Lee Pitts: Out of order
The accused entered the court room wearing on orange jump suit, with his arms shackled to his waist. He looked for his wife’s friendly face amongst the angry crowd, while outside the courthouse the police and the National Guard kept an angry crowd at bay. They carried signs that read, “Free Food” and “Down With Ag.”
“Hear Ye, Hear Ye, the court of public opinion is now in session, The Honorable Liberal Wingnut presiding. The court will now hear the case of the U.S. Government versus Mr. Fodder Feeder who is accused of being both a farmer and a rancher.”
The government lawyer rose from his seat and approached the defendant. “Mr. Feeder, would you tell the court what you do for a living?”
“I farm, have a small feedlot and run some cows.”
“In other words, you use a greenhouse gas-spewing tractor to grow crops that you then feed to water-wasting cattle to produce unhealthy beef. Am I missing any other heinous act you engage in, Mr. Feeder?”
“But I feed people,” said Fodder in self defense.
“Objection your honor. That is not relevant to this case and I’d ask that the defendant’s answer be stricken from the record.”
“So ruled,” said the angry judge as he hammered his gavel and gave Fodder a dirty glance, and a $10,000 fine.
“Mr. Feeder, have you ever used pesticides, herbicides, or GMO seeds?” asked the prosecutor.
“Yes,” admitted the defendant, as the crowd gasped in horror.
“Mr. Feeder, do your cattle belch and emit gas after eating the corn you grow?”
“I suppose so. Don’t we all?” replied Fodder as those in the court tried to suppress their giggles and guffaws.
“You’re out of order,” roared the Judge, “and I hold you in contempt of this court!”
The prosecutor then gave Fodder a photo and said, “Do you recognize this person?”
“I better, it’s my wife,” joked Fodder.
“Isn’t it true Mr. Feeder that you work your wife 12 hours a day feeding hay, doctoring calves and running to town for parts without any rest and then expect her to raise the kids and keep the house? Isn’t it also true that you waste precious water by making her irrigate while people in cities can’t even water their lawns or fill their hot tubs? And then you have the nerve to take a shower every day!”
“Well, it is a dirty job but someone has to do it,” replied the befuddled Fodder.
“I assure you, Mr. Feeder, that has no bearing on this case.” He then handed Fodder another photo and asked, “Do you know what this ghastly device is?”
“Yes, it’s a squeeze chute and I use one to confine cattle so that I may administer vaccinations in a safe manner.” Just then a PETA protester in the courtroom threw a head of lettuce at Fodder but she missed wide right and the leafy projectile walloped the court reporter instead.
“Where were you on the night of March 11?” the prosecutor bored on.
“I was at a Farm Bureau meeting?” said Fodder.
“Ah hah! You admit then that you are a member of a rural terrorist organization whose mission is to do away with the Environmental Protection Agency!”
It went on like this for two days until, finally, Judge Wingnut left Fodder’s future in the hands of 12 people who weren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty. They were a microcosm of today’s society: three jurors were unemployed, three were federal employees, three were students and one poor sap was a working stiff. Needless to say, they voted for a guilty verdict in an 11 to 1 vote.
Judge Wingnut then pronounced the sentence. “If it were left up to me Mr. Feeder I would give you the death penalty. Instead, I am bound by the law to sentence you to life doing hard labor without pay, where your every move will be watched by government guards.”
“No offense your honor,” said Fodder as he was led from the courtroom, “but I fail to see how that is any different than what I do now.”