Code, nerd culture and humor from Greg Knauss.

The trappings of the courtroom are a dandy way to intimidate the hell out of someone. Robes, dark woods, bailiffs with guns -- all of them add up to the subtle suggestion that you are totally and completely doomed.

Which is why, when the judge asked me "How do you plead?", I panicked and answered "Yes."

"No, no," he said. "How do you plead?"

My mouth went dry and I looked over at Joanne for help and she whispered "Guilty!" in my ear. I had been written up for driving on an expired license by a cop having a bad day, but Jo had arranged with the DA to have the guilty plea mean nothing other than I would have to get my paperwork straightened out. Simple. Nice. And something that I would have been totally incapable of doing by myself. I have no doubt that without Joanne at my side -- in the role of hard-ass lawyer instead of loving wife -- a series of comical misunderstands would have landed me in prison.

"Guilty!" I told the judge.

"I take it counsel concurs," he said, and everybody in the courtroom laughed.

OK. Thank you. I get it. Lesson learned.

Hi there! My name's GREG KNAUSS and I like to make things.

Some of those things are software (like Romantimatic and Buzz Clock), Web sites (like the Webby-nominated Metababy and The American People) and stories (for Web sites like Suck and Fray, print magazines like Worth and Macworld, and books like "Things I Learned About My Dad" and "Rainy Day Fun and Games for Toddler and Total Bastard").

My e-mail address is greg@eod.com. I'd love to hear from you!

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