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People v. Who

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by Edward L. Fiandach, Esq.

It’s summer time. Hence in this week’s blog I thought I’d take a light hearted look at the usual theme. I wrote this in the early 90’s and giving kudos to obvious authors, I hope you enjoy it.

About a week ago I found myself tossing and turning unable to sleep. Although I am not a late night TV kind of person, I thought I’d give it a shot. Scrolling through a half dozen stations, something caught my eye.

Hello! What’s this? Municipal Court Live? Leave it to California. I wonder what kind of case . . . Whoa, a DWI? Now this ought to be interesting.

As I contemplated my good fortune, the screen filled with a slick silver haired announcer.

“Welcome once again courtroom fans to Municipal Court Live, I’m Harry Douglas and today Bob Euble and myself will be televising a DWI trial entitled the People of the State of California versus Thomas Who.”

“Don’t you think we ought to tell the viewers?”

“Tell the viewers what Bob?”

“Who’s the defendant?”

“Who is the defendant.”

“That’s what I want to find out.”

“That’s the defendant’s name, Watts’ the prosecutor, Ida Know is the Judge . . .”

“You’re the announcer?”


“And I’m the color commentator?”

“But of course…”

“Then don’t you think we ought to tell them who?”


“Then who’s the defendant?”


“I mean the fella’s name.”

“That’s it.”

“That’s who?”


“Well go ahead and tell me.”


“The defendant.”


“The driver?”


“Has this case got a defendant?”

“Who’s the defendant?”

“I’m asking you who’s the defendant!”

“That’s the man’s name.”

“That’s who’s name.”


“Harry, tell me who’s the defendant?”

“That’s right.”

“I want to know what’s the defendant’s name?”

“No, no, Watts is the prosecutor.”

“I’m not asking you who’s the prosecutor.”

“Who’s the defendant.”

“I don’t know.”

“Ida Know is the judge. Listen, we’re not making any progress here, the trial will be done before we’re done with the introductions.”

“How’d we get to the judge?”

“You mentioned her name.”

“Now if I mentioned the judge’s name, who did I say was the judge?”

“Who is not the judge, Who is the defendant.”

“I’m not asking you who’s the defendant.”

“Who is the defendant.”

“I’m asking you what’s the judge’s name?”

“Watts is the prosecutor.”

“Who’s the prosecutor?”

“Who’s the defendant.”

“I donno know.”

“She’s the judge,”

“There I go back to the judge again.”

“Well you can’t change her name.”

“Listen, did the defendant get a ticket?”

“Several as a matter of fact.”

“Who got them?”

“Every one. Why not, he broke the law?”

“Who broke the law?”


“So who gets the tickets?”

“Surely he does, his lawyer probably has them now.”

“Who’s lawyer?”


“Harry, all I want to know is what’s the defendant’s name?”

“Watts is the prosecutor.”

“I’m not asking who is the prosecutor.”

“Who is the defendant”

“I donno, don’t tell me. . . the judge. I figured I’d wind up there again.”

“Has this court got a bailiff?”

“Of course.”

“The bailiff’s name?”


“Surely what?”

“Why that’s the prosecutor’s wife’s name. You know these people better than I do.”

“Look is there a court reporter?”


“The reporter’s name.”


“What time Friday?”

“What time Friday what?”

“What time Friday are you going to tell me who is the reporter?”

“Who is not the reporter.”

“Is there a court clerk?”

“But of course.”

“The name?”


“April? Great, now it’s a day and month. Listen, pretend I’m the lawyer, it’s cross examination and the prosecutor asks a question of who?”

“You got it.”

“Got it, I don’t even know what I’m talking about. I object, what’s the prosecutor waiting for?”

“Ida Know.”

“You donno?”

“Ida Know.”

“I donno, you donno and I could careless.”

“Did you say Careless.”


“Oh that’s the Trooper!”

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