Proofreading Gems

NOTE: The first part of this page was originally posted (by me) to rec.humor.funny; I have since expanded it with new clippings from other depositions (the new entries are here).

      I saved my personal favorite for last.


      I work in a court reporting office; in addition to my normal computer-related duties, I also proofread deposition transcripts during busy times.

      I've built up a pretty long list of humorous things that occasionally occur; unintentional (or intentional) double-entendres, witnesses (and lawyers) not paying attention to what they're really saying, and so forth.

      Here are some of the better ones that I (and some others in the office) have run across.

*** Names have been changed to protect all parties. ***

      Q     I hate to be nosy, but how old are you?

      A     Forty-three.  That's okay.  You're nosy

 enough.  You might as well put that in.

     Q     Did she appear to be in any pain?  In

other words, just looking at her, did she look like

she was hurting?

     A     She's so ugly it looks like she hurts

all the time.

           ATTORNEY:  I object to that as being a

     question impossible to answer; outside this

     person's expertise; and I don't know what it


           DEF ATT:  I object to that as being an

     improper question and this man cannot answer

     the question.

           PLTF ATT:  Go sit on it.

     Q     What happened in that accident?

     A     I was going around the corner and it was

wet and rainy outside, and I kind of slid down an

embankment and went into some bushes.

     Q     Were the police called out to that?

     A     A state trooper came out.  And he gave me

a careless driving ticket because he told me he had

to give me a ticket.  I didn't fight it, because it

was my word against the bushes, I guess you could


           THE WITNESS:  The relevant question here

     is --

           ATTORNEY 1:  Well, why don't you let

     her ask a question?

           ATTORNEY 2:  Let her ask --

           THE WITNESS:  I thought you did.  Okay.

           ATTORNEY 3:  I thought I did, too.

           ATTORNEY 1:  Well, I don't know what it is.

           ATTORNEY 3:  The witness does, and I do.

           THE WITNESS:  What's your question?

     Q     Dr. Smith, how are you --

     A     Just fine.

     Q     Pardon?

     A     Just fine.  I'm ready to go.

     Q     Okay.  Great.  How are you employed?

     A     You've got to figure I'm a pretty

conservative lady.  This is the first concert I had

ever been to.

     Q     Of any kind?

     A     Well, I take that back.  I went to Jerry

Lee Lewis when I was 16 years old.

     Q     There was no shooting at that concert,

was there?

     A     No.  A whole lot of shaking going on, but

no shooting.

     Q     What was your attorney's name?

     A     It was John Smith, right here in Tampa.

           LAWYER 1:  Right out the window.

           THE WITNESS:  Right.  So what I'm

     getting --

           LAWYER 2:  Let the record be clear that

     Mr. Smith is not hanging out the window.

           THE WITNESS:  I don't know.  Knowing

     John, he could be.

     Q     Is that the only license you hold?

     A     I have a marriage license.

     Q     You're not a realtor or a plumber or

anything else like that?

     A     No.  They don't require a license to have

children, which they should.

     A     Well, I have never heard of anything like

that, but I suppose any help at the time would have

been a help.

     Q     And the serratus anterior nerve that --

or the nerves that go to it, where do they come


     A     The neck, the cervical region.

     Q     From the cervical region?

     A     Yes.

     Q     And did you do any examination of his

cervical -- of his cervix -- to determine if there

was any problem with his nerves going through his


     A     He doesn't have a cervix, but, yes, I

examined the biceps.

     Q     How long have you been married to her?

     A     Nineteen years.

     Q     Is that your only marriage?

     A     Yes, it is, that I know of.

     Q     Do you recall discussing with John

Smith that if you were in a deposition or

anything like that and you don't want to give the

right answer, all you have to say is, "I don't know.

I don't recall"?

     A     No.  I don't remember.

     Q     No one went with you from Foobar to assist

you.  Correct?

     A     It seems to me -- not from Foobar.  Like I

said, it was a long time ago.  I mean, my memory is as

short as my peter.

     A     Obsessive-compulsive symptoms:  Sometimes

checks his own activities.  Suicidal and homicidal

ideations:  Sometimes he has suicidal ideations

regarding his car or truck every couple of days,

particularly following contact with his attorney.

     Q     Do you recall if you had any alcohol or

anything to drink prior to the concert?

     A     Yes, I did.

     Q     What did you have, if you remember?

     A     I think I had a Fuzzy Navel.

     Q     You ought to have a doctor look at that.

Just kidding.

     Q     Do you consider him to be competent in

that area?

     A     I don't know.  I don't have any basis to

remark about the competency of his engineering.  I

do know he's dead.

     A     There are very few production places in

North Dakota.

           ATTORNEY:  Generally speaking, there

     are very few places in North Dakota.

     Q     And where does sandblasting fit in your

scale of being a prestigious job?  Do you think

that's a prestigious job?

     A     Yes, sir.

     Q     Okay.  More so than working in a

factory, I guess.

     A     Yes, sir.

     Q     Everybody's entitled to their opinion, I

guess.  I don't know.  Maybe you're right.

           MR. JONES:  Ranks above lawyers.

           MR. SMITH:  Yeah, I bet.

           MR. JONES:  Because everybody does


           MR. SMITH:  Yeah.

           MR. SMITH:  If I could just have a

     one-minute break sometime, whenever you feel

     you're --

           MR. JONES:  This is a good time.

           (Recess from 2:41 p.m. to 3:03 p.m.)

    Q     Do you have any reason to believe that

the decision to have Mr. Jones, Mr. Brown and

yourself work on Foobar products to the exclusion

of the EMS products listed in group 3 and 4 of

Exhibit -- of the December 5 chart was made or --

          MR. SMITH:  Can you read that back, and

    maybe I can try and figure out what I wanted to


     Q     Oh, okay.  So you had a conversation with

Mr. Smith about the SeaTower at some point?

     A     Yes.

     Q     Prior to his death?

     Q    And what is it about that particular night

that you recall that you didn't eat at the Holiday Inn?

     A    What is it that I remember that I didn't eat?

     Q    What was Linda drinking, if anything?

     A    She was drinking one of them -- one of them

lady drinks.  I don't know what it was.

     Q    She had about the same as you?

     A    No.  Huh-uh.  She doesn't drink much.  She'll

just have one drink, and she'll suck on it all night


     Q     Next time you saw him?

     A     August 12, 1991.  Checked tonsils -- no,

I'm sorry, checked testicle.  Must be mother asking.

But I didn't find anything wrong with testicle.  On

the contrary, I noticed there was an ear problem.

     Q    And Detroit Murphy -- what is that?  Is that

a school or --

     A    It's Mercy, not Murphy.

     Q    Oh, Mercy?

     A    I'm sorry.  Yeah, Mercy.

     Q    Oh, I'm sorry.  Mercy.

     A    Yeah, Detroit Mercy is a college, and they do

it like through the Jesuit priests program.  They do

things with young boys.

           MR. SMITH:  Let me ask you, sir,

     to identify what I am going to have marked as

     Defendant's Exhibit No. 1.

           MR. JONES:  Okay.

           (Exhibit No. 1 marked for identification.)

     A     He has nice big ones.

           MR. JONES:  I have got the same ones,

     and I had them blown.

     Q     Could you please, in your own words,

describe where you're touching on your body?

     A     Right here.

     Q     All right.  Now, where is "right here"?

     A     Right here.

     Q     Is that your leg?

     A     No, sir.  My leg is here.  That's my

stomach.  I got two stomachs right here.  But he was --

     Q     All right.  You have two stomachs.

      Q     Why do you handle the family finances?

      A     Because my mom and sister ain't that


     Q     Did you notice any differences in the

plaintiff during the fishing trip after the accident

and the times you had been with him before?

     A     Yes.

     Q     Can you tell the jury about that?

     A     After a long period of time holding his

rod, you could see he had to sit down for a period

of time.

     Q     How far apart are the rungs on the


     A     They're usually about 12 inches to a


     Q     What did you do for Johnson & Sons Formal


     A     I was a presser.

     Q     Who was your boss there?

     A     I forget his name.  He's the owner.

           MR. SMITH:  Johnson.

     A     Yeah.  It's a father-and-son operation.

     Q     You don't have any intention of

dismissing Jane Smith anytime soon, do you?

     A     No.  Sometimes I wish I could eat her,

and other times you want to hug her up and kiss her


     A     Mr. Jones and I had had a

disagreement, the exact nature of which I don't

remember, but it was over some aspect of my work

that he wanted me to perform in a manner different

than, I guess, I was performing it.  And Mr.

Jones's -- excuse my language coming up -- Mr.

Jones said, "If you fuck with me, I'll kill


     Q     When he said, "If you fuck with me, I'll

kill you," how did you interpret that?

     Q     Has anybody else ever threatened to kill


     A     No.  Somebody put a gun to my neck once,

but I don't think he threatened to use it.

     Q     Was that in an employment contact or not?

     A     No.  It was a social contact.

     Q     Is there a difference between a

reconditioned and rebuilt piece of equipment in your

mind, if you have one?

     Q     So the first thing that you heard was the

one that you overheard with Mr. Jones stating that

he didn't want any women in his department.  And

then second time when you were in this exact

conversation would have been after the first time?

     Q     Have you tried any type of rehabilitation

or work retraining?

     A     No.  No, sir.

     Q     Why not?

     A     Because I ain't too bright.

     Q     And, Doctor, are you a member of the

profession?  Correct?

     A     What profession?

     Q     The medical profession.

     A     Oh, yes, sir.

     Q     And what profession are you a member of?

     A     The medical profession.

     Q     I would like you to turn to the next

page, dated June 9, 1993.

     A     Yes.

     Q     Do you recall this incident occurring?

     A     Yes.  The night before that I had eaten

at Beachcomber's Restaurant.  And I had crab.  And I

had vomited in the --

     Q     I assure you on this question a simple

"Yes" or "No" will do.

     Q    Anything else you like to do a lot?

     A    Look out the window.

     Q    Have you got a good view?

     A    No.

     Q    You just like to look out there?

     A    Yeah.

     Q    What can you see from your window?

     A    The apartments in front of us.

     Q    I guess there's usually a lot of activity

out there.

     A    Not no more.

     Q    How come?

     A    The drug dealer moved away.

     Q     Okay.  Did it become a shouting match at

any time?

     A     Uh-huh.

     Q     It did?

     A     A big one.

     Q     And what was the net result?

     A     I left, was the result.  I left.  I

basically told him that I didn't care how big his

dick was.

     Q     How did that comment come up?

     A     It just came out.

     Q     Okay.  Why did you make that comment?

Does he talk about, you know, his penis a lot?

     A     Yeah, he always talks about his penis.

He thinks it's the greatest thing that ever walked

on earth.

     Q     And what was the reason given to you for

the fact you were let go?

     A     The reason given to me was garnishing a

knife and arguing with the supervisor.

     Q     Is the south boundary of the north half

of the southeast quarter of the northwest quarter

the same line as the north boundary of the south

half of the southeast quarter of the northwest


     Q     Do you currently have normal bowel


     A     No.

     Q     In what way have they changed?

     A     I have a lot more gas that I -- I fart a

lot more; and when I do, they're much stronger than

the normal person.

           Isn't that true, Jane?

           I know it's not funny, but it's true.

     Q     I just have a few questions.  Can you

briefly tell us your educational background?

     A     Yes.  I went to Brentwood Elementary

School in Jacksonville, Florida.  I went to high

school in Miami Beach, Senior High.  I got into the

University of Florida and got a BA in English

Literature which prepared me to do absolutely


     Q     Well, I call it a release.  Your attorney

might differ with that.

           PLAINTIFF'S ATTORNEY:  We call it Exhibit 4.

     A     I don't even know who her attorney is.

If he came -- I thought you was her attorney, sir.

I don't even know who he is.  If he came and

slapped me now, I wouldn't know who he is.

     Q     I hope he doesn't slap you.

          PLAINTIFF'S ATTORNEY:  I won't do that.

     Q     Could he have been frustrated by you?

     A     Because I'm from third-world country.

     Q     How about just because you're an

irritating person?

             Sounds like an exciting

     life; looking at every rock in Brevard County.

     Can't be much worse than sitting around a

     table taking depositions, though.  Right?

     Q     Was the staff finding it hard to

convince the board to proceed with this alternate?

     A     The staff found it somewhat difficult to

convince the board to proceed with all of its


     Q     You don't particularly like Mr. Smith, do


     A     Not too much.

     Q     Why is that?

     A     Well, I guess you wouldn't care too much

for anybody that tried to go to bed with your old

lady when you went to jail the same night.  You know

what I mean?

     A     "Pain meds" -- let me see.  Put my

glasses on.

           ATTORNEY:  Now he tells us.  I move

     to strike his entire testimony.

           THE WITNESS:  I second.

     Q     Do you understand the difference between

a D.O. and an M.D.?

     A     Yes.  One is a doctor of osteopath and

one is a medical doctor.  They go through the same

schooling, from what I understand.

     Q     That's only what the D.O.'s say.

     Q     What would have been your company's efforts

to settle disputed claims during that time frame after

your relationship with Foobar, Inc., ended?

     A     We went on a full-court press.

     Q     Could you explain what "full-court press"


     A     I guess he doesn't play basketball.  We

went --

     Q     Are you telling me you went and played

basketball with them?

     Q     Let me, for purposes of brevity, refer to

July 19th, '91, as the accident date.  Okay?

     A     Okay.

     Q     What were the ages of her six children on

or about July 19th, '91?

     Q     You don't agree with that.  I'm just

asking you your opinion.

     A     So what you're trying to say is that if I

see a guy crossing the street, I could just hit the

gas, because I have the right to hit him.  Is that

what you're trying to say?

     Q     I'm asking do you believe --

     A     Of course not.  That's barbarian.  I'm

insulted by that question.

     Q     Are you telling me, before this accident

he would read seven to eight books a week?

     A     Yeah.

     Q     What sort of classics did he read?

     A     Dean R. Koontz.

     A     Well, there were some attorneys in the


     Q     A lot of engineers?  A lot of lawyers?

     A     I think there were more lawyers than


     Q     Well, it was a good meeting, then, wasn't


     A     I didn't like it.

     Q     Okay.  If I told you that we had unloaded

100 pieces of pipe and ten of them had been rolled

off of the truck and your job was to find those ten,

what would you look for?

     A     I'd look for the man's neck who allowed

it to happen.

    Q     Given that minimal interaction, did you

ever determine that he misled you in any way?

    A     I never thought about it.  It was just --

he was a marketing guy.

     A     To steady her.  I do not believe I

applied force.  It was more like you would reach out

and -- you know what I'm saying?  Pull somebody.

It's not enough to hurt them is what I'm saying.

           MR. JONES:  Let the record reflect

     that she reached out and grabbed the upper part

     of my arm.

           MR. SMITH:  And then you fell out

     of the chair onto the floor.

           THE WITNESS:  Absolutely.  And then you

     had a coughing fit.

     Q     Did he have a full head of hair or was he

follicly challenged like me?

     Q     So as a practical matter, whatever

responsibility you've assumed for either fees or

expenses, you don't have any money with which to pay

that responsibility.  Correct?

     A     Not at this time.

     Q     Do you have any rich relatives who are on

their deathbed?

     Q     And J.B. -- does J.B. have a last name?

     A     Unh-unh, not that I know of.

          MR. SMITH:  Sir, I don't anything else.

    You have the right to read this deposition in

    the event she types it up.

          MR. JONES:  I guess this means I don't

    get to ask any more questions?

          MR. SMITH:  Oh, I'm sorry, Scott.  I'm

    sorry.  I'm getting tired.  I'm sorry.  You're


          MR. JONES:  No questions.

          MR. SMITH:  I just deprived him of a

    very important legal right here, and he's going

    to try and club me over the head for it later.

     A     We were the first pledge class in the new


     Q     That was a new house?

     A     1959.  It wasn't new long.  One pledge

class was all it took.

     A     Well, at this time I would like to add

the name of assistant manager.  It came to me while

I was in the bathroom.

           I found what I believe to be an overcoat

on this pipe.

     Q     As opposed to a shirt?

     A     In this case, I'm referring to an

overcoating of mortar or a flash coat of mortar over

the outer surface of the underlying coating.  The

overcoating was of very poor quality, as was the


     Q     Maybe we'll find the rest of the


           MR. SMITH:  Maybe we'll find Hoffa's


           MR. JONES:  No.  He's in New Jersey.

     We keep our own.

     A     Like I said before, my plans right now is

to educate myself where I could get a job that will

have a good income, where I could be promoted and

where I could be -- have a job satisfying where I

could be happy.

     A     No.  I don't know.  I'm sorry.  What was

the question?  He kind of pointed to his ear, and I

got confused.

     Q     Okay.  The first question I've got to ask

you is:  What's with the pennies on the table?

What's that all about?

     A     It's an issue of self-protection from

evil spirits.

     Q     You mean something to do with copper

or --

     A     Unh-unh.  Just self-protection.

           MR. SMITH:  Okay.  Let the record reflect

     that Mr. Jones has arranged -- it looks like

     nine pennies in a semi-circle around his

     seating area, and that's what we're referring

     to in that part of the testimony.

Maintained by <> (Jeff Lee).