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80 Years Ago

Archives 01-31-2001

North County Lines by Bob

An Award Winning Column

For comments or questions contact Bob at bobncl@hotmail.com




Being sick in bed with the flu hasn't been a complete waste of time. I got to watch Animal Court this morning. The first case on the docket was Ralph the dog versus Friskie the cat.

According to Ralph, he was sniffing around the yard, minding his own business, when Friskie ran up and swatted him across the nose several times. Then Friskie scurried up a tree and hissed at Ralph as if he had done something wrong.

Friskie testified that he was on the porch, licking himself clean, when Ralph walked up, called his mother a bad name, and proceeded to chase him around the yard, until Friskie scrambled up a tree to safety. He admitted hissing at Ralph. But, according to Friskie, he was acting in self defense.

"Both of your testimonies lack credibility," Judge Wapner said. "I'm issuing a mutual restraining order. Each of you will remain in your own territory."

"But I'm a cat," Friskie said. "Everywhere is my territory."

"You will do what I tell you," Judge Wapner said. "If not, I will hold you in contempt of court."

"Yeah, right," Friskie said. The next case involved phone harassment charges against Al the parrot.

According to the owner of a tobacco store, Al had called and asked if she had Prince Albert in a can. When she said "No, but we have Prince Albert in a foil pouch," Al replied, "You better let him out before he suffocates."

Another witness testified that Al had called and asked if her refrigerator was running. When she said, "Yes, I believe so," Al replied, "You better catch it before it gets away."

According to Al he couldn't possibly have made the calls because he was locked in his cage at the time.

"At what time was that?" Judge Wapner asked.

"At whatever time the calls were made," Al replied.

Unfortunately for Al, both witnesses had tape recordings of the calls.

"If that's my voice," Al said, "and I'm not saying it is, I must have been talking in my sleep at the time."

"At what time was that?" Judge Wapner asked.

"At whatever time the calls were made," Al replied.

"What time were the calls made? Judge Wapner asked.

"Between three and four in the afternoon," one witness replied.

"Same here," the other witness replied.

"Yep," Al said, "every day, day in and day out, it never fails, I'm always napping at that time. Nothing like a long snooze before a big bowl of sunflower seeds at supper. You ought to try it sometime, Judge."

"I've heard a lot of parrots testify," Judge Wapner said. "But your ability to avoid the truth takes the cake."

"Thank you, Judge," Al said. "Where is it?"

"Where is what?" Judge Wapner asked.

"The cake," Al said. "I hope it's coconut. That's my favorite."

"Do you have anything else to say in your behalf," Judge Wapner said, "before I pronounce sentence?"

Lifting off his perch, Al turned toward the audience and said, "Goodbye, suckers." Then he flew out the entrance to the courtroom.

If Friskie hadn't been in the hallway answering questions about Judge Wapner's ruling in his case, Al would have probably made a clean getaway.

The announcer who had been interviewing Friskie yelled, "Let that parrot go or Judge Wapner will hold you in contempt of court."

"Yeah, right," Friskie said with a mouthful of feathers.

During the commercial following the conclusion of Al the parrot's case, I pushed myself out of bed, stumbled into the kitchen, and found some sniffling, sneezing, coughing medicine for whatever stuff.

After reading the label, I placed the bottle back in the cabinet. I don't need those chemicals running through my system, I thought. They might trigger a flashback from the sixties and I'm in no condition for that now.

I opened the refrigerator, found a jar of dill pickles, removed the pickles, and gulped down the juice. There, I thought, that will fix what ails me.

The first time Mom caught me drinking pickle juice, she said, "Have you lost your mind?"

"Don't worry, Mom," I said. "All my friends drink it."

"If all your friends jumped off the Empire State Building," Mom said, "would you jump too?"

"The Empire State Building is in New York City," I said. "What would all my friends being doing there? That's more than twelve hundred miles away."

"Go outside and play," Mom said. "Your father will talk to you when he gets home."

After downing the pickle juice, I stumbled back into the bedroom. A beagle was pleading guilty to making improper advances toward a poodle in heat. "I did it," the beagle said. "I couldn't help myself. Something just came over me."

"It's the ruling of this court," Judge Wapner said, "that you be transported to the nearest veterinarian and fixed to prevent you from doing it again."

"Please, no," the beagle said, "I beg of you, anything but that."

"You must calm down, sir," Judge Wapner said. "It's for your own good.

"Why do humans always say it's for your own good," the beagle said, "when it's for their own good?"

As the beagle was being dragged out of the courtroom, the announcer asked, "What do you think of Judge Wapner's ruling?"

"Think of his ruling, the beagle replied. "You must be crazy. How would you like it if someone had you fixed?"

"Silly dog," the announcer said, "why do you think I speak in such a high voice?


Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570
tel 931.823.6485
fax 931.823.6486

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