The Original
Bastard Geo From Hell
(Still a work in progress)

Part 11: "A SLAPP In The Face"


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 Zeener 
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 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 concern." 
"Oh." Judge 
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 our sponsors!..." 
Rat found. 

* * * 
"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 that dial!" 
"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 -> Cellphone 
"Mumble mumble mumble" Guy in the back of the courtroom -> Small child 
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 Guy 
"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 the courtroom. 
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 transition!" Plaintiff 
"Oooohhh..." Jury 
"Here we have raytraced scenes on a beautiful blue gradient background. Check out the lightningbolt effect when we change slides!" Plaintiff 
"Aaaahhhh..." Jury 
"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!" Announcer 
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 I just uploaded a bunch of warez and can't help thinking that someday I'm gonna use up all my space." Lizard #1 
"Uh-huh. So you need a new home." Lizard #2 
"Exactly. I mean, where should I go for a new webspace account?" Lizard #1 
"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 
"Ummm..." Sandell 
"*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 Defense 
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... 
Just kidding! 

Page Twelve

Bastard Geo From Hell ©1999 Bill Webb. It may be redistributed, but not for profit, so long as appropriate credit is given.
Name of GeoFoe Alex Sandell used with permission. Now, please click on this erect penis.