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Davis, California

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Humor: Courtroom Transcript: Prof v. The Guy in Your English Class Who Didn’t Do the Reading

Don’t let that horde of political science kids through the door. Please.

BY ANNABEL MARSHALL — almarshall@ucdavis.edu


JUDGE MAY: We are here today to hear the case of Michael Plegger, a sophomore English major. Plaintiff, state your case.

PLAINTIFF: Hello, your honor. My name is Dr. Kelly Garcia and I’m teaching Romanticism Literature. Michael is a student in my class who has, to the best of my knowledge, never read a word of the assigned reading. Despite this, he insists on participating in class, including shouting out tangential comments while I am lecturing. I have been told I am not allowed to have students drawn and quartered, so I seek punitive damages in the form of Aggie Cash.

JUDGE MAY: Alright. You may proceed.

PROSECUTION: The Prosecution calls a character witness to the stand. Can you please state your full name for the court?

WITNESS: Derek “Socks” Tripp.

PROSECUTION: And the “Socks” is a fraternity nickname, correct?

WITNESS: Yeah. Alpha Kappa Omega Phi Kappa Kappa. 

PROSECUTION: Can you explain the significance of your nickname “Socks” for the court?

WITNESS: You don’t wanna know.

PROSECUTION: Alright. You sit next to the defendant in class, do you not?


PROSECUTION: You do not?

WITNESS: Yes. What?

PROSECUTION: Do you or do you not sit next to Michael in English?

WITNESS: Who’s Michael?

PROSECUTION: Short guy, blue glasses. Has introduced himself to you several times.

WITNESS: Oh yeah, that guy. He sucks.

PROSECUTION: Witness dismissed. The Prosecution rests.

JUDGE MAY: Thank you for your testimony, Derek. You may leave.

WITNESS: Nice wig, May. See you at the kegger. 

JUDGE MAY: Sure thing, Socks. Strike that from the record, please. Defense?

DEFENSE: The Defense calls the defendant, Michael, to the stand. Michael, did you do the reading?

DEFENDANT: Of course.

DEFENSE: Can you tell us a little bit about it?

DEFENDANT: Of course.

DEFENSE: Please do that now.

DEFENDANT: Sure. I think, personally, for me — and I think, when we look at society as a whole, honestly — and I don’t want to generalize, but pretty much all of society — if you look at the juxtaposition between… what is being juxtaposed — and it really all boils down to like — I truly believe, in my heart — Marx once said, and I don’t think I’m misquoting, he said — don’t you think — well, actually, if you just analyze the historical context of this — there seems to be a lot of tension between —

DEFENSE: Alright, alright. Can you tell us a little bit about Romanticism as a whole?

DEFENDANT: Definitely. Most times, like 90% of the time — and you can take any book from, you know, any book off the shelf — I know, I wish, I hope that one day we as a people of America — look, and I say this out of love, though it pains me to say this — the ethos of this whole operation, really —

JUDGE MAY: Enough! It seems to me that you have no idea what you’re talking about.

DEFENDANT: Obviously not, I’m an English major.

JUDGE MAY: This is ridiculous. Surely, after being in this class for eight weeks you should have something to show for it.

DEFENDANT: Hey, who are you to judge me anyway?

JUDGE MAY: I’m… Judge May.

DEFENDANT: Well, I’m… a theatre minor.

JUROR #3: Boo!

JUDGE MAY: The jury will keep their emotional reactions to a minimum. Michael, seeing how you are able to speak in such mind-bending riddles that even a professor with a Ph.D. is unable–


JUDGE MAY: You have an M.D? Why are you teaching English?

PLAINTIFF: No one ever specified.  

DEFENDANT: Permission to read some of my poetry? This one is called Ode to Loneliness. Cold hands, harpy’s winged whisper. The hum of life and love and death. Cigarettes. 

JUDGE MAY: Please stop. That’s it. I’m calling a mistrial. I have to go rule on whether the men’s basketball team is allowed to play in beach volleyball bottoms. 

JUROR #3: Woohoo!

Written by: Annabel Marshall — almarshall@ucdavis.edu 

Disclaimer: (This article is humor and/or satire, and its content is purely fictional. The story and the names of “sources” are fictionalized.)


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