Ripping Yarns
How to satisfy your lover
Court ProceedingsCourt Proceedings
By our man who is no stranger to having his collar felt, Clive Washington

An everyday bloke has a brush with the long arm of the Law and discovers that serving his Queen and country is not quite as rewarding as he imagined.
How to satisfy your lover

I received an official-looking, beige letter last week from Her Majesty which caused me to choke on the sliver of buttered toast that was halfway to my open mouth.

My heart missed several more beats as I glimpsed the words 'Court Proceedings' at the top of the window on the envelope. Clearly, the long arm of the Law had finally caught up with me over the various parking tickets I'd torn up over the years—oops—I mean, the dog had accidentally eaten.

On opening up the envelope, it quickly became apparent that it was indeed me they were after. But my anxiety turned to elation as I realised that I would not be in the dock this time; I would be in the jury—outstanding!

Suddenly my mind was awash with visions of the courtroom drama about to unfold. I’d be sitting with the other members of the jury, maybe sporting a monocle with a pipe hanging impressively from my tight-lipped mouth, while I debated our verdict with commanding rhetoric.

Oh, I could see it all now. Heads would swivel in appreciative attention as I shouted: "Take that man down!" in stentorian tones. "We the jury find the defendant guilty of all charges—now hang the bastard!" Obviously I would have to adopt a deeper and more assertive voice when I browbeat the sentimental library assistant into submission for having the temerity to suggest that I was not the best man to be the foreman of the jury. "You can't handle the truth!" I would shout at her, screwing my monocle more deeply into place to reinforce my authority.
I was beside myself with excitement. Although many hours would have to be spent in front of the mirror rubbing my beard in order to look slightly more intelligent than a football hooligan.

So, I read through the paperwork. I started with the booklet which explained what could be claimed back for my expenses. The fees seemed very reasonable. They even included the price of a taxi to court. And quite right too. Surely they didn't expect me to walk to the bus stop? Not me. Not the foreman of the jury on a high profile, political scandal involving several call-girls, various restraining devices and a Cabinet minister who was no stranger to hanging around the public toilets on Hampstead Heath at two-o-clock in the morning.

I mean, ruthless asylum-seekers with striped tea-towels on their heads might want to take pot shots at me from the rooftop of the courthouse. Or mysterious men in black with suspicious bulges under their left armpits would try and bribe me on the way to court. No—a taxi would be the only option.

I wasn't quite so impressed with the other expenses Her Majesty was offering me. One could, apparently, get more if the case dragged on for several weeks and needed to be put up in an hotel, but I didn't notice a clause headed 'Hotel Mini-Bar.' That was a serious omission. I made a mental note to keep the mini-bar receipt anyway.

Naturally, I rang around and told everyone of my impending good fortune. I even buttonholed complete strangers in the pub and waxed lyrical about the opportunities for fame and celebrity the British Legal system offered the man in the street. I mean, forget Big Brother or Celebrity Love Island. Who wants to go through all that grief and humiliation for fifteen minutes of fame? Jury service was an altogether more up market and reliable fast-track ticket to Celebrity Easy Street.
With hindsight, broadcasting this news was perhaps not the most sensible thing I've ever done.

Whilst everyone was excited by my imminent elevation to fame and fortune, they kept asking me: 'Are you sure they will let you do it?'
The contemplation of this question caused quite a lot of beard rubbing I can tell you.
I hadn't actually thought to look at the legal form yet. So I read through it and discovered that there was indeed a section that covered convictions. I continued through the list and couldn't see my conviction of choice on the list.

'Well I'm sure to be accepted then,' I thought smugly.
After some further, rather painful, moral discussions with myself, we agreed that I should put down that I did indeed have a conviction—well, several actually. They weren't big convictions; just teeny little ones really.. Assaulting a policeman isn’t such a big deal nowadays is it? And no one bothers much about being cautioned for gross indecency, do they? I mean, who hasn't dropped their trousers and mooned at a female traffic warden who complained you'd parked on a double yellow line? But perhaps it would be best if I kept quiet about the drunk and disorderly conviction, as it was a trifle embarrassing. I fell asleep in someone's front garden after a party. The problem was, it wasn't the host's front garden and the woman lying on top of me wasn't my wife.

I re-read the form and cheerfully posted it. I waited...and waited, scarcely able to contain my excitement. I finally received the reply today. It has now been filed in the bin. I'll skip the bits about 'falsifying information' and 'perverting the course of justice' and just give you the gist:
'As you are not qualified for jury service, please discard any paperwork regarding this matter; you are complete waste of space. We are watching you; there is a van outside waiting for you to step out of line again—LOSER!

Maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but I took the precaution of shaving off the luxuriant beard I had been carefully grooming in anticipation of my alteration in fortune, changed my job and my address and took to wearing sunglasses, even indoors.

So there was no big court case for me. I even asked some of my friends in the criminal underworld to find out what it would have been about and now realise that debating the guilt or innocence of a nineteen-year-old chav accused of nicking a packet of Lambert & Butler from a newsagents would probably not have got me on the telly.
And here was I, looking forward to taking some time off work, living it up in a posh hotel with an inexhaustible mini-bar and being interviewed by Kirstie Wark. Bugger!

How to satisfy your lover
How to satisfy your lover
Comment on this article? Click the button to have your say. Get it off your chest!
How to satisfy your lover
How to satisfy your lover
Story © 2005 Clive Washington. Picture and construction © 2005 / 061005
How to satisfy your lover
How to satisfy your lover
Read more Funny stories
What's this section all about then?

Funny Stories is packed full of some of the most original and hilarious short stories you'll find anywhere on the internet.

From scathingly witty parodies of the literature of the last century like The Evils of Coffee and How to detect Self Abuse in Young Girls, through stories about Wrapping presents with a Cat, Performance Art and the Perils of Public Toilets, to advice on how not to save your marriage and the dangers of Threesomes, Funny Stories contains some of the very best writing Utterpants has to offer.

With such a wide range of outstanding material, it is almost impossible to single out anything that, er—stands out, but our adult version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, as well as Jennifer Gardner's many stories, are all firm favourites with our readers.

Can there be a funnier title than If my Pussy smells like Tuna, why doesn't my Cat eat me out? We don't think so, nor have we read a better satire on the differences between men and women than The Penis Paragraphs - jointly written by Don Pitts and Jennifer Gardner.

You'll find all these stories and more listed in the section contents page (newest first).

Finally, we'd also draw your attention to the ads below which link to other stories on the site as well as other websites that we think you will enjoy visiting.

The Evils of Coffee
The Watley Review
The Day The Earth Moved
Get Firefox and rediscover the Web