The call came in the middle of the afternoon on our cell phone. It was a 954 area code that we did not recognize. Perhaps a new case? Rumpole is ever the optimist.
"Hello, May I speak with Horace Rumpole?"
"Good afternoon, this is Broward Health Services, we have a vaccine for you, can you be at one of our hospitals tomorrow?"
"I am sorry....where did you say you were calling from?"
"Yes, but did you say...ummm...Broward?"
"Yes, will you be available tomorrow for a Covid19 Vaccine?"
Oh the ignominy of it all. A year of fear. A year of hiding from the virus, overseas, and then at home, a Rumpolian bunker of books and music and wine. Food and supplies delivered from Amazon, and Instacart, and a variety of delivery services with esoteric names. The vaccine- the golden key to a return to normal life. A return to prowling the Courtrooms of the empty REGJB- courtrooms just waiting for us to leap to our feet with an objection...to corner elusive witnesses... "J'Accuse! You saw nothing!"
All of this relief delivered by ....Broward? That County of perpetually scowling people. That County that houses a courthouse where prosecutors have routinely said "I know your client is innocent, but my supervisor said to let the jury decide". Where Judges would drawl "Ah don know you counsel. Ah suspect you're from Mi..am...ah...but up here we do things a bit different. Now on your bond motion, bonds are like elevators. They can go up and they can go down. And if you want me to review this here bond, ah might just reckon to rhaise it as much as you would like to me lower it." And this occurring after being the last case called on the calendar although our client was on page two of thirty-four. Broward, that land of large egos and small doses of justice is now offering us the coveted Covid19 vaccine.
No skipping the line for us. In January went on various websites and registered as we were told to do. Age- over 50. Health- very good- knee gives us a twinge if we push it too hard on a hike or run; sometimes an acid stomach, but less these days since we haven't been in court in a year.
A brief pause in the conversation as we pondered all that we have written. But in war sometimes the enemy of my enemy is my friend. And Covid was the enemy and the vaccine was the enemy of Covid, and Broward had it, and there is only so far we are willing to go to support our ideals. Of course we could wear a wig and fake glasses and moustache so we wouldn't be recognized. Perhaps the mask of one of the former chief Judges of North of Border that we would wear at Halloween parties that was a big hit. It was in the closet somewhere.
"OK, I will be there tomorrow. Thank you."
And so we went were eagles fear to fly. Into the heart of darkness. The death star of justice. And to our surprise Broward Hospitals are nothing like the courthouse. People were professional and pleasant and smiling and happy to be at their job. Our name was on a list, and unlike every other time we went north of our safe boarders we were not called last! The operation was swift and efficient and a nice young woman gave us a Jab and we were sent off for cookies and juice and some observation. The next day we had a sore arm, but a smiling sticker that said "I was vaccinated today."
We got our first Jab this past weekend.
Now as Bruce Springsteen sometimes ad libs in live performances of Tenth Avenue Freeze Out "This here is the important part":
Thank You...(deep breath) Broward.