Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Case of the Red-Headed Dwarfs, part 17

When Mr. Justice Cocklecarrot continued his attempts to address the jury, interruption came even sooner than before.
Cocklecarrot: Now these red-bearded dwarfs-
Chorus of dwarfs: M'lud! M']ud! M'lud!
Cocklecarrot (testily): Well? What is it now?
A dwarf: We object to being called red-bearded. Our beards are not red. (Sensation in court. The dwarfs, standing up in line, are seen to have dyed their beards bright yellow. Laughter breaks out.)
Cocklecarrot: This is a very foolish trick. There is no law to prevent a man dyeing his beard any colour he pleases, but the question arises whether a beard of bright yellow is not perilously near contempt of court.
Mr. Hermitage: But, m'lud, surely the colour of the beards of these gentlemen is not material to the case.
Cocklecarrot: I will not be led off into another idiotic argument. If they come in on stilts it is not material to the case, but it is contempt of court.
'Now then,' continued the learned judge, 'let us hope that there will be no more of these interruptions. For though the law must be impartially administered, and everybody given an equal chance, yet there are certain restrictions which must be imposed upon merely irresponsible behaviour. These dwarfs-
A dwarf: Small gentlemen is a more polite description of us. It is not our fault that nature has been niggardly in the matter of inches. Why should a dwarf be funnier than a giant?
Another dwarf: Yes, why?
Cocklecarrot: If you two small gentlemen have finished your conversation perhaps I might be permitted to proceed. (Sarcastically) Have you any objection?
A third dwarf: Some of us haven't said a word all through this case.
A fourth dwarf: There is a tendency everywhere to bully the undersized. Yet in the eyes of the law we are citizens like everybody else.
A fifth dwarf: And proud of it. (The other dwarfs cry, 'Hear, hear!' Uproar breaks out. Cocklecarrot sighs heavily and shrugs his shoulders.)
Cocklecarrot (to the jury): Perhaps I may be able to continue my address to-morrow.

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