This sounds as if it could be a contradiction in terms, but bear with me. I really like Judge Judy. It’s live courtroom about small claims. A few hundred dollars here and there. No big deals, just pretty much out of pocket expenses. But the judge does not take prisoners. She will not suffer fools gladly. Do not try to mislead her, or fib, or lie, or dissemble, because she will come down on you like a ton of bricks.

There was a classic case over the weekend. A little boy had a pet chicken. Credit to him, he took very great care of the chicken, and fed it, watered it, cleaned the coop. He was very attached to it. He must have been to clean the coop, because chicken crap is not pleasant. I happen to like chickens too, they’re very amiable but daft, very endearing. You can see how you can get attached to them. The little boy clearly was.

Then it all went wrong. The next door neighbour’s Jack Russell got under the fence. Jack Russells are mental, canine psychos. The dog went for the chicken big time. Little boy’s mum managed to get the dog off, gathered the rather battered chicken, still alive, into a box, and took it down to the vet. It looked worse than it actually was, but even so there was a bill for $350 for stitching and fixing the somewhat battered avian. When mum got home, she stuck the dog’s owner with the vet bill.

He took exception to this. He claimed he had not authorised the treatment, and offered $2 for the purchase of a new chicken.

The judge did not take kindly to this attitude, and took him soundly to task. She pilloried him, just before tearing him a new one. Fabulous, because she is so sarky. Upshot was she found for the plaintiff in the amount of the vet bill, then stuck the stupid dog owner with an additional $100 for emotional distress. Quite a big day out for the nobhead.