A Brief Visit to the Municipal Court
The Official Court Transcript: Officer Carbury’s Testimony
PROSECUTION: Your honor, I would like at this time to call as my first witness: Officer Fred Carbury.
THE COURT: Very well. The witness will now take the stand.
PROSECUTION: Officer Carbury, you and Officer Polanski were the first to respond to the incident at Ma’s Custard Pie Shoppe during the night in question, were you not?
WITNESS: That is correct.
PROSECUTION: And how would you describe the scene?
WITNESS: Complete mayhem. By the time we got there, fifteen, maybe twenty pies had been thrown.
PROSECUTION: Now, Ma’s Custard Pie Shoppe only produces custard pies, is that right?
PROSECUTION: Your Honor, I would like to introduce into evidence, as state’s Exhibit A, one of Ma’s custard pies.
DEFENSE: I object!
THE COURT: On what grounds?
DEFENSE: The evidence is making my clients hungry!
THE COURT: Overruled. (Glowers at defense table.) Continue, Mr. Squeege.
PROSECUTION: Now, when you first entered the shop, didn’t you see one of the defendants holding a pie just like this one?
WITNESS: Yes I did. One of the Mr. Howards.
PROSECUTION: Which Mr. Howard is that?
WITNESS: The one with the soup bowl haircut and the scowl on his face.
PROSECUTION: May the record indicate that the witness has pointed out Moe Howard.
THE COURT: So noted. And may I suggest, in the interest of clarity — given the fact that two of the defendants are brothers and have the same last name — that we refer to each of the defendants by his first name? In other words, by Moe, Larry and Curly, instead of Mr. Howard, Mr. Fine and Mr. Howard?
PROSECUTION: The state has no problem with that, your Honor.
DEFENSE: Whaddaya think, boys? (Mr. Cheatem confers with his clients by going into a football huddle.) Sure, your Honor. Why not?
THE COURT: (Clears throat.) Proceed, Mr. Squeege.
PROSECUTION: Thank you, your Honor. Now, Officer Carbury, did Moe do anything with that pie?
WITNESS: Yes, he attempted to throw it at Larry. But Larry ducked and it hit Pa, the co-owner of Ma’s Custard Pie Shoppe, directly in the face.
PROSECUTION: And what did Pa do?
WITNESS: Well, he sort of looked real steamed. Then he wiped the pie filling slowly off his face with his hand and reached for a pie himself.
PROSECUTION: Didn’t you and Officer Polanski attempt to intervene?
WITNESS: We were about to, but then Lord Frippingham and his wife entered. They had just come from the opera.
PROSECUTION: How could you tell that?
WITNESS: Lord Frippingham was wearing a top hat and tails and his wife, Lady Frippingham, was still holding her opera glasses.
PROSECUTION: So then what happened?
WITNESS: Well, Pa tried to throw a pie at Moe, but missed and hit Lady Frippingham instead.
PROSECUTION: And what did Lady Frippingham say?
WITNESS: Something like, “My word!” or “How rude!” or “I never!”
PROSECUTION: And then?
WITNESS: Well, Lord Frippingham said to Pa, “Now see here, you rascal! You can’t go doing that to my wife! You’ll have to answer to me!”
PROSECUTION: Please continue.
WITNESS: So Pa said, “Oh, yeah? Well I got your answer right here!” And then he pasted him one right in the kisser with a pie.
PROSECUTION: He what?
WITNESS: I’m sorry. Pa struck Lord Frippingham in the face with one of his custard pies.
PROSECUTION: Now, at about this time, wasn’t Officer Polanski trying to apprehend Curly?
WITNESS: He was, sir.
PROSECUTION: And what happened there?
WITNESS: Well, Curly first did this little dance step that made him go backwards. Then, when Officer Polanski approached him a second time, Curly said, “Pick two,” meaning for Officer Polanski to pick two of his fingers. So Officer Polanski picked the defendant’s fore and middle fingers.
PROSECUTION: And then?
WITNESS: Then Curly poked Officer Polanski in the eyes with those two fingers!
THE COURT: Order! Order in the court! There will be order!
PROSECUTION: How did Officer Polanski respond to that?
WITNESS: He said, “Why I oughta…” and made a threatening gesture at the defendant.
PROSECUTION: And what happened after that?
WITNESS: Well, first Curly barked like a dog. Like this: “Ruff! Ruff, RUFF!” That kind of put Officer Polanski off his guard. Then, the defendant took his hand like so (displays hand flattened in horizontal position) and moved it up and down in front of Officer Polanski’s face, like this.
WITNESS: Well, I guess it was kind of hypnotic, because Officer Polanski just kept following it with his eyes until the defendant stopped with an abrupt downward motion. Then Officer Polanski said, “C’mere you. I’ll make mince meat outta ya!” and started to chase after Curly.
PROSECUTION: Couldn’t you do anything?
WITNESS: Well, no, see, because Lady Frippingham feinted by this time and I had to catch her. So I could only look on.
PROSECUTION: What were the other defendants doing?
WITNESS: Moe put his fingers in Larry’s nose and lead him over the automatic mixer. Then he stuffed Larry’s head down in the bowl and turned the mixer on. As he did this, Moe said, “Throw pies at me, eh? See how you like this!”
PROSECUTION: My God! Were there any injuries to Larry?
WITNESS: Surprisingly, no signs of injury at all, but the automatic mixer was ruined.
PROSECUTION: How could you tell?
WITNESS: Because after Larry stopped yelling, “Ow! Ow! Ow!” he pointed to the beaters and said, “Hey, look!”
PROSECUTION: May I introduce into evidence state’s Exhibit B, the beaters from said mixer. (Mr. Squeege holds up two horribly disfigured beaters. Gasps are heard.)
THE COURT: Order! Order! I’ll have order or I’ll clear the courtroom!
PROSECUTION: And what about Pa and Lord Frippingham?
WITNESS: Well, Lord Frippingham by this time had gotten Pa good with a custard pie of his own. Then Pa grabbed Lord Frippingham’s hat, turned it upside down and punched right through it, so the top of his hat stuck up like an opened can. At this point, Lady Frippingham woke up, saw Lord Frippingham’s hat, said, “Oh, Chester!’ and passed out again.
PROSECUTION: Anything else?
WITNESS: Well, yeah. Somehow Curly got free of Officer Polanski and he started running on his side, on the floor, in a circle. And he kind of went like this while he was doing it: “Woo, woo, woo, woo! Woo, woo, woo, woo!”
PROSECUTION: Thank you, Officer Carbury. The prosecution has no further questions, your Honor.
THE COURT: Very well. The court will stand in recess until 2:00.