You are here
This column is a pigment of my imagination
Lawyer: “Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?”
That is a real question asked by a real lawyer in a real American courtroom. So says Charles M Sevilla, who wrote Disorder in the Courts: Great Fractured Moments in Courtroom History. His anecdotes have been copied and circulated online everywhere and friends are always sending me these real-life jokes because they know I love nonsense.
Sevilla developed an eye and ear for the ludicrous to get him through his legal education and practice, because the law can be as exciting as the study of dirt. His cockeyed interest developed into magazine columns about the howlers in the halls of justice and the columns were appropriately gathered into two funny collections.
But as much as I respect a fellow discombobulator, this guy is an amateur of the absurd. He hasn’t heard a thing until he consults my rogue archive of true exchanges in real courts in T&T. I am making up none of this. What you are about to read is all true, true, true.
Proceed at your own risk of splitting the seams of your pants and spurting your morning cup of tea through your nose.
Lawyer: “Did you check for fever?”
Doctor: “You trying to insult me now? You asking me if I take the temperature of a dead man?”
Lawyer: “How were you able to see the man?”
Witness: “Because I have two eyes in my head.”
Lawyer: “Are you able to continue? Look, you sleeping on yourself.”
Witness: “You doh worry about me. Ask your question.”
Lawyer: “You said there was faeces on the body. Is there an explanation for that?”
Doctor: “The explanation is that the body came in contact with faeces.”
Lawyer: “You ever did recitation in school?”Witness: “Yes.”Lawyer: “You know what recitation is?”Witness: “Er, er, like mouth to mouth?”
Lawyer: “I am putting to you that you are mistaken.”Witness: “You cyar put nutten to me, you wasn’t dey.”
Lawyer: “I put to you your evidence is a pigment of your imagination.”Judge: “A what?”Lawyer: “A pigment, My Lord.”
Lawyer: “How tall are you?”Defendant: “I never measure.”
Lawyer to witness: “Mrs Ramdeen, er…may I call you Debbie?”Judge: “No!”
Lawyer: “My Lord, please instruct the witness to answer the question. He is oscillating.”Judge: “Only fans do that. I think you mean vacillating.”
Defendant: “I had to sleep standing up whole night.”Judge: “I thought only horses did that.”
Lawyer: “You’re a sweet man?”Witness: “Well, my perspiration not too strong.”
Police prosecutor Sgt John Constable (name changed to protect the poor fella from fatigue from his colleagues: “Ma’am, I am not ready in this matter. Put it to next week, please.”Magistrate: “I thought my name was Mary Jones, not Mrs Constable.”
Judge: “Madam, you knew you were coming to court today? I don’t want to see your belly.”
Woman, in midriff top: “Whey she say?”Judge: “You have a hearing problem?
One reason Sevilla’s collections were so successful is that readers would send him their own favourite anecdotes. Send yours to [email protected]
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.