By Christin Kuck
Gus has been caught with too many fish over the limit. He thinks he has an "ace in the hole" because he knows the judge. A look at grace and mercy.
Judge George Mackeral (In robes)
Gustave Smith (should be dressed like a fisherman)
(The scene opens in a courtroom. Two people people are discussing the circumstances which brought them to court.)
Gus: Hey, Jim. Long time, no see. What are you doing here?
Jim: Hi Gus. I'm here to pay a traffic ticket. I was going a little to fast in a school zone. Had my mind on something else, but... (Shruggs) Two hundred and fifty dollars. Can you believe it?
Gus: Bad break. Did you try to fight it?
Jim: Nah. No use. I was caught by radar gun. (Both men sit down) So, why are you here?
Gus: Fishing. You know. Out on Lake Minitawatka.
Gus: I was caught over the limit. Isn't that stupid. Too many fish. The fish are there for the taking.
Jim: I don't know, Gus. There must be a reason for the law.
Gus: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I've heard it all before. It's a conspiracy, I tell you. Bunch of bureaucratic red tape.
Jim: (Nods) So you have to go to court.
Gus: Yep. But I have an ace in the hole.
Jim: Ace in the hole?
Gus: I know the judge. George Mackerel.
Jim: (laughs then sees serious expresion on Gus' face) You're serious? So you think he's going to let you off, huh?
Gus: We've been friends since we were knee high to a grass hopper. He's always been there for me when I was in a bind. He knows I can't afford to pay a fine. What with my limited income.
(Baliff enters, stands next to podium.)
Bailiff: All rise. (Gus and Jim stand) Court is now in session. The Honorable George Mackerel presiding. Sit down.
(Judge enters, sits behind bench, looking over papers. Jim stands up.)
Jim: Well, I've got to be going. Hope everything works out.
Gus: Yeah. Thanks Jim. (Jim exits stage)
Judge: Bailiff, how many cases are on the docket today?
Baliff: Just one, Your Honor.
Judge: Well then, call the first case.
Bailiff: Pinellas County vs. Gustave Smith. Gustave Smith please come forward. (Gus stands up, approaches bench) Place your hand on the Bible. (Gus places hand on the Bible) Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God.
Gus: I do.
Judge: And what are the charges against Mr. Smith?
Bailiff: On the morning of November 15, 1998, Mr. Smith was fishing on Lake Minitawatka. Upon inspection of Mr. Smith's boat by the game warder, Mr. Smith was found to be in possession of 30 rainbow trout. The limit on Lake Minitawatka is 10 rainbow trout per day, Your Honor.
Judge: And how do you plead Mr. Smith.
Gus: Well, George, err... Your Honor.... it is true that I had caught 30 trout. But (Steps forward, so only the Judge can hear) Well, I was figuring since we're friends, and we've known each other such a long time. Well. I just figured...you'd let me off. Just this one time.
Judge: I see. Mr. Smith, upon your admission of guilt, your fine is $500.
Judge: $500, Mr. Smith.
Gus: George! You know I can't afford a fine like that! I'm on a limited income. There's no way I can come up with $500!
Judge: I know that. (Slams gavel against wood) $500, Mr. Smith.
Gus: But George! We've been friends for years!
Judge: I know that, too. (Steps from behind podium)
Gus: How can you do this to me. You know my circumstances.
Gus: But you're still going to fine me?
Judge: I have no choice. You are guilty. It's my duty as a judge. Removes robe and hangs it over back of chair.
Gus: But that's ridiculous! You're my friend!
Judge: I know. (Pulls out wallet. Removes several bills and hands them to bailiff). Will you take care of Mr. Smith's fine, please. (To Gus) Hey, what do you say we go pick up our fishing gear and hit Lake Minitawatka for the rest of the day.
Gus: ?(Surprised, looks at bailiff then back at Judge.) Yeah. Sure. Well...thanks George.
Judge: No problem, just try to keep your catch under limit, okay Gus? The price per pound for fish here is outrageous.
© Christin J. Kuck - 1999. All rights reserved. This script may not be altered without permission from the copyright holder. This script may be freely copied and distributed, providing it is done so in its entirety. This copyright notice and the performance license information must be reproduced on all copies of the script.
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