Present: Jack, Richard, Alison, Rachel H, Rosy, Dunstan, Owen, Adam, John-h, Neil (eventually)
Visitors (briefly): Tim, Justin, Marissa (?sp.)
Apologies: Martin (Shock!), Roz, Rachel C, Naath, Jenny, Rosie
Prosecution calls Alison to take the stand.
Alison is sworn in on the testaments.
Counsel for the Prosecution (CfP): Were you present at the Society meeting on the 8th of February?
CfP: Was Neil also present?
Alison: Yes, and besides, it says in the Minutes that he was.
CfP- produces exhibit A, the minutes of the Society meeting held on 8/2/03.
CfP: I think we've finished with this witness. Witness dismissed.
CfP: Neil, you can cross-examine Alison.
Counsel for the Defence- Neil (CfD,N): I think I'll pass on that one.
CfD,N cross examines Alison.
CfD,N: How did you check it really was Neil at the meeting?
Alison: I stole your Emmanuel gate key.
CfD,N: So, a member of Emmanuel College was there.
Alison: And you were in your room.
CfD,N: So were you, presumably, does that make you Neil?
Alison: You were wearing Neil's clothes.
CfD,N: How did you know they were mine?
Alison: They were characteristic
Richard M-H: How were they characteristic?
Alison: Would you like me to describe in what way they were characteristic?
CfD,N: Yes? No, actually I'd rather you didn't.
CfD,N: Can you prove that the Neil in the minutes was not Neil M-H?
Richard M-H: 1279 witnesses, including his Housemaster, will assert that Neil M-H was at school last Saturday.
A member of the jury requests that the judge ask (of Alison, who is still technically in the stand): Is that your real hair?
Alison: No, it's a wig.
CfD- Owen: No more questions, you can go.
CfP (Owen again, lest we forget): Call Richard M-H
CfP: Was Neil the Teddy Bear at last week's meeting?
R M-H: No, he was at school.
CfP: Have you ever met Jon Jarret?
R M-H: Yes.
CfP: Would you say Neil was like Jon Jarret?
R M-H: No.
Richard M-H is sworn in.
CfP- Produces Exhibit B, the minutes of the Society meeting of 29/11/97 (the Trial of Jon Jarret).
CfP: Quotes the parts of minute 25
"Jon is called to the stand and takes the oath on the Old Testament. He pleads Not Guilty to the charge of leaving the Society devoid of a decent minute-writer, Not Guilty By Reason Of Insanity to the charge of failing to get a First and thus depriving the Society of Secretary and Pooh, Guilty to not coming to visit the Society, Guilty to general Jarrettness, and Not Guilty to forgetting the postcard, which has been hastily added to the charge-sheet. The Prosecution wants to strike that charge but is not allowed to do so."
about General Jarrettness, and asserts that by R M-H's testimony Neil is clearly Not Guilty of General Jarrettness and so has not, in that respect, annoyed the society.
(Somebody:) What was Jarrett like?
R M-H: Some people resented his paternity. Fornication and all that.
CfD (I think): Has Neil any character flaws which might annoy the society?
R M-H: Not that one, I suspect, unless he has a woman hidden away he isn?t telling us about.
Neil: Actually I have a woman hidden in my pocket.
The defendant is sworn in.
CfP seeks to show that Neil has not deprived the Society of a decent minute writer (see exhibit B), since Martin has mostly written the minutes throughout Neil's membership to date (This point is somewhat unconvincing as Martin is not here today and is standing down as Secretary next week. Probably not Neil's fault, but who knows?- Ed. (Clerk of the Court))
Jarrett failed to get a First (Exhibit B)
The defendant got a First last year.
CfP: Can you confirm that you were at last week's minute?
The defendant: No
CfP: Can you confirm that you were at last week's meeting?
Alison: You minuted last week.
CfP: So- you have not failed to attend a meeting.
Exhibit C: (never actually produced due to the absence of the secretary)
The defendant has not missed two consecutive meetings within full term since the start of his membership.
Exhibit D: A postcard, which the defendant admits to having seen before
CfP: So, you remember this postcard, so you are not guilty of forgetting the postcard. (See exhibit B)
The defendant now claims never to have seen the postcard before in his life and tells the court what a shocking memory he has.
Exhibit E: The minutes of the trial of not attending and failing to apologies for two successive meetings. Exhibit C is cited as proof that Neil has never been guilty of this act of annoyingness of the society.
CfD,N cross-examines the defendant.
CfD,N produces Exhibit, a minute from last week's meeting censuring the defendant for throwing his testament away.
CfD,N also points to the fact that the defendant has been censured over 1000 times in the current meeting.
At this point General Confusion briefly took over the minute writing (despite the fact that, as an Extraordinary General, he's only allowed to attend one meeting each year). After the Clerk of the Court bravely wrested back her notes and the pen, recording of the trial continued.
Neil accuses the Judge of corruption. In what capacity is never entirely clear.
Neil has no further questions for Neil.
The defendant has a question for the judge: What is the threshold of annoyingness which must be achieved before the case can be thrown out? Will throwing crisps on the carpet be sufficient?
Another question: Can this trial be shown by logic not to exist.
It is decided that if the Society is not bound by the law of gravity it need not be bound by those of logic. Objection thrown out.
Point of information: If the trial is not concluded in this session will the jury be put up in a 5* hotel?
Common law (interpretation of) is up to the discretion of the court.
But it is possible to appeal to the High Court.
CfD,N: No further questions. Witness dismissed.
CfP examines the Defendant.
CfP: Are you Neil?
The Defendant: We already established the matter.
CfP: Are you Neil?
The Defendant: We already established the matter.
CfP: Are you Neil, Yes or No?
The Defendant: No, I am not Neil-yes-or-no.
CfP: Sums up.
Adam: Since I have not been at meetings for the last three weeks the society has been devoid of a Pooh.
(At this point General Confusion made a further attempt upon the minutes. Eventually, after much effort, the Clerk of the Court regained control.)
The Defendant: I've been certified psychic by all reputable psychic certifying agencies.
CfP: Could you provide us with a list of one of these agencies.
The Defendant: I could provide you with a full list. (Exhibit ?)
Neil has let the Society down by being neither furry nor plump.
CfP sums up: The defendant is not guilty of other people's charges.
The jury retire (despite not having started their working lives yet) to the other side of the room.
The Jury reach a Hung verdict. Rachel persistently abstains and so:
Round 1: Drawn (Scissors)
Round 2: Neil wins
Hence, Neil is found Not Guilty of Failing to Annoy the Society.
Not minutes because they occurred after the meeting:
Next week's meeting:
AGM, 5pm until After Dinner
Inner Parlour, Pembroke College
The cake contained vanilla and cinnamon, but not fresh coriander.
Return To Lent 2003