Counsel: If you do not actually have a baby on board, Mr Greenleaf, why do you have a car sticker in your back window saying: "Keep back - baby on board"?
Witness: Well, to be honest, because I hate drivers coming up close behind me and driving down the back of my neck.
Counsel: And has it stopped drivers doing that?
Witness: Not a lot. They still drive too close. I despair sometimes.
Counsel: Has it occurred to you that perhaps they might be driving close to you in order to read your car stickers?
Witness: It hadn't, really.
Counsel: Had it occurred to you that it might be better to have your car stickers facing into the car, so they do not distract other drivers?
Witness: That would miss the point, really.
Counsel: Really? Then what is the point?
Witness: So that other drivers can read the stickers.
Counsel: Oh, really? Then why are they in such small print? Why not have them in really big letters so that you can share them with everyone?
Witness: Well,I don't think that would look very nice ...
Counsel: Ah! So you admit that car stickers don't look very nice?
Witness: Not big ones ...
Counsel: And you think that babies are better than other people?
Counsel: You have a sticker in your window saying: "Keep back - baby on board". You do not have a sticker saying: "Keep back - mother on board" or "Keep back - teenager on board". You obviously think that babies are of more worth than mothers and teenagers.
Witness: Yes, but I haven't got any teenagers on board.
Counsel: Nor, by your own admission, do you regularly have a baby on board! But that does not prevent you making the false claim that you are, in fact, a carrier of babies!
Witness: Well, I ...
Counsel: Do you realise that under the Public Notices Act of 1947 you are committing a criminal act, namely offering to the public view a notice which you wilfully know to be misleading?
Witness: Well, I ...
Counsel: Do you imagine that when other drivers see your message to the effect that there is a baby on board, they immediately think: "Oh dear, I had better keep clear of this car in case I collide with it and kill the baby?"
Witness: Well, not as such ...
Counsel: Or do you think that people will stay clear because they think the baby is driving your car?
Judge: Pardon me intruding, but what if any is the point of this slightly circumambulatory questioning?
Counsel: My Lord, I am attempting to confuse and distress the witness with a series of disconnected and only half relevant questions, in order to bring him to a state of tearful perplexity in which I can induce him to agree to almost anything I suggest.
Judge: Excellent! I shall enjoy that! Carry on ...
Counsel: Now, Mr Greenleaf, you have one or two other stickers in your back window.
Witness: Yes, I do.
Counsel: One of them I believe refers to windsurfers.
Witness: That's right! It says: "Windsurfers do it standing up."
Counsel: It does not say: "Keep back - windsurfer on board"?
Counsel: Or "Votes for windsurfers" or "Take a windsurfer into your home"?
Counsel: So it's not an act of information or public service?
Witness: No. It's a joke.
Counsel: A joke! I see.
Judge: Was there a joke? I must have missed it.
Counsel: My lord, the joke was: "Windsurfers do it standing up".
Judge: Don't get it.
Counsel: Perhaps the witness could explain.
Witness: Yes, well, it's not easy to explain ...
Counsel: Does it perhaps mean that windsurfers remain perpendicular during the sexual act?
Witness: Yes, that's about it.
Counsel: Not very funny, would you say?
Witness: No, well, put like that ...
Counsel: So, in your back window you have one obscene sticker and one totally misleading one. Let us now turn to the third sticker, which says: "My other car is a Porsche" ...
The case continues, though, alas, without us.Reuse content