A Great Line

From an opinion by the Supreme Court of Wyoming, describing a drunken party that led to a fight (with the great sentence in bold):

On June 12, 1996, at about 10:00 or 11:00 a.m., Duckett went to the home of Mary Carlson bearing his guitar and a 12-pack of beer. Duckett, Carlson, and her boyfriend, Mylo Hetler, spent the day drinking while Duckett and Carlson played music together. At some point, Duckett and Carlson decided to tape the music on Carlson’s daughter’s karoake machine. After a short break early in the evening, Duckett returned to Carlson’s home with his wife. Carlson’s neighbor, Sonny Zentner, and another friend, Rodney Miears, joined them. All continued drinking, while Duckett and Carlson continued to “jam” in the garage.

As time went on, the comradery deteriorated in conjunction with the sobriety of the participants. Eventually, Carlson and Duckett argued about their respective talents, which culminated in Carlson’s order that the Ducketts leave the premises. Duckett and his wife left, but moments later returned in order to retrieve the musical tape so that no one could steal Duckett’s uncopyrighted original material.

It is undisputed that after Duckett and his wife returned to the garage, Carlson and Duckett’s wife engaged in a physical altercation . . .

People v. Duckett, 966 P.2d 941 (Wyo. 1998) (Taylor, J.).

What an effective sentence. It’s very short, and yet it paints a colorful picture. It also provides a sharp transition from the first paragraph describing the party to the next paragraph describing what led to the fight. I also liked the deadpan reference to the reason why the Ducketts returned. It strikes a vaguely amused but nonetheless serious tone that’s engaging to read.

(Oh, and I recognize that some think “comradery” should be spelled as “camaraderie” – more on that debate here — but I like the sentence either way.)