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Century old cartoons it turned out don't form precedent in the courtroom. But money, the lawyers money could buy, and politics still came with influence. Six months and five broken television viewership ratings later the former orphan was ruled to now be Chauncey Davis Zwatl.

"But I never liked being Chauncey," the boy in question told the judge, "Can I be Davis Zwatl?"

Judge Henderson considered the odds he'd make it out of the courthouse without being hounded by reporters yet again. He considered the odds they wouldn't bother coming to a name change hearing. The boy's new mother gave a thumbs up and started nodding when he turned to ask her approval.

"Very well, so ordered. My clerk will update the paperwork before I sign it. Agni Zwatl, congratulations, you are now a mother in the eyes of the law. Young Davis, I wish you the best with your new family. Both of you, please try to avoid finding yourself in my courtroom again."

The new mother and son had almost made to the exit when Judge Henderson heard an unhappy, "School uniforms! Do I really hafta?"

Judge Henderson started working out how many days his vacation hours would last.
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November 19, 2013
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