The way that the town’s grievances were settled had been firmly established over the years and was as follows: The aggrieved party was made to stand directly upon the town emblem that was embossed on the floor of the main hallway just outside the Mayor’s office at City Hall. There, they shouldered the Mayor’s Vietnam-era, army surplus, rocket launcher and faced towards the north end of the long hallway. Simultaneously, the accused was placed in a ragged pit a mile and a half out of town at the far end of Main Street, just over a small hill that prevented visual contact. When all was declared ready, the aggrieved party took careful aim at a circular, five-foot diameter window placed precisely eighteen feet above the floor at the north end of the hall.
In the middle of the window was a small bull’s-eye.
If the aggrieved missed the window completely and blew out the north wall of city hall, the accused was set free and the aggrieved was declared to be a bumbling idiot and charged with all repairs to City Hall. If the accused hit the window cleanly, the ballistics and trajectory had all been worked out in advance. The rocket would travel down Main Street in a parabolic arc, pass just over the small hill, and land in the immediate vicinity of the ragged pit. If the rocket landed farther than 25 feet from the pit, the accused was again set free and the aggrieved party charged with replacing the window. If the accused was struck by the incoming round (something that happened more often than you would think) he was declared guilty and his estate posthumously charged for all repairs. And if the missile landed within 25 feet of the accused without hitting him, a mistrial was declared and the process repeated indefinitely until a final decision could be reached.
In either case, the guilty party was responsible for all costs and repairs and the results were declared to be an act of God. This process cut down on lawyer’s fees and significantly reduced overcrowding of the local court docket.
(I don’t explain them… I just write them down.)