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1 Jer. 2: In re Imaginary Duck Truck

2012 November 23
by JEREMY, C.J.

*Reporter’s Note: This decision was not selected for inclusion in the official reporter of the Supreme Cart. What follows is, once again, the desperate attempt of  a judicial activist to willfully misinterpret the plain meaning of our laws in order to satisfy his gluttony. See In re Brennan’s, 1 Jer. 1 (2012). As before, its legitimacy is not merely questioned; it is explicitly rejected. 

Opinion of JEREMY, C.J., in chambers.

When the cat’s away, the mice will play. Today, with Catt away for the holiday, I shall gladly play mouse.

After a long night alone in my wood-paneled chambers, where I sat reading long hours from dusty and yellowed tomes by the greenish light of a banker’s lamp before dozing off, I awoke to find that Thanksgiving had arrived. It being Thanksgiving, I naturally harbored a certain yen for that particular bird we celebrate on this joyous day: the duck. And so I set out from my chambers to find some duck.

I found the streets and the avenues of the District lonely and desolate and deserted. Stoplights blinked on and off with no car in sight. Shops and restaurants were shuttered. There was not a food truck to be found amid the streets and the avenues—not even a duck truck. See In re PORC, 4 Catt. 1 (2011); Metro Halal Food v. Tasty Kabob, 1 Catt. 2 (2011) (Jeremy, C.J., concurring).

And so I plodded silently back to my chambers along sad and lonely streets, my long, black judicial robes brushing fallen leaves. I collapsed into my mustard-colored, velveteen chair—the one with the brass tacks—and lit a cigar. I sat puffing away, legs crossed, pondering in the gloom and the silence, when a notion hit me on the head like a glossy Braeburn apple. I knew where I could find my Thanksgiving duck truck. I knew of a place where such a mobile gastronomic enterprise would be parked curbside: in my dreams and my imagination.

I stamped out my cigar and ran out of my chambers and into the street, my long, black judicial robes flowing behind me like the wings of a bat. I gasped. There, in front of me, was the duck truck of my dreams gleaming in the mid-autumn sun like a fresh-picked lemon. The truck was covered with emeralds and rubies and lapis lazuli. Its mirrors were of silver; its wheels were of gold. A chandelier hung within. I ran to the truck and ordered a pan-seared duck breast in a gauzy, crimson reduction of red wine and orange. In exchange for two twenties, it came to me on bone china with a toile print and gilded edges. A cloth napkin was handed to me along with a fork and knife of purest gold. I sat on the curb, napkin tucked in the collar of my judicial robes, and slowly and deliberately devoured my duck magret. I washed it down with a champagne of exquisite vintage sipped from a hand-blown flute.

There is likely to be some question as to whether this Cart has jurisdiction over a Cart found only in the imagination of one of its justices. Under our Rules of Procedure, our jurisdiction extends to “all mobile gastronomic enterprises situated throughout those parts of (a) the County of Arlington, Virginia, (b) the District of Columbia, and (c) the City of Alexandria, Virginia, which are reasonably proximate to public transportation of a reasonably rapid and efficient character.” That test in no ways speaks of physicality. It so happens I have imagined a mobile gastronomic enterprise in the District of Columbia reasonably proximate to public transportation. The test is satisfied, and so the Cart must be found to have jurisdiction over a Cart found only in the imagination of one of its justices. If that is not enough, the potentiality of such an establishment within the bounds of our jurisdiction should satisfy even my sharpest critic.

Before describing the beauty of the duck, I realize I must pause and determine whether my Thanksgiving feast constituted “street food.” We have defined “street food” time and time again, and our definition bears no repetition here. We have also made clear that that definition is a balancing test. I have conducted the requisite balancing and find the subject of consideration to be “street food.”

The duck was succulent. Its center was a beautiful shade of ruddy pink. Its layer of fat, crisscrossed with the knife marks of a deft hand, had rendered itself to a crisp veneer of char and seasoning. The duck was carved on the bias into quarter-inch slices and placed atop a painted stroke of reduced red wine. A layer of the sauce was poured atop the slices of duck, enough to taste the sauce, but never so much as to detract from the meat itself. What else can I say? The duck was all I had hoped for. It was perfect. My duck truck was a marvelous idea, if I may be so bold as to say so myself.

I picked myself up from the curb, brushed the fallen leaves from my long, black judicial robes, and returned the bone china plate and the golden utensils to their purveyor. I began to walk back up the walk to my chambers. Halfway to the door, I realized the cloth napkin hung still from my neck. I pulled the napkin from my collar and turned around to return to the truck and return the napkin. But I saw that my duck truck had dissipated into the mid-autumn air like a happy phantom.

I stood there for a moment, staring, pondering, before awaking in my chair of mustard velveteen—the one with the brass tacks. Perhaps I had dreamed. But, oh, what a dream!

AFFIRMED. It is so ordered.

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