Most language is spoken language, and most words once they are uttered, vanish forever into the air. But such is not the case with language spoken during courtroom trials, for there exists an army of court reporters whose job it is to take down and preserve every statement made during the proceedings. Court is now in session, and here are my favorite transquips, all recorded by America's keepers of the word: Q: What is your brother-in-law's name? A: Borofkin Q: What is his first name? A: I can't remember. Q: He's been your brother-in-law for 45 years, and you can't remember his first name? A: No. I tell you I'm too excited. (Rising from the witness chair and pointing to Mr. Borofkin). Nathan, for God's sake, tell them your first name! 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 ever 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 fracas? 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 lumber 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 Mc Dowell. Q: What is your marrital status? A: Fair. Q: Are you married? A: No, I'm divorced. Q: What did yuour husband do before you divorced him? A: A lot of things that I didn't know about. Q: And who is this person you are speaking of? A: My ex-widow said it. Q: How did you happen to go to Dr. Cheney? A: Well, a gal down by the road had had several of her children by Dr. Cheney and said he was really good. 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? A: Yes. Q: What were you and your husband doing at that time? Q: Mrs. Smith, you do believe that you are emotionally unstable? A: I used to be. Q: How many times have you committed suicide? A: Four times. Q: Did he pick the dog up by the ears? A: No. 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 autoppsies have been on dead people. Q: Were you acquainted with the decedent? A: Yes, sir. Q: Before or after he died? Q: Officer, what led you to believe the defendant was under the influence? A: Because he was argumentary, and he couldn't pronunciate his words. 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? A: No. 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: Have you ever been arrested? A: Yes. Q: What for? A: Aggrivating a female. 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. Judge: Well, gentlemen of the jury, are you unanimous? Foreman: Yes, your Honor, we're all alike -- temporarily insane. THE COURT. Now, as we begin, I must ask you to banish all present information and prejudice from your mind if you have any. 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. Mc Carty, had you ever seen him prior to that time? JUDGE: I rarely do so, but for whatever purpose it may serve, I will indicate for the record that I approached this case with a completely open mind. Q: Did the lady standing 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: I understand you're Bernie Davis's mother. A: Yes. Q: How long have you known him? Q: Now, I'm going to show you what has been marked as State's Exhibit No. 2 and ask if you recognize the picture? A: John Fletecher. Q: That's you? A: Yes, sir. Q: And you were present when the picture was taken, right? Q: As a officer of the Dodge City Police Department, did you stop an automobile bearing Kansas license plates SCR446? A: Yes, sir. Q: Was the vehicle occupied at the time? Q: Please state the location of your right foot immediately prior to impact. A: Immediately before the impact, my right foot was located at the immediate end of my right leg. Q: Have you ever beaten your wife? A: No. I might slap her around a little, but I never beat her. Q: Just what did you do to prevent the accident? A: I closed my eyes and screamed as loud as I could. Q: What can you tell us about the truthfulness and veracity of this defendant? A: Oh, she'll tell you the truth. She said she was going to kill the son of a gun -- and she did. Q: And another reason that you didn't want to go out there was because you feared for your life? A: Yes, I did. Q: Why? A: That's a rowdy neighborhood, and there are very, very bad persons that will do bodily harm and seriously kill someone. Q: Where were you on the bike at the time? A: On the seat. Q: I meant where is the street. Before we recess, let's listen in on one last exchange involving a child: Q: And lastly, Gary, all your responses must be oral, O.K.? A: Oral. Q: How old are you? A: Oral.
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Note: This is one of many funny texts and jokes that were emailed to me, and collected over many years. Without exception, they had come through a large chain of people, and were each completely untraceable. Because of this, I have taken them to be public property, and shared them with you on this site.