Gut Rumbles

October 28, 2006

People's court

Originally published October 31, 2002

I found a post on SAMIZDATA that almost cured all my sinus problems by causing a full swallow of white zinfandel to come out of my nose. The following is actual courtroom testimony in the trial of a man accused of stealing 40,000 coathangers from hotel closets.

Counsel: What is your name?

Chrysler: Chrysler. Arnold Chrysler.

Counsel: Is that your own name?

Chrysler: Whose name do you think it is?

Counsel: I am just asking if it is your name.

Chrysler: And I have just told you it is. Why do you doubt it?

Counsel: It is not unknown for people to give a false name in court.

Chrysler: Which court?

Counsel: This court.

Chrysler: What is the name of this court?

Counsel: This is No 5 Court.

Chrysler: No, that is the number of this court. What is the name of this court?

Counsel: It is quite immaterial what the name of this court is!

Chrysler: Then perhaps it is immaterial if Chrysler is really my name.

Counsel: No, not really, you see because...

Judge: Mr Lovelace?

Counsel: Yes, m'lud?

Judge: I think Mr Chrysler is running rings round you already. I would try a new line of attack if I were you.

Counsel: Thank you, m'lud.

Chrysler: And thank you from ME, m'lud. It's nice to be appreciated.

Judge: Shut up, witness.

Chrysler: Willingly, m'lud. It is a pleasure to be told to shut up by you. For you, I would...

Judge: Shut up, witness. Carry on, Mr Lovelace.

Counsel: Now, Mr Chrysler, for let us assume that that is your name, you are accused of purloining in excess of 40,000 hotel coat hangers.

Chrysler: I am.

Counsel: Can you explain how this came about?

Chrysler: Yes. I had 40,000 coats which I needed to hang up.

Counsel: Is that true?

Chrysler: No.

Counsel: Then why did you say it?

Chrysler: To attempt to throw you off balance.

Counsel: Off balance?

Chrysler: Certainly. As you know, all barristers seek to undermine the confidence of any hostile witness, or defendant. Therefore it must be equally open to the witness, or defendant, to try to shake the confidence of a hostile barrister.

Counsel: On the contrary, you are not here to indulge in cut and thrust with me. You are only here to answer my questions.

Chrysler: Was that a question?

Counsel: No.

Chrysler: Then I can't answer it.

Judge: Come on, Mr Lovelace! I think you are still being given the run-around here. You can do better than that. At least, for the sake of the English bar, I hope you can.

Counsel: Yes, m'lud. Now, Mr Chrysler, perhaps you will describe what reason you had to steal 40,000 coat hangers?

Chrysler: Is that a question?

Counsel: Yes.

Chrysler: It doesn't sound like one. It sounds like a proposition which doesn't believe in itself. You know, "Perhaps I will describe the reason I had to steal 40,000 coat hangers... Perhaps I won't... Perhaps I'll sing a little song instead..."

Judge: In fairness to Mr Lovelace, Mr Chrysler, I should remind you that barristers have an innate reluctance to frame a question as a question. Where you and I would say,"Where were you on Tuesday?", they are more likely to say, "Perhaps you could now inform the court of your precise whereabouts on the day after that Monday?". It isn't, strictly, a question, and it is not graceful English but you must pretend that it is a question and then answer it, otherwise we will be here for ever. Do you understand?

Chrysler: Yes, m'lud.

Judge: Carry on, Mr Lovelace.

Counsel: Mr Chrysler, why did you steal 40,000 hotel coat hangers, knowing as you must have that hotel coat hangers are designed to be useless outside hotel wardrobes?

Chrysler: Because I build and sell wardrobes which are specially designed to take nothing but hotel coat hangers.

I thought that was a parody lifted from The Onion but it's TRUE. I hope Mr. Chrysler beats the rap.


Very funny

Posted by: Mickey Kaye on October 28, 2006 06:27 PM

Does anyone have the link to the rest of this? I'd love to read it.

Posted by: Michael on October 30, 2006 01:17 PM

Hi Mike...

I did try to find it and the site it came from does let you go back that far in their archives, BUT... I checked the date of the post and a few prior and after that and couldn't find this exact story, plus, since it's from so long ago, they wanna charge you for it.
They give you the headlines, but to get the full story, you'd have to pay 'em.

(Can ya tell I was wantin' to read the rest, too? *grin*)

What I'll do is, go back to Rob's original post and get you the "live" link to the site it came from.
And, if you can find, I'd still love the read the rest of it, too.

Be back w/the link shortly....

Posted by: Stevie on October 30, 2006 06:42 PM

it is... I hope.
(I never could get a link to work in these comments before. That's why I also gave ya the non-link URL for it.)

Posted by: Stevie on October 30, 2006 06:56 PM

Yay! It WORKS!
*clapping excitedly*

Posted by: Stevie on October 30, 2006 07:15 PM

Thanks for the help Stevie. I did find the article and the follow up article that leads to the next day. I just searched for "Arnold Chrysler" in the archives and it came up. I also googled the name and it came up in quite a few sites. Thanks! It's really funny.

Posted by: Michael on October 31, 2006 11:51 AM
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