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City Hall Rumble

posted Apr 16, 2016, 1:24 AM by Viktor Zólyomi   [ updated Apr 16, 2016, 1:24 AM ]
The following article was penned by Jonathan Parker and was originally published in the Con City Times.

A simple exchange of goods in Downtown Con City degenerated into a slugfest leaving dozens critically injured at the City Hall. The transaction in question was the sale of a used car, which, in parts of the world that are not within the borders of Con County, is a simple and quick process. Since both the seller and the buyer were residents in the county, they had to abide by the local laws during the sale. The resulting personal injuries and property damage are deemed by many as mere inconveniences that inevitably accompany used vehicle sales in Con County, albeit the injured people awaiting surgery at the Con City General Hospital may feel otherwise.

The failed transaction was initiated over two years ago, when the seller, Michael Spears, made a verbal agreement with the buyer, William Charleston, about the sale of his four year old neon green Cutler Firebird. As both the seller and the buyer were Greenwell residents, they expected to be able to finalize the paperwork in a span of days within their home town. However, law states that if the buyer and seller do not have the same address, the same surname, and the same first and middle names, the paperwork must be filed at the City Hall in Downtown Con City, in person. Thus began the two year crusade of Mister Spears and Mister Charleston which eventually led them to what locals in Con City are now calling the City Hall Rumble.

According to the accountants involved in the sale of the Firebird, both the buyer and the seller followed legal procedure to the letter. Upon understanding the relevant laws, Mister Spears first submitted a Declaration of Intent to Submit a Declaration of Intent to Sell, on form DS9853, signed and dated in six copies, to the City Hall by post. At the same time, Mister Charleston submitted a Declaration of Intent to Submit a Declaration of Intent to Purchase, on form DS9853A, also signed and dated in six copies, in the same manner. The City Hall responded with a receipt of the Declarations eight weeks later, requesting the seller and buyer to now submit their Declaration of Intent to Sell and Declaration of Intent to Purchase, respectively, in six copies each, and pay the associated fees. That was when the difficulties began.

"The City Hall sat on the Declarations for six months," said Donald Fort, the seller's accountant. "We complained, of course, first by submitting the Declaration of Intent to Submit a Declaration of Intent to Complain, then by submitting the Declaration of Intent to Complain, and finally by submitting the actual Complaint Form, all of it in six hard copies. They wrote back to us that the buyer needs to submit the forms simultaneously with us, which William Charleston did not do, so we had to go through the complaint process a second time."

"It took the fuckers a year to find our paperwork," said Jackson Dewitt, the buyer's accountant. "All the explanation we got for the delay was that if we had wanted to expedite the process we should have sent in the forms with first class stamps on the envelopes. Which we did, by the way."

Fifteen months after the verbal agreement between the buyer and seller, officials finally made an appointment for the signature of the sales contract, to be conducted at the City Hall in Downtown Con City. And while Mister Spears and Mister Charleston hoped they could finally seal the deal, their enthusiasm was quickly curbed by the legal proceedings.

"At the first appointment they had my client put another signature on the Declaration of Intent to Sell in the presence of a city official," explained Donald Fort. "Same thing happened to the seller. Then they sent everyone home and told us to await letters confirming our appointment for the contract negotiation. That didn't go smoothly, either."

When the buyer showed up at the aforementioned appointment two months later, he was greeted with the less than pleasant news that the seller had not shown up. A quick phonecall to Mister Spears revealed that he had not received the appointment notification.

"My client was quick to suggest that the seller should get in a car and drive up from Greenwell right away," Jackson Dewitt said. "To his credit, the man did just that, and was at the city limits in less than two hours. From Greenwell. Says a lot about the engine in that Firebird."

Mister Spears was forced to leave the car in the outskirts of Con City and use the subway system to reach the City Hall, owing to the dense traffic in the streets. When he arrived for the appointment a little over three hours late, he and Mister Charleston still had to wait one more hour for city officials to arrive for the contract negotiation. In the end, the meeting never took place, as Mister Spears was not allowed to attend without the official appointment notification that had, apparently, been lost in the post.

"My client was livid," Donald Fort recounted. "Wanted to set the City Hall on fire. I was able to calm him down. That day."

Another two months went by before the contract negotiation took place, which was a five hour appointment during which a clerk at City Hall wrote the contract for the sale on a laptop, typing with two fingers. When the contract was finished, the clerk informed all those in attendance to return after city officials have checked the contract.

"And that wasn't the end of it, either," said Jackson Dewitt. "They spent two months reading that one page document and had us return for corrections, twice, and both times they just changed the wording of a sentence. The second time my client noted several typing errors in the document, but I advised him against pointing them out if he wanted to own the Firebird in his lifetime."

Mister Charleston did not regret heeding his accountant's advice as city officials approved the contract and scheduled the contract signing. Several months after the contract negotiation everyone gathered at the City Hall one last time to sign the document and complete the purchase. There was only one problem.

"My client and the buyer signed the contract and shook hands with the happiest smiles I had ever seen," Donald Fort said about the day of the City Hall Rumble. "Then the Mayor's secretary walked in. She told us that since more than two calendar years had elapsed since the signature on the Declaration of Intent to Submit a Declaration of Intent to Sell, the sales contract was invalid and we had to start the process from the very beginning. This was exactly two days and two years after the date on the aforementioned Declaration. My client didn't take the news well."

Miss Harriet Block, the Mayor's secretary, was the first of many clerks at the City Hall to suffer life threatening injuries at the hands of Michael Spears. The dissatisfied seller took hold of Miss Block and powerbombed her onto the parlor table. The massive oak table did not collapse, but when the buyer joined in on the action and assisted Mister Spears in powerbombing the clerk who had witnessed the contract signing, the table gave in. The pair then picked up chairs and proceeded to smash up the office, and ran through the building to let off as much steam as possible on as many city officials as possible.

"They were of course looking for the Mayor," Jackson Dewitt said. "The guy was lucky he was at a ceremony on the other side of the city. The rest of the employees weren't that fortunate."

Michael Spears and William Charleston went through the City Hall in an epic rampage that left dozens of offices fit for demolition and over forty employees hospitalized with various injuries. Their accountants did not try to stop them, albeit it is questionable that the accountants could have achieved anything other than putting themselves in harm's way.

The property damage to the building includes broken windows, shattered furniture, dismantled filing cabinets, and also smoke damage to the walls and fire damage to the carpet. The latter applied to the Mayor's office where Mister Spears and Mister Charleston built a fire and fueled it with wine and brandy found in the Mayor's liquor cabinet. They even took the time to build a life size paper doll resembling the Mayor out of various documents in his desk drawer and burned it in effigy.

The total damage is estimated at approximately one hundred million dollars, not including the bribes government officials will take for expediting the paperwork of the renovation process. Lawson & Lawson, the company which had insured the building, stated that the policy did not cover any destruction caused by vandalism and therefore the City Hall would not be able to make a claim. The company is however more than happy to amend the insurance policy in case such things happen again in the future.

The carnage lasted over four hours and ended when the Con City Police Department showed up at the City Hall and gunned down the two men. They are currently being treated at the Intensive Care at Con City General, one floor below the army of recovering City Hall officials. For this reason, doctors do not expect that either Mister Spears or Mister Charleston will make it out of the hospital alive.