Tracey was telling me that there had been a bit of consternation around our way recently, though I hadn’t noticed anything out of the ordinary. We met when I was going into the op shop looking for a new jumper, and she was coming out with a red snuggly blanket with sleeves. Seems her partner’s dealer was in court recently, and it played havoc with his delivery schedule.
Yes, said Tracey, he was called up for jury duty and couldn’t get out of it.
Not even for ready money? I said. He must have been wild.
More embarrassed, said Tracey. Seems the accused, in a case involving possession of illicit drugs and a few other things, was one of his customers. The guy was really relieved when he saw his dealer sitting in the jury box. He waved to him but everyone just assumed he was so spaced out that he didn’t know what he was doing or was being satirical in a druggy sort of way.
And he got off? I said.
Found with a gun in his hand, drugs on his person and money down his jeans? said Tracey. Of course he got off. Not all the jury were convinced he was innocent until the dealer ran up a batch of couscous brownies on the jury tea-room microwave in the lunch break, and they also unanimously voted to nominate him (the dealer) for next year’s MasterChef Australia. Now the crim’s legal aid lawyer is going round praising the dealer’s commitment to client care.
She’s still with the Fabians, just, and had been to one of their weekly seminars on The Achievements of the Whitlam Government.
Divorce, sodomy, and tax, I said.
Huh? said Tracey. She didn’t quite get it.
No, The Arts, she said.
That’s what I said, I said.
And did the dealer find an ALP branch to buy? I asked, to change the subject.
Tracey rolled her eyes and said, in that superior tone she has, look around.