Anguished English: An Anthology of Accidental Assaults Upon Our Language by Richard Lederer, ©1987.
The book contains loads of hilarious things people have actually said and written. My son, who did NOT inherit my avid-reader gene, has been cracking us all up by reading sections of the book aloud. The following Q & A’s were taken from actual courtroom transquips. So, in honor of my recent stint as a juror, I give you…
Disorder in the Court!
Q. James stood back and shot Tommy Lee?
Q. And then Tommy Lee pulled out his gun and shot James in the fracas?
A. (After a hesitation) No sir, just above it.
Q. What is your name?
A. Ernestine McDowell.
Q. And what is your marital status?
Q. Are you married?
A. No, I’m divorced.
Q. What did your husband do before you divorced him?
A. A lot of things that I didn’t know about.
Q. Do you know how far pregnant you are right now?
A. I will be three months November 8th.
Q. Apparently then, the date of conception was August 8th?
Q. What were you and your husband doing at that time?
Q. Did he pick the dog up by the ears?
Q. What was he doing with the dog’s ears?
A. Picking them up in the air.
Q. Where was the dog at the time?
A. Attached to the ears.
Q. Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people?
A. All my autopsies have been on dead people.
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 says, “I have to kill you because you can identify me.”
Q. Did he kill you?
Q. Mrs. 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. You say you’re innocent, yet five people swore they saw you steal a watch.
A. Your Honor, I can produce 500 people who didn’t see me steal it.
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. Please state the location of your right foot immediately prior to impact.
A. Immediately before impact, my right foot was located at the immediate end of my right leg.
Q. Just what did you do to prevent the accident?
A. I closed my eyes and screamed as loud as I could.
Before we recess, let’s listen in on one last exchange involving a child:
Q. And lastly, Gary, all your responses must be oral.
Q. How old are you?
Click the title to purchase your own copy of Anguished English. For more of author Richard Lederer’s work visit Amazon.com or his Facebook Fan page.
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