I want justice to be so pervasive that it will be taken for granted, just as injustice is taken for granted today. But justice will not come to me, nor Philadelphia, nor America until those who are not injured are just as indignant as those who are injured…I am tired of being a piñata…

My name is D.I.Strunk. Until I was 13 I thought my name was Shut Up! Until I was 19 I thought it was Asshole! Until my Father died I thought my name was Schmuck! Until my grown children fled a few years ago I thought my first two initials stood for Dumb Idiot…instead of Disillusioned Idealist.

Actually I never minded any derogatory moniker. That is, until I was called ‘defendant.’ Because even though I refuse to be a victim, once you are a defendant you are brutally victimized, time and time again.

Indeed, contrary to popular myth, rape is NOT the only crime in which the victim becomes the accused. Try a perfidious future ex-wife whose own doting parents finally recognized that ‘many’ of the things Stephanie says ‘just aren’t true.’

Yet, who believes the husband, these days? Particularly when the Judges, Assistant District Attorneys and whomever are all the opposite sex of me – even by today’s confusing sex and gender status.

And what I found – and am still finding – is there is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.

Hmm… Justice… Indeed, the one and only one thing in modern society more hideous than crime is repressive justice.

And right now you can call me anything, but mostly call me very, very pissed. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired of being a piñata.

Hmm…

 A couple months ago – and some 3-and-one-half-years after my mendacious wife’s spurious and specious charges were finally thrown outta court, yet again – I finally got around to seeking her bogus felonious charges expunged from my record.

These were the same charges that landed me in jail for 6 days. And that incarceration cost me two and one half teeth from a gang of three who called me ‘blanco’.  Do I need to mention it also cost me my dignity, my home, my possessions, many of my so-called friends, and the rest of what the mohel hadn’t circumcised.

Hmm….

I had filed some expungement papers on my own about a year before. But nothing ever happened. And seeking help from oxymoronic city-workers is like seeking a plumber on a Sunday. And since my bogus ‘record’ was beginning to impinge on my work I hired a lawyer, recommended by a relatively new friend, also a lawyer. He said the young woman was a former associate and handled this type of matter.

As you know, they don’t come cheap — women or lawyers. Except if they are public defenders. That’s because instead of bending the law into shape, PD’s spend most of their time bending and scraping before mostly out of shape Assistant District Attorneys.

And ADAs are those folks who can’t understand how any defendant could possibly be innocent. This is merely because the ADA’s, in their pious ambition to compete for who has the biggest balls — even on women — often deem to smugly level copious charges on little more information than provided by some jowly pooo-lease-men who also have something to gain – besides more chins.

Hmm… But of course I am drooling hot lava.

And then you enter the bureaucracy of foggy government – which elucidates appalling insight into how quickly folks who can’t spell ‘IQ’ rise quickly to their highest level of incompetence. And two distinct matters clearly become lasers of truth:

First, that bureaucracy is full of miserable folks who hate you because you’re the reason they are actually supposed to do something – like work — at their jobs. And for anyone who has dared to visit City Hall, you have witnessed a horrendous bureaucracy that cares only about procedure and nothing about results. Results take work. And thought. Procedures are mindless. And if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.

And secondly, what you inevitably come to comprehend is the mystery of why some earnest taxpayers, who look just like you and me, finally just go postal.

Hmm…

My lawyer, a lovely lass originally from Jamaica, filed the same paper work I had done a year before. And we waited weeks. And then more weeks.

And then finally I received a letter from the Court of Common Pleas.

Voila!  My petition for expungement had been ’granted’.

Like this was a surprise?

It was.

The order was apparently issued October 29th. But I didn’t receive it for another five or six days because it was mis-addressed to me even though my lawyer had clearly provided my home address. Meanwhile a copy was also ‘not’ addressed to my lawyer, who I would provide a quick course for dummies in my pungent vitriolic exasperation.

Hmm… Evil requires sanction from the victim. And I don’t sanction nothing.

Also the court’s expungement  document included another letter which stipulated: that “… Pennsylvania State Police will request that the FBI destroy their copies of the arrest. Petitioner should wait at least 6 months before authorizing background checks to be sure all information from various agencies are expunged…”

Say wot!!!???

Six bloody more months?!!!

“It’s the procedure” intoned my lawyer to my face that must have resembled an elephant gun. She also reassured me that she would make a note on her ‘busy’ calendar to check that all the agencies had complied.

I said: “Of course they’ll say they deleted me. But the FBI don’t delete nothing. Just ask Snowden.”

So I instructed her to please advise the Honorable Judge, Paula Patrick, that if I find out thru my FBI contacts in a few months that my ex-wife’s fabricated lies and charges haven’t actually been totally annihilated, there won’t be enough lamb’s blood she can spread on her doorposts.

My young lawyer’s small taut face formed a gasp.

“Someone has to start being responsible,” I explained slowly and steadily. “If there are no consequences, there is no justice, is there? You can’t punch fog, someone has to take responsibility. Remember, nothing succeeds without a leader. And justice delayed is justice denied.”

And so it went. That is, until five weeks later – let me repeat that: 5 weeks! — I received another letter from the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. It was waiting for me late last Friday night when I arrived home. This one reminded me that the Honorable Paula Patrick had granted my expungement. However, because I was sent a check over two years ago for a couple of hundred dollars, that I did not cash, that my expungement cannot go forward.

You cannot begin to imagine the nuclear fission imploding last weekend.

Once more the victim was further victimized.

When you’re the victim of such behavior, it’s black and white; when you’re the perpetrator, there are a million shades of gray. Some may call that ‘gray’ matter little more than bullshit.

So I went to the Criminal Justice Building just diagonally across from Philadelphia’s City Hall on Monday.

And after stripping and then bowing my way through the heavily armed checkpoint provided for the protection of judges who apparently can’t keep their robes closed, I found my way to the basement. And there, after several wrong doors and turns, I eventually weaved myself into a room with a row of glass-protected bank teller windows.

And, of course, no one was behind them, except at one window where the young woman, seated with her back towards me, was obviously having a private conversation on her cell phone.

Imagine that.

“Customer!” I broadcasted. “Anyone work here?”

She cast her bothersome eyes at me before calling to the back room. A pleasant woman appeared. I slid my letters through the window slot and queried her as to why am I here?

She studied my paper work. And then a fortuitous happenchance took place. She said her surname was ‘Strunk’ also. And I replied that she was the first other ‘Strunk’ I had ever met. I didn’t explain that my name only began with my father’s father. As a young man, in a rift with his family, he officially changed his surname from Strug to Strunk after a notable Philadelphia Athletics baseball player named Amos Strunk.

And the only other Strunk I had ever heard about was the celebrated author of the time-old grammar bible known as “The Elements of Style’ by Strunk & White.

So she and I gabbed and gossiped and quickly endeared ourselves. At that she took the time and energy to research my problem. It turned out that I had overpaid my bail bond those three-and-one-half-years back. And they had sent out a check about a year later, but it was never cashed. Obviously because I never received it.

To what address? I wondered. She didn’t know.

And then with apparent incredulity I posed to Ms. Strunk: What do apples have to do with sour grapes? I mean, I didn’t owe the city any money. It owed me. Why would a two-year-old bail check block my expungement process? In other words, what did any of this have to do with the price of tea in China? And if it was so important, why hadn’t I been re-notified years ago, or at least at the time my lawyer filed the expungement papers. And not five weeks after the expungement had been granted.

She said she not only didn’t know, but, with discomfiting embarrassment, admitted it didn’t make any sense to her, either. It was simply another procedure they had to follow. And that she would mail me another check within 10 days.

At that I figured I had been victimized for the last time. That is, until I dropped a copy of my new documents off at my young lawyer’s office and rescanned the letter from the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

It was only then that I noticed that I must also contact the Motions Unit of the Common Pleas Court. Inform them that I ‘took care of the check process.’ And only then will the expungement process proceed.

My lawyer tried to mollify me with: “It’s just procedure.”

Perhaps for you, I said. You didn’t suffer the injustice and humiliation I did for the last few years of such ‘criminal’ procedures over the sham inflicted on me not only by my ex-wife, but the so-called ‘ill- legal’ system. And at that I tried to subject her with the thought that justice will not come to me, nor to Philadelphia, nor to America until those who are not injured are as indignant as those who are injured.

It was to no avail.

So I took it upon myself to telephone a Miss Kathleen Teti, the supervisor of the Criminal Motions Unit who had sent me the letter. And talking with her was like banging your bumper car repeatedly against the historic Wailing Wall.

If I thought the expungement process would now proceed forthwith I was sorely misinformed. Ms. Teti duly alerted me that was not to be the case. As part of mandated procedure the process wouldn’t resume for another 90 days – not for three months, until March 9th – in order to allow the check to be processed.

“We have to have our books in proper order,” she said. “It’s our procedure.”

“But what about my life?” I wondered.

Yeah, what about me? The victim.

At that a scream raced across the Milky Way. It was coming from me. Put me in coach, I wanna kill my dinner!

Hmm…

All I can finally exhale is that one day I want justice to be so pervasive that it will be taken for granted, just as injustice is taken for granted today.

And honestly I realize it’s not just me. Sometimes, like the cartoon Peanuts character Charlie Brown, I lie awake at night and ask why me? Then a voice answers: Nothing personal, your name just happened to come up.

And that’s yDrewIS on dis penal colony…

 

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