Bootie Call

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I love Judge Judy. I really do. I’m like the Rainman every day at 6 PM. It doesn’t matter where I am I have to find a TV to watch her show. If I don’t get my daily Judge Judy fix I start getting irritated, my skin feels like bugs are crawling all over and I have the irresistible urge to call someone a moron. It’s no picnic shouting our “MORON!” at a firing range. Or a baby shower. Not that I’ve ever been to one of those things … recently.

Judge Judy is a no-nonsense girl. I love seeing a participant act like they’re trying to get over on her. She either kills them with a thousand paper cuts or just lobs off their head. She has no intellectual equal. My wife thinks Judge Judy is cruel. I disagree. Judge Judy is fair and honest. If she’s talking to an idiot, she tells them they’re an idiot. She has no tolerance for stupidity. Try to come to her courtroom without all your ducks in a row. She’ll wipe the floor with you. She says something like “You think you were coming to the beach today?” and usually the target of her question just stands there with a goofy grin on their face. Poor stupid idiot. I always get a thrill up my leg every time she calls someone a moron. She doesn’t just say it, she shouts it in a very pronounced Manhattan brogue with Yiddish undertones – in their face. “Yer a moron! An idiot! Are you on any drugs that diminishes your mental capacity?” Here the poor schmuck is with about 60 paid extras behind him, three cameras with ten million viewers and Judge Judy directly in front with lights so bright you think you’ve crossed over, usually considered a good thing in any other setting, but not here. He’s just entered his own personal little hell.

It’s absolutely wonderful when she catches someone in a discrepancy, usually a difference between their oral and written statements. Depending on how much coffee and crackers Judge Judy’s had that day, she can either eviscerate them quickly “You’re a phony! Which story is true? How can I know whether you’re telling the truth or lying right now? Your counterclaim is denied. You’re a hustler! Well, who got hustled today, moron?” or she can toy with them like some cats do a mouse, buffeting their incompetence while dangling them by the tail. I saw her use the Force to beguile some moron against his will to make and then use his own noose. Really. Well, kinda…

The real beauty of Judge Judy is her ability to tell a lie from a thousand yards. The short hairs on the back of her head actually stand up. When she asks a question, she wants the person to look at her square in the face when they answer. She’s a human lie detector. I don’t care if the truth will get me locked up for life, you won’t find me fibbing to Judge Judy. If the participant brings a witness she watches them, too. I love it when some loser is standing in front of her, and his girlfriend is sitting behind him. Judge Judy will look at the girl and say something like. “You look like a smart girl. Why are you going around with this fool? Do me a favor and don’t have any children with him.”

I enjoy the show so much that my wife has started calling her “Judge Bootie.” I’d rather be waterboarded eight times a day for the rest of my life than call her that to her face, but in the safety of my own home I’ve said it a few times. I don’t consider her any sort of sex symbol, even though she does look hot in that black robe and frilly collar. She likes to tell people “They don’t keep me here because I’m gorgeous. They keep me here because I’m smart.” You can say that again, Judge Bootie, er Judy. Sometimes a participant will try to outsmart her. She tells them up front “You think you’re smarter than me? I eat people like you for breakfast!” and then proceeds to humiliate them in front of ten million viewers.

Listen, if you ever find yourself on her show, respond to the question she gives you with as short an answer as you can, because she’s usually ready for lunch (and will tell you so while tapping her wristwatch) and doesn’t abide long, drawn out narratives. Don’t tell her how you feel. Don’t give sweeping generalities. Don’t say “Um.” (“Um is not an answer!”) and whatever you do, DON’T try to talk over her. She’ll have Byrd (her super-cool bailiff; Mr. Laid back of 2013) bounce you out on your ear or cut your microphone off. She’ll say “This is MY playpen!” And it is. Oh, I almost forgot. Do not cross your arms under any circumstances. She will disembowel you on the spot.

As much as I love and admire Judge Bootie, if I ever get a summons to appear in her courtroom I might just have a nervous breakdown. I just can’t stand being called an idiot. Moron, yes. Idiot, no. I think I would literally thrown myself at the mercy of the court. That would almost guarantee my case gets aired. If there was anything left of me afterwards, I’d cherish the time I had with her. She can eat crackers in my head all day long.

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