A Texas lawyer appeared before a judge as a cute kitten in the latest episode of Coronavirus-related Zoom gaffes. Unable to remove the filter, he gifted us with one of the funniest moments of the last few weeks.
Rod Ponton showed up to a hearing in Presidio County, southwest Texas, looking like a cat. As he and his assistant struggled with Zoom filters, he uttered a hilarious "I'm not a cat."
Tricked By A Filter
Despite the cat filter, Ponton's distress showed. On the screen, a wide-eyed kitten stared around quickly, mumbling in confusion.
Judge Roy Ferguson of Texas's 394th judicial was surprised to face a feline lawyer. He told Ponton:
"I believe you have a filter turned on in the video settings. You might want to …"
Interrupting the judge, the kitten/Ponton asked:
"Can you hear me, judge?"
Without a blink, Ferguson replied:
"I can hear you. I think it's a filter …"
The lawyer, gathering his courage, went on:
"It is, and I don't know how to remove it. I've got my assistant here, she's trying to, but I'm prepared to go forward with it … I'm here live. I'm not a cat."
To this, the judge closed with a flat:
"I can see that."
The hearing they joined was about a case of contraband. In the court session, Ponton represented the State of Texas.
Just One Of Many Zoom Accidents
Through the pandemic, we got used to Zoom-related embarrassing episodes. Some were much more awkward than this one, even leading to people being fired.
That is the case of journalist Jeffrey Toobin, suspended as he allegedly masturbated during a live call. A New Jersey school board member had to leave after broadcasting herself on the toilet by mistake.
Other episodes involved something in the background, for example, a pink penis sculpture on a bookshelf or family members walking around in the nude. In perspective, it makes you reevaluate being a cat.
A Chance To Laugh It Off
Although mortified, Ponton could see the positive side of his mishap. Talking to the New York Times, he stated:
"If I can make the country chuckle for a moment in these difficult times they're going through, I'm happy to let them do that at my expense."
On the other hand, Judge Ferguson shared a wise lesson we can all learn from:
"If a child used your computer, before you join a virtual hearing check the 'Zoom video options' to be sure filters are off,"
All in all, he also took it well and appreciated the professionalism of his colleagues. He wrote:
"These fun moments are a byproduct of the legal profession's dedication to ensuring that the justice system continues to function in these tough times. Everyone involved handled it with dignity, and the filtered lawyer showed incredible grace. True professionalism all around!"
Luckily, all is well and no one lost their job this time. If anything, thousands of people owe Ponton one for the best laugh of the day.