Apparently the presidential election is over and the Iraq War has ended. Rejoice one and all! OJ is a criminal defendant on cable TV news again!
But a funny thing happened on the way to the docket: All that pre-hearing blather about a battle royale between an over-zealous prosecutor and the famously cocky unconvicted criminal failed to materialize.
Despite kidnapping and armed robbery charges that could potentially land Simpson in jail for life, the D.A and Simpson's attorneys got together and made nice and have nothing but sweet praise for each other. So OJ got bail. Bail that I could make. Bail that I would lend him — but only if he promised to skip out on it.
OJ's gotta take it on the lam again. And this time he has to mean it.
OK — OJ has to turn over his passport, so leaving the county would be a little problematic and that Mexican equivalent of Miami Beach might be a bit out of reach (note to self: check out CNN B Roll footage for video of holes in the fence). But bail is a piddling $12,500 surety bond or $125,000 cash (that I can't spare). The bond is a tiny amount for a man in debt for nearly $38 million to throw away for a shot at his freedom.
I bet there are plenty of places in Wyoming or Montana or even Key West — they're still pretty loopy out there — where he could get lost for a long time, especially if he still has that fake beard, a sack of money and drives a gray Prius into the sunset instead of a white Bronco across the Causeway. I mean, they can't even find Osama and, even compared to OJ, he's a pretty awful dude a lot of people would like to get their hands on.
But this time, there can be no self-defeating cries for attention. No whimpering on Oxycontin in the back of a car threatening to "kill" himself. No hitting the road at high noon in one of the largest media markets in the world at the exact moment he is supposed to surrender. OJ has to to slink away in the dead of night and lay low.
I know, I know. Prison may be better than that hell. But hey — there are serious revenue opportunities for a fugitive so light on walkin' around money that he has hawk the sports equivalent of Hitler memorabilia through shady proxies to supplement a $400,000 NFL pension that alone can't keep him in the style to which he has become accustomed. It's got only tougher since those huge "Naked Gun" residuals have stopped pouring in.
Just spitballing: now that he's just about beat that Mexican rap I bet Dog the Bounty Hunter could be convinced to devote an entire season to tracking OJ down. Every once in a while, during long stakeouts or downtime at the end of another long day, Dog and Mrs. Dog could share a tender moment commiserating about what it's like to be falsely accused, even though they have a job to do.
I bet Simpson's lawyers could negotiate to get a piece of that action in the name of some entity the Goldmans also can't touch. Catch me if you can -- pay me either way.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. While on the run OJ could write a sequel to his memoirs and call it "If You Find Me." He could blog from parts unknown on a Google Ads supported web site. Let's see Fred Goldman hack that.
But, I'm probably just dreaming — unless the singular lack of drama at the hearing was just a smokescreen. There was no swagger and a barely audible voice from The Juice during the 10-minute proceeding. He even repeated himself once when he thought perhaps the "sir" part of a response to the judge might not have been heard. No "absolutely 100 percent not guilty" moment. Just another guy in prison garb and cuffs humbled at the bar.
Attorney Galenter says he won't try his case in the media. That's always nice to hear from a lawyer at a press conference. But there's a glimmer of hope that Galenter is media savvy. He wasn't above making an obscure film reference in court and making sure to refer to it again later while not trying the case in the media to a gaggle of reporters outside the courthouse.
Let's face it: OJ I set the bar very high 14 years ago and nothing since has come close to matching it (sorry Larry, Paris, Britney, Lindsey ...). And for many of the original cast, it was their finest hour.
Lead prosecutor Marcia Clark is now covering this case for ET — kinda one step above Court TV — and touting her incredible access on her site:
MARCIA CLARK is front and center and is sitting 12 feet behind defendant O.J. SIMPSON as he is arraigned this morning in a Las Vegas courtroom, where his girlfriend CHRISTIE PRODY appears to be crying and wiping away her tears.Pundit Greta Van Susteren is reduced to interviewing Kato Kaelin on Fox. Prosecutor Chris Darden is in private practice, and told Oprah a year or so ago that he hadn't even told his young son of his association with the famous criminal case, the better to not tarnish the boy's childhood.
And Johnny Cochran is dead, except on TV ads and at The Cochran Firm, where surviving partners want you to know that "The Tradition Continues."
I'd say the timing couldn't be better for a little OJ diversion. Deliver us from the poseurs, OJ. Carry us through Iowa and The Surge — please.