Today will be an interesting day. The court battle to end all court
battles; the GeoStapo are suing a Geo critic for $3 million in damages!
Unfortunately, this puts me into a bit of a bind, you see... I'm a Geo
employee, supposed to support their efforts and all, but...
"We are gathered here today in the 1st District Court of California
for the trial of one Alex Sandell. Sandell is charged with criticis--er,
trademark infringement..." Judge Zeener
And you know? I'd always thought lawyers to be slime, but days like
this have removed all doubt from my mind. It's this kind of bull shit that
makes even the most closedminded and thoughtless Bastard sit up and do
some real thinking... You know something else? I've been doing that thinking
all day, and, I'm sitting on the wrong side of the room.
"...swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth
so help you God?" Judge Zeener
"Hell yeah." Sandell
"Do you, Thom Evans, swear to tell the truth, the whole truth..." Judge
And you know what else? Ol' Zeener looks more like an auto-racing mogul
than a judge, what with all those advertising patches all over him. Do
ya suppose he put on those 300-some pounds just so he could squeeze more
sponsorship patches onto that judicial robe?
"We will now call the first witness...." Judge
A quick survey of the room here...it looks more like a casino than a
courtroom. Flashy logos on the walls, banners, disgusting co-branded stuff
everywhere... Geo Queen of Rain is wearing a paper Burger King crown and
full poofy medieval garb, you'd think it was Shakespeare night at the Improv.
And hm, that's funny... This is the first courtroom I've seen with a referee...
"...And according to this, the defendant has filed a special motion
to strike under California Anti-SLAPP law. Does anybody here know what
a SLAPP is?" Judge
Geo Queen of Rain pipes up:
"The legal threats by which we force
The silencing of ill discourse!"
Of course, no sooner had he said this, he also let forth a loud "Oww!"
indicating that he'd just been kicked under the table.
"Shhh!" GeoLawyer #2
"That's good, because I have no clue! Anybody else?" Judge
The defense is screwed.
"SLAPP: Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. Lawsuits filed
to silence critics, squelch protest and get vocal opponents out of the
picket lines and into the courtroom. Use of legal muscle to violate protected
First Amendment freedoms. Baseless and usually legally unenforcable; the
intent of a SLAPP is to intimidate, bully and harass. Used by political
affiliates and large corporations to chill public debate on issues of public
Hm. Good, but not good enough. Sounds too much like "Used to chill
while masturbating on public concerns." Plus, I smell a rat...
"The Legal Battle of the Century will be right back, after a word from
* * *
"All right, we're back with more from The Legal Battle of the Century!
One witness down, two to go...things are really heating up! Don't touch
"Okay, um.... now what?" Judge Zeener
"I think it's time to call another witness." GeoLawyer #3
"Allright witnesses, take your mark! Do you swear to tell the truth
yada yada.. Step up to the bench and speak your speaks." Judge Zeener
As the next witness talked on, the judge pulled out a Tommy Hilfiger
hankerchief and wiped his forehead. At a nod from the GeoCities plaintiff,
he fully unfolded the hanky and held the gaudy Tommy Hilfiger logo up in
front of him and aped for the camera.
Something tells me this 'judge' isn't really up to snuff on this law
stuff...I wonder if he got his certification from a Cracker Jack box? But
just to be sure....
"Excuse me, Judge, does the case of Roe vs. Wade have any significant
impact on this case and 18 USC 233.01?" BGFH
The ol' bogus legal jargon test.
"Well...I'm afraid I'm a little fuzzy on those specifics...let me think
for a minute..."
From behind the bar I hear the all-too-familiar *Clickety clickety*.....hmmm....(BGFH
pulls out cellphone) *Beep-boop-boob-beep-beep*
Somewhere in the back of the courtroom, a phone rings.
"Mumble mumble" BGFH -> Cellphone
"Mumble mumble mumble" Guy in the back of the courtroom ->
"Mumble mumble mumble" Guy in the back of the courtroom ->
The child slips out and slinks up behind the judge, then runs back
and whispers to the Bastard Geo From Hell:
"Findlaw dot com!" Child
Worst fears...Confirmed. This guy is a stooge!
"Mr. Bastard, sir, in response to your question about..." Judge Zeener
"Never mind, I'm not interested anymore. Forget I mentioned it." BGFH
"Oh well very-well-then mister high and might--"
The doors swing open and an italian-looking guy walks in holding a pie
above his head.
"Pizza's here! Who ordered a pepperoni-and-anchovy, extra cheese?" Pizza
"Yo, over here." BGFH
Being the Bastard Geo From Hell means the ability to take "order in
the court" literally.
* * *
"...yeah, the harassment and political censorship aside, there's even
a hard liquor dispenser in their bathroom!" Sandell's Witness
"Obzhection!" cries GeoLawyer #1. "*hiccup* Tha'z irrevelant."
"Eh, sustained..." Judge Zeener
*Boos from the jury box*
"...And it looks like GeoLegal's just called a technical foul on Alex's
witness for that Vodka thing..." Announcer
Being the Bastard Alcoholic From GeoCities means there's more than
just balloon dispensers in the men's room.
And so continued the arguments from the defendant's side for about
three more minutes, at which point the honourable Judge Zeener's Gameboy
was called to the attention of the jury by another kid sent up to spy on
his under-the-bar activities. The enraged Judge then put the kiebash on
the Sandell side for their unauthorized 7-year-old "witness", and called
the GeoCities plaintiffs to the stand.
"You swear to tell the truth, and all that shit?" Judge
"Me, no...I won't be testifying *personally*... Guys? Bring out the
Big Guns!" GeoCities Plaintiff
A laptop computer and overhead projecter are dragged to the front of
Oh, great, not the PowerPoint...
"Oh, God no..." Defendants
"Your Honour, Jury... Here we have a really nifty PowerPoint presentation.
As you can see in Exhibit A, this presentation is in full 24-bit colour
with full animation and graphics effects. Check out this cool screen-wipe
"Here we have raytraced scenes on a beautiful blue gradient background.
Check out the lightningbolt effect when we change slides!" Plaintiff
"Here is a cool stylized line graph that shows nothing in particular.
Pay special attention to the gamma highlights, 3-D appearance and photorealistic
background graphic!" Plaintiff
"Wow." Judge Zeener
*Standing ovation from audience*
"And that's not all! Here's a bulleted outline list of the defendant's
offenses with animated arrows and full 3-D text effects! Any further questions?"
"Impressive, very persuasive testimony! I hope those defendants over
there have a very good Plan B lined up..." Judge
"Our case rests." GeoLawyer #3
"Well, time's about up. Sandell, closing arguments?" Judge
"I'd just like to say that, through all the..." Sandell
"Yeah yeah..." Judge, as Sandell talks on. (Whispering, to bailiff)
"How long until we cut to commercial?"
"How about now. Your sponsors are getting restless!" Bailiff (wearing
GeoCities sponsorship patch)
"Sandell, you've got 15 seconds. Hurry it up or be escorted out of
my courtroom!" Judge
(Bailiff plays menacingly with 7-foot Mag Lite)
"...In conclusion, people don't want censorship and undue harassment
from your cyberterrorist corporation. People don't want bullshit, lies,
deception. They want answers. They want the truth." Sandell
Judge: All right, we will at this time take a short recess...
"...There's the buzzer! An incredible play by Sandell towards the end
just about ties up the score. Stay tuned, it's time for the halftime show!
First up, it's the dancing Money Maidens, sponsored by First National Bank!"
A bevy of scantily-clad women dance about with a large FNB banner,
taking care to flash the banner to the TV cameras a whole lot.
"Hey... since when does a lawsuit have sponsors?..."
Sandell was just about to ask this question aloud when the courtroom's
outlandishly-dressed mascot, "Captain Pepsi", dropped in.
"Will everyone please turn their attention to center court...look,
it's Captain Pepsi!(tm)" Announcer
Captain Pepsi waved enthusiastically to the audience, pulled a huge
bottle of Pepsi out of his pants and began to drink it.
"Wow, look at that, folks. He must be really enjoying that. But that's
to be expected. Everybody enjoys a delicious ice cold Pepsi." Announcer
Captain Pepsi continued drinking and pretending to enjoy it. "Ahhhhh!"
goes Captain Pepsi, "Nothing hits the spot like an ice-cold Pepsi!"
And remember, Judge Zeener only wears NIKE(R) shoes. "Just do it!"
apes the judge.
The spotlight then turns to three guys dressed in frog suits.
"...Gee..." Frog #1
"...Oh..." Frog #2
"...Cities!..." Frog #3
"...Gee..." Frog #1
"...Oh..." Frog #2
"...Cities!..." Frog #3
A pair of lizards walk in. "Y'know Bob, I've been thinking. You know
that Web site I have on Xoom.com? I just uploaded a bunch of warez and
can't help thinking that someday I'm gonna use up all my space." Lizard
"Uh-huh. So you need a new home." Lizard #2
"Exactly. I mean, where should I go for a new webspace account?" Lizard
"Idunno. Hey... why don't you ask those frogs over there. If a frog
can peddle beer, they *must* be pretty knowledgeable."
Frogs (in unison):
"For the Web space account that never fills up, and never lets you
down, make it a GeoCities page!!"
"Ugh, I think I'm gonna puke..." Sandell
"Before you come to a decision, Your Honour, please bear in mind that
we are your primary sponsor, and may have no choice but to pull our sponsorship
if we feel the decision reached is not a, shall we say, appropriate
one..." GeoLawyer #2
The evils of commercial sponsorhip, rearing its ugly head once again,
compromising any integrity in its path. There's only one way to handle
a creep with a baseball bat.... and that's with a bigger bat!
"BGFH, where are YOU going?" GeoLawyer #2
"I'm going over there to, uh, intimidate them." BGFH
"Oh, OK." GeoLawyer #2
"Watch out! It's that bastard sysadmin of theirs, it looks like he's
comin' for ya!" Sandell's Witness
"Oh great...HE wants to sue me too?" Sandell
"Mr. Sandell, can I have a quick word with you?" BGFH
"*Whisper whisper mumble whisper*" BGFH -> Sandell
"For real? Are you sure?" Sandell
"*Mumble murmur whisper whisp*" BGFH
"You can do that? Thanks! I thought there was somebody within
Geo on our side!" Sandell
"Well, don't just stand there, talk to the Judge!" BGFH
Sandell's legal defense team motions Judge Zeener into his private
quarters for a talk. They emerge a few moments later with a Special Announcement
for the jury and spectators.
"Folks... the defense has just paid $10 million for a live ad-spot right
here in the courtroom. Beating GeoCities' sponsorship of $9 million, our
highest-dollar sponsor is now Alex Sandell!" Judge Zeener, holding cheque
"In light of this, I hereby find in favor of the defendant, and dismiss
GeoCities' completely bogus lawsuit under California Anti-SLAPP statutes.
GeoCities is hereby ordered to cover all court costs, including legal fees
and sponsorship." Judge Zeener
"What?! We have to pay for his commercial too?" GeoLawyer #3
"That's correct. And I realize you haven't had time to have a professionally-prepared
advertisement done up...just wing it. Alex, your commercial?" Judge
"Well eh... A-he-he-hem. Ladies, gentlemen...GeoCities... Visit
It's juicy!" Sandell
"WHAT?! We paid $10 million for THAT?!! Judge Zeener, we'll see you
in court!" GeoLawyer #2
"Suuuure. You still based in California?" Judge, retrieving Gameboy
"Not this time, GeoShitties! Your legal goons can kiss our ass!" Legal
Chanting from the spectators and jury box: "Kiss-Our-Ass! Kiss-Our-Ass!..."
As the chant died down, the Bastard Geo From Hell paused to reflect on
the outcome of events. Fired, definitely.... clear conscience? You bet!
Not to be outdone, the mass media descended on the courtroom to scavenge
soundbites for the 9:00. "Geo Queen of Rain, what is your take on the outcome
of today's trial?" Reporter
"It may not be always so
That the Web is ours to overthrow
It may well be that when we SLAPP
The innocent may slap us back!" Geo Queen of Rain
"There you have it! Reporting live from from the District Court for
Channel 3, A Short Guy With A Funny Hat." Reporter
As exciting as today was, one last practical joke on Geo Queen of Rain
seems in order before my pending disonourable discharge from Geo headquarters.
On that note, I emailed this message to his Palm III:
Subj: Salvation suspended - Content violation
Hello Geo Queen of Rain, God here. If I wanted Sandell's page taken
off the 'net, I would have sent down lightning bolts at his server. Attempting
to take over my role as Lord and God is against the TOS you signed upon
joining my religion; I regret to inform you that your salvation has been
temporarily suspended pending remedy of your violation. Future violations
may result in termination of account.
VP of Human Salvation
"If I have made one tiny shred
Of difference, I fear I dread
My Lord will find me ill of will
And taking His postition still--
Therefore I must repent, or
Failing this I'll judge no more
And let the Lord do His own bidding--
I'm not God and I'm not kidding!" Geo Queen of Rain
Bait taken! GQoR last seen running out the door on the way to Confession.
Also, I got the addresses of all the GeoFoes, I am now offically on their
side. And now, a word from our sponsors...