On a typical day when I return home from work I find the Dear Lady Wife on the sofa working. She is either on a conference call or between conference calls. If she is between conference calls a courtroom drama is being played out. If she is on a conference call, the TV is paused and the face of a judge peers out into my lounge.
The face of Judith Shiendlin aka Judge Judy, undisputed queen of US small claims court drama. It does pretty well in the UK as well judging by the amount of episodes the Dear Lady Wife has consumed.
Although I have done my best to resist its' charms, there is something about this program that draws you in. JJ, as Dear Lady Wife refers to her, is quick-witted and amusing. The defendants, quite often, are not. You can learn a lot from JJ and the show as a whole. If you are a defendant, the most important lesson has to be go to a small-claims and not a circus, just because it pays you. Thankfully, for the many who enjoy this circus, there are plenty who don't learn lessons well. A fact which ensures the show continues into it's sixteenth season with a steady stream of victims, sorry, defendants to be judged and probably humiliated.
If you are reading this and thinking of appearing on the show, think of this post as a survival guide. Having watched some of JJs' work I have some tips. A bullet-point list is required, so remember;
- She is smarter than you.
- She can smell baloney from a distance and will be the first to inform you that you are spouting it.
- She knows when you are lying.
- You better know where the money is.
- Don't drink.
- Don't take drugs.
- Don't expect it to be easy, it won't be.
- Um, ah, hmm, well, ehh and any other monosyllabic conversational holding noises will be pounced on like a cat playing with a mouse.
- If a sentence uttered by JJ begins with the words "You know what my Father used to say to me?" You're lying and she's onto you.
- Flattery will not help you.
This list won't save you, but it might at least prepare you.
Going back to "You know what my Father used to say to me?" This is a preface for a number of home-spun sayings which are often rather amusing. "Don't try to teach a pig to sing. It doesn't work and it annoys the pig" is a personal favorite. If only I'd known, all those years ago, I swore Bessie could have been a alto-tenor. Sorry, went off-plot for a moment.
It shouldn't be brilliant but I am starting to realise that it is. A little selection of highlights follows...
Hope you enjoy it. That's it for today Dear Reader, tomorrow we kick the letter K