Mar 20, 2009

Tales from a Tennessee Courtroom

Jake Warner: Auntie, let's have some fun today. Take me back to those days in Tennessee country courtrooms when malapropisms spouted more than Old Faithful.

Auntie Nolo: Well, once, a few months after Silent Cal took over from Warren "Back to Normalcy" Harding, I sat in on a criminal prosecution in which the defendant was accused of biting off a man's ear in a barroom brawl. The defendant's attorney, trying to raise at least a scintilla of doubt in the jury's mind, asked the prosecutor's star witness: "Did you acutally see the defendant bite off Mr. Blackwell's ear?" After thinking for a long minute, the witness finally said, "No."

Jake Warner: I don't get it -- what's so funny about that?

Auntie Nolo: Nothing. But that's when, instead of resting his case, the over-confident defense attorney asked one more question: "Well," he said in a long, drawn-out mocking way, "if you never saw the defendant bite off Mr. Blackwell's ear, what did you see?"

"I saw him spit it out," the witness replied.

Jake Warner: Tasty. But now you've whetted my appetite for more.

Auntie Nolo: Well, there was the time the lawyer was cross-examining a young woman dressed from head to toe in a leather jacket.

Jake Warner: You mean a biker chick?

Auntie Nolo: It would seem so, since in cross examination a lawyer asked her, "Is it true that on May 27th at 9:00 PM you had sex with the defendant on the seat of his Harley Davidson 'Fat Boy'?"

Jake Warner: And what did she say to that?

Auntie Nolo: "What was the time again?"