To whom I am speaking.




Every time I go into a courthouse, I am sent… warp speed… right back to my childhood.  Not that I spent any time in a courthouse during my youth.  In fact, none at all.

But we used to watch a little show on TV called Laugh-In.  Specifically, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In.  It was on from 1968 up until 1973.  I was pretty young when it got rolling, but I sure do remember it.  I always laughed, and laughed and laughed.  Now.  I am not so sure I got the jokes.  Maybe I did.  But I was probably laughing by proximity.

At any rate, one of my favorite sketches…. and I had lots… was the one with the very memorable catch phrase… “Here comes the Judge.  Here comes the Judge.”  I would frequently march around the house… reciting that phrase.

The Judge  was originally portrayed by a guy from Great Britain.  He was a stuffy magistrate with a black robe and powdered wig.   And then… each “Judge” sketch featured an unfortunate defendant brought before the court.  What made it so funny was when guest star Flip Wilson would introduce the whole deal with…..”Here come de judge!”

Sammy Davis, Jr…. later took over the role of the judge.  He donned the judicial robe and wig…. and pretty much made the role all his own.

The whole cast of Laugh-In was great.  Like Ruth Buzzi, Judy Carne,  Arte Johnson, and Jo Anne Worley.  Oh… and who could forget Goldie Hawn and  Lily Tomlin .  There were many others too.

It really had its bottom drawer in the humor of vaudeville and burlesque.  But it was truly based  on a show running  Broadway.  It was called Hellzapoppin and was created with the comedy of  Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson.

Another one of my favorite segments came from Lily Tomlin.  “One ringy-dingy…two ringy-dingies…”   I loved her character Ernestine.  She would follow the rings… with  ……  ”A gracious good afternoon. This is Miss Tomlin of the telephone company. Have I reached the party to whom I am speaking?”

At the end of every show, Rowan turned to his co-host and said, “Say good night, Dick”, to which Martin replied, “Good night, Dick!”.

So…. all of this comes rushing back to me when I go into a courthouse.
I always say that old phrase when I’m in one of those courthouses, too.  “Here comes the judge.  Here comes the judge.”  Always in my head… never out loud.

But now I’ve sorta’ ratted myself out.  I mean, if you are ever on trial for some sort of mass murder, or something…. and I am there to show support…. you NOW know what I’ll be saying under my breath.  Over and over….

“Here comes the judge.”

All of this at the courthouse today.  ……  …

….. …. …  You should have seen what happened to me when I went into the hardware store, next door.

“Sharing tales of those we’ve lost is how we keep from really losing them.”
― Mitch Albom, For One More Day


“Remember to breathe. It is after all, the secret of life.”
― Gregory Maguire, A Lion Among Men