Wolfe’s Woofer: The Witness
Sunday, December 14th, 2014
“There’s nothing glamorous or exciting about being a lower court judge in Belize,” my friend Emilio, said. “As a matter of fact, I’m on my way to court this morning. It happens to be in the town where I grew up so we can visit my family after court. Come along and I’ll seat you up close to me where you can hear everything.”
We drove to a small town in Western Belize and I was seated behind the judge and next to the witness stand. Judge Emilio went to work.
“This is a case of Julio Perez who claims that Juan Guerrero owes him $1,500 for a loan that was not paid back. Are there any witnesses?”
“I would like to call Señora Maria Gonzales,” Mr. Perez said.
A little old lady of about eighty-five years made her way to the witness stand.
“Now, Señora Gonzales,” Mr. Perez said. “You know me don’t you?”
“In this town everybody knows everybody,” she said. “Do I know you? I’ve known you since you were a thieving little boy who would take anything that was not nailed down. I remember when you got caught stealing from the poor box in church. Now you’re grown up and still trying to rob and cheat people every chance you get.”
There was a stunned silence and Mr. Perez said, “Uh. . . no other questions.”
“Do you have any questions, Mr. Guerrero?” Judge Emilio asked.
“Yes, your honor. Señora Gonzales, you’ve known me all my life, haven’t you?”
“Juan Guerrero, I’ve known you since you were a boy who went around peeping into people’s windows. You were a pervert even back then. I remember when you had two of the town girls pregnant at the same time. I even know that you have another wife and two children in Belize City and a boyfriend in Corozal.”
In the dead silence Judge Emilio said, “Plaintiff and defendant please approach the bench.”
He drew them close and softly said, “If either one of you two idiots ask her if she knows me you’ll be in jail for life.”
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