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.

Exeunt omnes.

(Exit all)

Tich Ennis

18th March, 2016