REFLECTIONS: Courtroom colloquies are so good, it’s a crime

I was awakened this morning around 3 a.m.

This is not unusual … particularly when you have a pup in the house that can think of only three things: food … potty stops … and gee, dad, what can I chew next?

Yep … Elsa was part of it … but in all honesty, she was petrified: because Indra, Zeus, Perun and Thor, the son of Odin, were all having a field day overhead, playing racketball with their lightning bolts and thunder booms.

Elsa was whining and howling … and wife Susan was snoring away … and since it was after midnight, the 50 lb pup was my charge. See, we have this deal going: Susan gets mutt duty from 6 p.m. until midnight … and I take over from midnight until the princess … either one … (that should be good for brownie points!) wakes up.

So Elsa and I trudged downstairs to watch the fireworks kabooming outside. I thought it was awesome. Elsa wasn’t convinced! As her tummy was doing the growling bit … and because I’m such an easy mark… the sucker in me gave in and she got some late night (OK already … early morning) snacks. Elsa approved, devoured them and promptly crawled onto her “nest” and fell asleep, dead to the world.

Me?

Since I was wide awake and couldn’t sleep, I decided I’d paw through a bundle of “stuff” I uncovered when cleaning out the den in mother’s home in Traverse City.

Besides … I needed a column for this week … and was busy scrounging around for anything that looked suitable … and more important, appropriate!

And I hit a jackpot … and in the weirdest place: the Journal of the San Juan Islands of Jan. 11, 1989.

Under the title of “Courtroom Colloquies,” it told about some humorous legal proceedings as recorded by America’s keepers of the word: The National Shorthand Reporters Association.

So folks, court’s now in session … and here are some of my favorite “transquips:”

Q: Did you stay all night with this man in New York?

A: I refuse to answer that question.

Q: Did you stay all night with this man in Chicago?

A: I refuse to answer that question.

Q: Did you stay all night with this man in Miami?

A: No.

***

Q: James stood back and shot Tommy Lee?

A: Yes.

Q: And then Tommy Lee pulled out his gun and shot James in the fracus?

A: (after a hesitation) No, sir, just above it.

***

Q: Doctor, did you say he was shot in the woods?

A: No. I said he was shot in the lumbar region.

***

Q: Now, Mrs. Johnson, how was your first marriage terminated?

A: By death.

Q: And by whose death was it terminated?

***

Q: What is your name?

A: Ernestine McDowell.

Q: And what is your marital status?

A: Fair.

***

Q: Are you married?

A: No, I’m divorced.

Q: What did your husband do before you divorced him?

A: A lot of things I don’t know about.

***

Q: Do you know how far pregnant you are right now?

A: I will be three months Nov. 8.

Q: Apparently then, the date of conception was Aug. 8?

A: Yes

Q: What were you and your husband doing at that time?

***

Q: Did he pick the dog up by the ears?

A: No.

Q: What was he doing with the dog’s ears?

A: Tossing them up in the air.

Q: Where was the dog at this time?

A: Attached to the ears.

***

Q: Were you acquainted with the decedent?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Before or after he died?

***

Q: What happened then?

A: He told me, he said “I have to kill you because you can identify me.”

Q: Did he kill you?

A: No.

***

Q: Mr. Jones, is your appearance this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?

A: No. This is how I dress when I go to work.

***

Q: Have you ever been arrested?

A: Yes.

Q: For what?

A: Aggravating a female.

***

Q: When he went, had you gone and had she, if she wanted to and were able, for the time being excluding all the restraints on her not to go also, would he have brought you meaning you and she with him to the station?

A: Mr. Brooks: Objection. That question should be taken out and shot.

***

Q: At the time you first saw Dr. McCarthy, had you ever seen him prior to that time?

***

Q: Did the lady standing in the driveway subsequently identify herself to you?

A: Yes, she did.

Q: Who did she say she was?

A: She said she was the owner of the dog’s wife.

***

Q: Now I’m going to show you what has been marked as State’s Exhibit No. 2 and ask you if you recognize the picture.

A: John Fletcher.

Q: That’s you?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: And you were present when that picture was taken, right?

***

Whew!

And, oh yeah, before someone e-mails me and asks me who Perun is: Perun, in Slavic mythology, is the highest god of the pantheon and the god of thunder and lightning.

And as all Bohemians were brought up knowing Slavic mythology … now you know too!

So there!

If you ever think about crossing me or pulling some nasty trick on me, you’d better think twice! Because if you do, I’ll send Chernobog after you!

And that’s truly one scary fella!

With that happy ending, I’m going back to bed!

Sweet dreams!

 

Jack Batdorff is the chairman of the Pioneer Group. E-mail him at jbatdorff@pioneergroup.com.

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Posted by Jack Batdorff

Jack Batdorff is the chairman of the Pioneer Group. E-mail him at jbatdorff@pioneergroup.com.

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