Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Pants on Fire!

Sometimes as I cast about the world wide nets to find news to share with you, I see a story that I figure must be fake news.  I mean, when you see a story about a lifelong beer lover winning a brewery in a lottery, or someone falling down while getting off the x-ray machine, thus breaking the leg that the x-ray has just shown not to be broken, or a hapless motorist driving a Ford crashing into the display room of a Chevrolet dealership, it catches the eye, am I wrong?

But how does "lawyer's pants catch fire" sound?  And add to it what he was doing at the time the tweed started blazing...

His name is Stephen Gutierrez, and he practices law in Florida. And his defense (unsuccessful) of one Claudy Charles, 49, was taking place in a Sunshine State courtroom when, suddenly, the attorney's slacks began smoldering.   

And Charles was on trial for arson! He set his own car on fire, or, at least, the guilty conviction the jury handed down said he did.  I imagine the jurors were spellbound by Gutierrez's defense of his client ("Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, pay no attention to the evidence the state showed you, and remember, the police have been out to get my client for years and years!") as he stood in the Miami-Dade county courtroom, weaving his masterful defense in an oration that led many observers to compare him to the young Clarence Darrow, or would have if they knew who Clarence was.

And then his pants caught fire.

He was trying to convince the jury that Charles's car had just *poof!* spontaneously combusted, but it was his trousers that did that. It wasn't all that spontaneous. He had several batteries for those electronic cigarettes in his pants pocket, and the cells contacting each other led to sparks and smoke and embarrassment, as Gutierrez darted out of the courtroom and into the mens' room  to scoop water out of the sink and onto his onto his britches.

The word that stunned witnesses used in describing the smoky scene to the Miami Herald was "surreal."

The attorney returned to the chamber with his pants all wet and his pocket all singed.

"This was not staged," Gutierrez told the paper. "No one thinks that a battery left in their pocket is somehow going to explode. After careful research, I now know this can happen. I am not the only one this has happened to, but I am in a position to shed light on the situation."

And what's great about it is, he doesn't need a flashlight to shed light on it...he can just hold up his pants!

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