Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Kangaroo Kourt

Kangaroo Kourt
The magistrate leant forward, pointing his finger at the prisoner in the dock. ‘Mr Pong Mpongo, on the first count, you are charged with swallowing a dictionary, thereby acquiring a voluminous vocabulary with which to insult the king. How do you plead?’
‘Not guilty, Your Honour.’
‘I shall record a plea of guilty since I’m not prepared to have guilty people wasting the time of this court.’
Sara and I were sitting in one of the new Kangaroo Courts which had been set up by the king to fix his enemies.
‘I think I’ve come with the wrong spectacles,’ I whispered to Sara. ‘The magistrate really does look like a kangaroo!’
‘He is a kangaroo,’ Sara hissed. ‘No self-respecting lawyer would take this job. But a kangaroo can leap over all the law books in one bound, and come down upon his victim with terrifying force.’
‘This court has already heard,’ said the magistrate, ‘from a witness, an office messenger in your office when you were Minister of Offensive Remarks, that everyday there was less dictionary on the shelf, because you had been eating it.’
‘I do have a voracious appetite for complicated vocabulary,’ Mpongo replied proudly.
‘Your answer would seem to reveal your guilt,’ sneered the magistrate. ‘Further evidence has shown that after swallowing all the words beginning with A, you were heard referring to our beloved king as an Avaricious Anachronism. But after you had eaten all the B’s you called the king a Belligerent Buffoon. And after C our beloved monarch had become a Capricious Casanova.’
‘Why is Mpongo already in handcuffs and chains?’ I whispered.
‘Because his fate is already sealed,’ she replied.
‘But I thought the judgement comes at the end!’
‘A Kangaroo Kourt is more like theatre,’ Sara explained. ‘The script is already written. We’ve all seen it before. Everybody knows the ending.’
‘We have heard the evidence from the doctor,’ continued the magistrate, ‘that one day you were brought in suffering from extreme stomach pains and constipation. Diagnosis showed that these were caused by swallowing very long, indigestible and pornographic words, which had lodged in your intestine, thereby creating a dreadful stench.
‘Therefore the second charge against you is abuse of office, in that your office was filled with foul gas and …’
‘Abuse of office,’ said Mpongo, ‘involves misuse of the authority given to me. As Minister of Offensive Remarks, I was supposed to be offensive and to…’
‘On the contrary!’ shouted the magistrate. ‘The king, using his prerogative to change the law as he deems fit, has re-defined abuse of authority as meaning anything that offends the king.’
‘I plead not guilty.’
‘Be quiet. I’m the one to decide whether or not you’re guilty.’
‘The third charge against you is theft of government property. A team of twenty-five officers spent ten days checking your office, and have given witness to this court that they found that the dictionary was missing.
‘The fourth count against you is that you tried to circumvent justice and the authority of this court by returning to your former office and replacing the stolen dictionary with an identical dictionary.
‘The fifth count against you is that this replacement dictionary was in fact stolen from a Mr Terrible Fiddle…’
‘I only borrowed it from him, Your Honour, and…’
‘Do not try to deceive this court!’ shouted the kangaroo. ‘We have heard evidence from Mr Terrible Fiddle that you wanted to borrow his dictionary for a few minutes. After sixty-one minutes had elapsed without return of the said dictionary, he had no option but to drive all the way to Police Headquarters and report the theft of his dictionary to the Chief Suspector, who had no option but to report immediately to the king on the rising rate of crime in the capital.’
‘Is this the same Terrible Fiddle who has now been appointed Minister for Offensive Remarks?’ I whispered to Sara.
‘He’s very well qualified for the job,’ Sara chuckled.
‘I therefore find you guilty on all five counts, and sentence you to six months in jail.’
Then the magistrate turned to the clerk of the court, saying ‘Do we have another case for this morning?’
‘Another dictionary theft, Your Honour. It has just been discovered that a dictionary has disappeared from the office of Ms Loose Change, Minister for Dodgy Deals.’
The magistrate pointed his finger at poor old Mpongo, just as he was being led away in chains. ‘Another dictionary gone missing!’ he shouted. ‘That’s another six months for you!’ Then suddenly, without warning, the kangaroo suddenly made a huge leap backwards, and disappeared through the door behind him.
‘One large leap for the court,’ said Sara, ‘but one enormous leap for dictatorship.’

1 comment:

  1. ...kakophenous klaptrap from a kantakerous kangaroo....Looool! Great piece. we have a highly selective precision guided justice in Zambia.