218. The well‐dressed, gray‐haired woman was crying her eyes out. She had just been fined $100 by the judge because a month ago her dog made a mess on the front lawn of the courthouse.
"I just got out of the cab and I leashed Poopsie to the light pole. After I paid the fare and gave the driver a dollar tip, I turned around and saw that Poopsie had made a mess. I didn't have any plastic bags, so I said, 'Well, Poopsie, let's go home. There's nothing I can do about this now.'
"We were just starting home when I heard this voice out of nowhere. 'Excuse me, ma'am. Is that your dog?' I turned around. It was an officer of the law. Well, of course, it was my dog. 'That dog just made an illegal deposit on the courthouse lawn. As its owner, it's your responsibility to dispose of that deposit. See the sign over there? I'm going to have to write you a citation.'
"I asked him what sign he was talking about. He pointed all the way down to the end of the block. One little sign, a block away! How could anyone see that? I couldn't see that sign with my best opera glasses. The officer said that I could fight the ticket. He said the judge was a nice old man who owned four dogs. So I said, 'OK, thank you. I'll fight the ticket.'
"So when I went to court, I dressed Poopsie up in his prettiest ribbons and made extra sure he did his business first. We were both so excited. I just knew the judge and Poopsie would hit it off.
"But do you know what happened when we got inside? They had a different judge, a judge who is allergic to dogs, and he immediately started sniffling, coughing, sneezing, and looking around. And then he yelled at me to get the dog out of the courtroom. He fined me $100 on the way out without even giving me a chance to talk about Poopsie's chronic dyspepsia. It was terrible! I'm still upset."
3.7, 87.7, 3%, 11.0, 352
Vocabulary: allergic chronic citation courthouse deposit dyspepsia fare illegal lawn leash opera plastic responsibility ribbon sneeze sniffle
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