This is The Question I Never Asked, and it haunts me.
Posed as a question, it would have been an opportunity to make a point without risk of wearing an orange jumpsuit.
Your Honor, Would I Be Held in Contempt of Court if I…
I live in a small, bucolic town with a 2010 census of 708 residents. We get together to mingle on a regular basis. Our meetings most often occur in Municipal Court, and involve dispute of traffic tickets.
With a small jury pool and many
hard-core criminals lead-footed drivers who don’t know where The Police typically park, it’s difficult to miss these Good Citizen opportunities. Besides, I often want to serve.
“Tea? Crumpets? Tums? Bottle of wine? With or without a straw?”
During voir dire, defendant’s attorney, hereinafter referred to as Pompous @$$, droned ad nauseam about the assumption of innocence until proven guilty.
This, before he’d presented a shred of evidence. This, before six
hapless happy, model citizens were selected from the entire population of our small town those who didn’t get a note from their doctor responded to the summons.
This, before, during, and after numb bum syndrome caused me to wish I’d brought a seat cushion. Whoopi!
Striding with hands behind back, Pompous @$$ spun on his well-polished heel, scanned to be certain we were awake, and asked…(paraphrasing here)
“If you were asked to render a judgment at this moment, RIGHT NOW(!!!!), how would you have to find the defendant?”
Erm. Stupid for paying you to represent him?
[NOTE TO MODEL CITIZEN IN THE FRONT ROW WHO IS FAR TOO BUSY TO SERVE: Shouting “Guilty!” each time the question is posed makes it a wee bit obvious. Twice would have done it. Twenty times? Overkill. Just an opinion.]
Since I may refer to the individual identified in that parenthetical comment again, and since I want to use the word hereinafter again, I choose to give her a pseudonym.
MODEL CITIZEN IN THE FRONT ROW WHO IS FAR TOO BUSY TO SERVE. Choosing, at random…
Letting the Lotto balls pop into place. We have…
1, 6, 31, 32, 33 and 34.
The Model Citizen in the Front Row who is far too busy to serve will hereinafter be referred to as McFart.
The fact that McFart had the opportunity to shout “Guilty(!)” twenty times speaks to (1) how fond Pompous @$$ was of his own voice, or (2) his desire to one day argue Constitutional Rights in front of the U.S Supreme Court.
Either way, he was delusional.
And, a pain in my numb bum. And, cocky. And, weasel-like in appearance. And, spittle-prone. And, possibly a
scumbag struggling attorney with a payment due on his Mercedes, rendering him in need of useless blather billable hours for court time
All that aside, I would have served.
Fast-acting colonoscopy prep medication.
For McFart? The aforementioned Whoopi Cushion.
So, here is The Question I Never Asked with imagined results:
Hand in air me: Your Honor, would I be held in contempt of court if I said I am unable to render a fair and impartial verdict because the defendant’s attorney, Pompous @$$, is a time suck, and does not deserve to win this or any other case?
His Honor: Yes. And, please refrain from using suck and @$$ in this courtroom.
Hand in lap me: OK. Never mind, then. Suck @$$ question withdrawn.
SEGUE TO LOO-BRARY SNARK
[This Segue Sentence Space, hereinafter referred to as $$$, intentionally left blank. Why? Because I can
not think of something to put in $$$]
There is a reason I spend more time in my Loo-brary after I receive the monthly Reader’s Digest. I’m working in there.
It’s not all piddle-fart and you know time. Brushing my teeth, people! Decorating my face.
Staid and proper young women do not discuss you know.
Unfortunately, I am none of those.
During these extended Loo-Brary visits, I conduct research for my glob.
I have a Ziploc baggie *somewhere* labeled Blog Fodder. It contains pages torn from Reader’s Digest. All of those pages contain snippets of
nonsense intellectual data.
[*When one, hereinafter referred to as Ditz, has her home on the market, showings yield an opportunity for Ditz to
freak out find creative places to store anything left on her desk. Ditz’s home is currently its own lost & not-yet-found department.]
I recently discovered a book on the shelves in The Hubster’s Study that negates the need to rip pages from Readers Digest. The title of this awe-snarky-some tome?
DISORDER IN THE COURT, Great Fractured Moments in Courtroom History (Charles M. Sevilla, and Illustrated by Lee Lorenz). Click on the book title if you want to own a copy of this book. BONUS and ACK! There are other compilations by this same author and I did not plan to take my pal, Pay, for a ride to The Amazon today.
The forward alone is worth the price of this book. Charles Sevilla (I just read) has written a humor column titled Great Moments in Courtroom History for over twelve years for the Forum and Champion. The snippets contained in his collection are true stories collected by reading courtroom transcripts, and through submissions from his fans.
Charles Sevilla kindly provides an asterisk for those excerpts that are suggestive, raunchy, or naughty. That’s a big time saver for me. Thanks, Charles.
Following is one I howled over whilst doing Loo-Brary Research. From Disorder in the Court:
SLIP OF THE TONGUE
(Submitted by David Call, San Bernadino)
Mr. B: I object to that
Mrs. T: This is my argument.
Mr. B: I have to object to this. This is a misstatement of the law. I won’t interrupt any more other than to ask for an opportunity to tell you what I believe is correct.
Mrs. T: Your Honor, I sat on my tongue until it’s three inches longer during Mr. B.’s argument; and I am going to sit on his tongue in a minute if the court will allow me to do so. Well, no. I retract that statement. Strike that.
Mr. B: I hope no one provides a transcript of that to my wife.
PROSPECTIVE COMMENTER VOIR DIRE
Is it just me, or did that true courtroom mishap make you laugh-out-loud?
Do you have your own tales about jury duty? Did you ever serve on a jury? What happens if you’re on a jury and have to tinkle between recesses? These are all important questions, worthy of a thought-provoking comment.
You know how much I love to play in comments. I’ll be in my Loo-brary making Whoopi Cushion noises while I wait.
YIKES! I retract that statement. Move to strike from the transcript. And, buy this book. You, too, will skip to the Loo.
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: The More Cowbell (now in my possession) adventures have begun. Next week? The first of several More Cowbell Chronicles. Jenny Hansen’s More Cowbell is clanging belles and balls in Texas. BONUS! Jenny has potty humor up today. Click that link to read, laugh, and comment. Me? I’ll comment first, then steal her picture for this post.