The Practice
Poor Richard's Almanac

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Evil comes out on top

A Garage. Yes. That’s right. A garage. One that’s impeccably clean and has a pint-sized motorbike in the corner. The door opens, and a sedan drives in slowly. It’s Richard! He gets out of his car, and as he slams the door, the garage light is switched off. Then the door shuts. Richard, with a tinge of Fright Night in his voice, stutters, “Is somebody there?” Suddenly, someone slams him into the wall of the garage. Then a mysterious man puts a gun beside Richard’s head that is already smashed up into the wall. The man says, “This is simple. If the case against Jackie Cahill doesn’t go away. You will.” Richard moans in uncomfortable pain. Real pain. Not just the pain that I insert whenever I feel the need, but actual grunts and groans. “The only reason you’re still alive is because you’re still useful.” Heavy breathing. More groaning and grumbling from the Runt. “You do not want to win this case.” Pause. “Do you understand?” You can barely see his head above the gun. More threats -- if “we” want you dead, then you’ll be dead, you know, that sort of thing. Then the mysterious attacker leaves the garage and Richard stays extremely still, trying incredibly hard not to burst into tears.

Commercials. Ah, a break from the pain.

Richard’s Office, Where He’s Reminded Of His Pain. Helen is sitting in a chair, lambasting her co-worker for not going to the police. Richard doesn’t want to report the incident to the police because of the trial. He’s a utilitarian. He’ll put his life after the bettering of society. Helen grumbles along, blah you’re an officer of the court, blah it’s your duty to report this blah. Richard: “He said if I told the police I’d die.” Helen: “You’re scared.” Richard: “Yes.” Even if he did file a report, he couldn’t identify the attacker, because both his voice and his face were disguised. Helen thinks they could dust his garage, they could find witnesses in his neighbourhood, hell, the police could “investigate.” Then she threatens him too, because what Richard needs right now is not an understanding friend with a soft shoulder but an out-for-convictions letter-of-the-law bitch who’ll tell the police for him. He looks nonplused. Helen yammers on about calling Detective Mike and putting Richard in protective custody, and all the while, she’s packing up her briefcase. Sure, she’s concerned. This isn’t just another day at the office for Helen. What. Ever. Then she says she’ll have to tell Bobby. “Why?” Simply put: “Because he has to know.” Helen just sort of takes over deciding all of this for Richard; then, as an afterthought, she asks if he’s okay with continuing the trial. Hell, yes. He’s not stopping for anyone or anything -- he’s going right and going hard for a conviction.

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The Practice

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