The Bailiff stood:
“Ladies and Gentlemen of the court. Please stand for the honourable Judge Palmer residing.”
She entered the room to swollen silence and sat in her armchair.
“Be seated.” The congregation sat noisily. Russ reclined confidently in his chair, he had this case sewn up, their was no room for manoeuvre, the facts spoke for themselves.”Will the defendant please rise.” Judge Palmer sneered at Dan as he rose from his chair, defiantly smiling. His smile sent a nervous wave through Russ, he knew his prosecution case had no holes, but why was Dan so confident?
“You are charged with the offence of throwing a rock into the air and shouting “head it” to you little brother, wilfully causing a serious head injury. How do you plead?”
Dan laughed, recalling the incident;
“Not guilty!” An audible gasp shot through the courtroom, Russ was taken aback, the audacity of this man. Russ was just going to have to bring him down the hard way.
Russ called Dan to the stand, Dan placed his hand on the Shoot Annual with Chris Waddle on the cover and swore to tell the truth. Russ set upon him as soon as he sat:
“Where were you at 11 this morning?”
“Playing football in the park with you.”
“Can you tell me what happened, in your own words directly after that game?”
“Certainly, you cried because you missed the last penalty which meant that you lost.”
“OBJECTION! Your honour that penalty grazed the inside of the jumper, clearly indicating that if said Jumper had been a real goalpost then it would have shaved the post and deflected in.”
“Overuled. You are perfectly aware Russ that any jumper contact means post” Judge Palmer said with weary intonation having explained this ruling on several occasions to a crying Russ. Russ muttered a swear under his breath and continued his cross-examination:
“I was referring to the incident after I had stopped crying…err… I mean after the match.” Dan chuckled he was already throwing Russ off his game:
“You headed a rock, and split your head open, and bled everywhere and started crying, again.”
“And where did said rock come from?”
“The ground.” Dan said smugly.
“And how did it get in the air, smartarse?”
“I cannot recall.”
“Remember you are under oath Dan, we wouldn’t want Chris Waddle getting injured now would we?”
“It appears to have slipped my mind.”
“Well let’s see how good your memory is Dan. Do you recall 2 years ago at Aunty Dorothy’s…?”
“I don’t see how this is relevant.” Dan stuttered.
“We were playing WWF wrestling, and I was Andre the Giant what with me being a bit chubby and you were Hulk Hogan, because you always get to be him and it’s not fair?”
“I fail to see what bearing this has…”
“Where are you going with this Russ?” Judge Palmer intervened. Russ wheeled to face Dan pointing at him with furious righteous indignation screaming:
“On that date did you or did you not, Dan, persuade me to climb the bunkbeds and perform a top of the turnbuckle elbowdrop on you, only to move out of the way at the last moment leaving me to smash my head on the metal bed below causing yet another serious head injury?” Dan choked on his words:
“Ah… Well… You see.”
“Your silence speaks volumes Dan, you big knobhead.”
Judge Palmer banged her Radio Times gavel on the arm of the chair:
“Order, order. Shut your faces, and sit down!” Both parties did so, as Judge Palmer was not to be trifled with. On bringing the court to order she continued:
“So Russ you have established Dan’s prior history of wilfully causing head injury, but it is now time for Dan to cross-examine you.” Russ took to the stand and placed his hand on the Garfield Annual 1993 and swore to tell the truth. Dan calmly paced in front of Russ and then, brandishing a pen went in for the kill:
“So, Russ, if that is your real name.”
“You know it is you crotchsniffer.”
“It might not be, you were adopted after all.”
“Objection, your honour!”
“Sustained.” Called out Judge Palmer failing to keep in a chuckle. Dan was winning her over and he knew it, he pressed on:
“What’s this, Russ?”
“It’s a biro, Dan.”
“Notice anything weird about it?”
“So you didn’t notice that it didn’t have a stopper in the end of it.” Russ crumpled inside, he hadn’t seen this coming, and he knew it was a genius move, but he could do nothing to stop it. Dan coyly continued enjoying every second:
“So you don’t recall sticking this biro up your nose, so far in fact that the stopper became lodged in your septum and wedged up your nostril, so much so that you had to go to A&E to have it removed by a doctor, while being watched by every member of staff on duty that night as they pissed themselves laughing at you stupidity?”. Russ just nodded his head in defeat, as Dan walked back to his seat:
“No further questions your honour.”
Judge Palmer appeared back from the recess to the kitchen that she had called to make her judgement and also get a cup of tea and a biscuit:
“In summation, this has proven to be an interesting case, Dan you have shown reckless disregard for your brother’s health and safety in the past which did not bode well on the bearing of this case, however you have clearly shown that your brother Russ, is a moron, who will do anything you say without question even if that involves heading a rock that you have thrown into the air. I hereby adjudicate that Dan be acquitted of all charges, and that Russ shall be taken from this court and remanded in the custody of his room for 12-15 hours for the crime of being a Shit-for-Brains. Bailiff take him away.” The Bailiff, Russ’ own father dragged him out of the room as Russ screamed:
“This is an outrageous miscarriage of justice, he had a football under his arm, he threw it into the sun and I couldn’t see right, I didn’t know it was a rock, I thought it was the ball, Mum, Mum.” Judge/Mum Palmer just shook her head.