Stenographic apathy


Let us take a break momentarily from issues that make us frown with disbelief about the words and deeds of a politician, like Vice President Jejomar Binay, on his desperate quest for the presidency, and a nation like China, on its alarming quest for hegemony in the South China Sea, and enjoy instead these excerpts of cross-examinations in court, as recorded by stenographers, that will surely generate a smile or a hearty laugh. Keeping a straight face and devoid of emotion, when others must be suppressing already a guffaw, if only they were outside the court room, is a big wonder! Their stenographic apathy deserves admiration.

How do court stenographers keep a straight face?

These are from a book called “Disorder in the Court” and are things
people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and published
by court reporters who had the torment of staying calm while the
exchanges were taking place.


ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.

ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No, I just lie there.

ATTORNEY: What is your date of birth?
WITNESS: July 18th.
ATTORNEY: What year?
WITNESS: Every year.

ATTORNEY: How old is your son, the one living with you?
WITNESS: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can’t remember which.
ATTORNEY: How long has he lived with you?
WITNESS: Forty-five years.


ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his
sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?
ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: He’s 20, very close to your IQ.

ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS: Are you shitting me?


ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?
WITNESS: Getting laid

ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Your Honor, I need a different attorney. Can I get a
new attorney?

ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death.
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS: Take a guess.

ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard.
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I’m going with male.

ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant
to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.

ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you
performed on dead people?
WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.


ATTORNEY: ALL of your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school
did you attend?

ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 PM.
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.

ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question?

ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you
check for a pulse?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you
began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive,
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and
practising law.

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