WORLD CLASS S.Q’s
By: Peter V. MacDonald
Stupid Questions, that is
The following was supplied through the office of the Court Reporter’s and
as a poke at the good old-fashioned hilarity I have included some it for
“Was that the same nose you broke as a child?” A lawyer, who shall for
humanitarian reasons remain anonymous, actually sprang that question on a
witness during a real-life trial.
Most folk I suspect, would heap scorn and ridicule on the perpetrator of
such a question. Not yours truly, however. To me, the foregoing specimen is
a thing of beauty and a joy forever, entitling both author and composition
to be enshrined, without further ado, in my world-renowned Hall of Shame.
That’s where truly big-league Stupid Questions are preserved for posterity.
It’s considered a great honor to be inducted into the Hall, and there’s a
long line of aspiring lawyers rapping on its portals, anxious to
demonstrate that they can pop S.Q.’s with the best of them.
You wouldn’t believe some of the things that spew out of lawyers’ mouths in
the heat of battle – or the throes of boredom. Such court-room situations
can cause such a barrier to switch off his/her brain for a jiffy, often
with hilarious results. Let’s sift through some of the evidence from the
Hall of Shame…
“Now, Doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, in most
cases he just passes quietly away and doesn’t know anything about it until
the next morning?”
“Was it you or your brother that was killed in the war?”
Q. Were you acquainted with the deceased?
Q. Before or after he died?
“And you are how old a woman, sir?”
“The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?”
“How long have you known your brother?”
“Were you alone or by yourself?”
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?
“Do you have any children or anything of the kind?”
Q. I show you Exhibit 3 and ask if you recognize that picture.
A. That’s me.
Q. Were you present when that picture was taken?
“Were you present in court this morning when you were sworn in?”
Now, before you leap to the conclusion that all lawyers are blithering
idiots, a few words in defense are urgently required – and gladly given.
I’m a lawyer myself, and I’ll love you know that the kind of linguistic
mayhem recorded here is usually the result of battle fatigue or thinking
ahead to the next question, or both. But, I’m glad it happens from time-to-
time, because it stirs up laughter, which is very good indeed for body and
soul. So let’s do some more eavesdropping.
Q. Mrs. Jones, do you believe that you are emotionally stable?
A. I used to be.
Q. How many times have you committed suicide?
Q. And what did he do then?
A. He came home, and the next morning he was dead.
Q. So when he woke up the next morning he was dead?
(The above material appeared in the February 1992 issue of The Pentecostal
Christian Information Network