“Oh, for Chrissakes, Ed!” Bob Hixson barked over the phone. “That old claim wouldn’t stand up in any court in the country, and you know it. It belongs in a museum along with the whole damn family feud.”
Judge Coopersmith’s long silence on the other side of the line was unmistakable agitation, but Ed wanted a reply.
“Bob, I hear ya,” the judge eventually said, “but the law’s the law. Look at it this way: The families are finally going to get their day in court, and as a result, we finally get to put this thing to bed once and for all. Now, that’s all there is to it.”
“You’re a royal pain in the ass,” Bob growled.
“And, I’m happy to hold you in contempt for a shit remark like that, son,” Ed said.
“This isn’t a court a’law.”
Judge Coopersmith ignored the remark. “I promise you, I won’t drag it out any longer than necessary. Everyone’s anxious for this damn thing to finally come to close. I promise you, I’m gonna call for a court date as soon as possible.”
Hixon didn’t respond.
“So,” the judge prodded,“you with me? We get this underway lickety-split and then call it a day. Alright?”
“Yeah, ” Hixon finally replied. “OK. I mean, I’m pissed. You know how hard I’ve worked to make this deal come together. But, yeah, no, I hear you.”
“See ya at the Rotary barbeque next week?” Hixon asked, not knowing what else to say.
“Of course, of course. Been a while since I seen your kids! They gonna be there?” Ed ask, glad to change the tone of Hixon’s call.
“Yeah, Megan’s coming in from college, so they’ll all be there.”
“Great! Look forward to seeing them. Love to Francie.”
“Yeah, tell Helen I said hello,” Bob said, and hung up the phone. “Fuck,” he muttered under his breath. “Goddamn them all to goddamn hell.” He picked up the phone and started dialing.
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