Judge: Your crime was getting caught.
Defendant: Don’t rub it in.
Judge: Where did you go to school?
Defendant: I mitched.
Judge: What was the name of the school you should have attended?
Defendant: I don’t know.
Judge: You don’t know much. If you went to school you might have learned how to get away with it.
Defendant: I’m going to university.
Judge: What university?
Defendant: Jail. It’s a university of crime.
Judge: So they say. I have no option but to put you down for a stretch. Three months.
Defendant: I’ll do it on me ear.
Judge: You can have another three months for your other ear. Six months.
Defendant: I can add.
Judge: You can subtract. People’s possessions.
Defendant: If you can’t do the time don’t do the crime.
Judge: I don’t want to see you up before me again.
Defendant: What time do you get up?
Judge: At the crack of dawn.
Defendant: Sure I’m only going to bed then.
Judge: We appear to be talking at cross purposes. Are you married?
Defendant: To my wife. I made an honest woman of her.
Judge: What was she before?
Defendant: A shoplifter.
Judge: Did she get away with it?
Defendant: Mostly. She stole our wedding ring.
Judge: Is it gold?
Defendant: Unless someone’s lying. It’s in the pawnshop. She will go bail for me. She said she’d swing for me.
Judge: How much is the ring worth?
Defendant: More than she paid for it.
Judge: I set bail at a hundred pounds.
Defendant: Will you take a cheque?
Judge: Will it bounce?
Defendant: It’s not a ball.
Judge: Cash only. Please don’t ask for credit because a refusal often offends.
Defendant: Here’s a hundred, and there’s something there for yourself as well. Get yourself a pint.
Judge: I wish we had more like you. If there were no criminals I’d be out of a job.
Defendant: I do my best.
Judge: Your best is your worst. But who am I to talk?
Defendant: Then shut up.
Judge: Good advice. You may go now, but don’t do it again.
Defendant: I’ll try not to get caught.
Judge: Case dismissed. Next burglar, please.
Man: I am a bugler, not a burglar. There must have been some mistake.
Judge: I declare an adjournment. I have a pint to drink.
Court Clerk: All stand.
Judge: Toodleoo. (To journalists) Did you get all that down? I think my speech from the dock was particularly moving.
Journalist: That was the defendant.
Judge: Bless my soul! So it was. I must be losing my marbles. Don’t quote me on that.
Journalist: Certainly not. We don’t want to undermine the system.
Judge: That’s all right then. I look forward to seeing myself in print. Now, I am called to the bar, if you will excuse me. I hobnob with the hoi polloi from time to time, it goes with the job.
Exit Judge, muttering to himself.
18th March, 2016