man who goes to People's Court tapings EVERY DAY. He sat next to me, with a pile of pictures delicately placed on his lap. He thumbed through them gingerly, looking forward to yet another opportunity for his beloved Judge to sign them. A little brat was on set (the boss's son), destroying things and stealing portraits of the judge from the back, handing them out to the audience. James NEEDED one.
"James, why don't you let someone else have it? You have so many already. Let someone new have it."
"But but, this is the new one. I need it."
And he took the picture and buried it away in his satchel. Luckily, my companion that I went with got me a picture with him. It will be posted later. All in all, I think People's Court was the perfect way to spend my 20th birthday.