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THE LAST LAUGH: Expert advice

Don’t drink and propose
This was from the deposition of an 89-year-old man.
Q. So you got engaged early on in the relationship?
A. I don’t know how long ago we got engaged. I don’t remember that.
Q. Okay.
A. It just happened one night, and I don’t drink. I don’t drink neither. I don’t drink, so I can’t say all that because I don’t drink. I don’t smoke and don’t drink.
Q. Oh, I get what you’re saying. So you got engaged, but it wasn’t because you were feeling, I guess, pretty tipsy that night.
Elsa Jorgensen
Birmingham, Mich.

Dating yourself
Q. I will apologize in advance if I ask you to repeat things. I’m old. I grew up listening to Led Zeppelin way too loud, so my hearing is not —
A. I listen to Led Zeppelin, too, so I know how old you are. I’m coming right up there.
Therese J. Casterline, RMR, CRR
The Colony, Texas

What does it all mean?
MR. SMITH: Objection, calls for speculation. And asked and answered.
THE WITNESS: And as an answer?
MR. SMITH: Asked and answered.
THE WITNESS: Past and answered?
MR. SMITH: No. It’s “asked and answered.” It’s part of the objection. You go ahead.
MR. JONES: Go ahead.
THE WITNESS: That means I can answer it?
MR. JONES: You can answer it.
Mr. SMITH: You may.
THE WITNESS: Oh, I may —
MR. SMITH: You have to.
THE WITNESS: I have to answer it. So that’s not “may,” Counsel. That is “thou shalt.”
MR. SMITH: You’re correct.
Laurel L. Hall
Chimacum, Wash.

You can never go home again
Q. Were you born and raised here in Oregon?
A. No. I was actually born near Chicago and raised in Detroit, Mich.
Q. Oh, you were?
A. Yeah. And then I roamed around the country working for newspapers in Ohio and New York and all over. But I’ve been in Oregon now since 1980.
Q. My wife is from just outside of Detroit.
A. What town?
Q. There was a movie about it. You could probably guess. They have forest parks, city parks.
A. Oh, yes. Grosse Pointe. Yes, okay. You know, I was from the poorer side of town.
MR. SMITH: There was a movie about your wife?
MR. JONES: Isn’t there some movie about Grosse Pointe?
THE WITNESS: Well, there’s Grosse Pointe Blank.
MR. JONES: Yeah. But I can’t remember which part of town she was — so it wasn’t too high-end, but she had a good life.
Juliane Petersen
Beaverton, Ore.

Expert opinion
Q. Doctor, in what other ways has the fall affected Mrs. Jones?
A. She had absolutely no bone density loss because of the cross country skiing that she did. Now she is at risk for hip fractures and osteoporosis.
Q. This is what Mrs. Jones has told you?
A. Yes.
Q. Doctor, you don’t portend any expertise in osteoporosis or the aging propensity?
A. I’m married to an aging woman. I know what osteoporosis is.
Sandra Chadwick, RMR
New Milford, Conn.

Alphabet soup
Q. What does CVGG do for Oxy to market the NGLs to DCP NGL?
A. I believe that DCP NGLs markets the NGL’s Enterprise at the MAPL point.
Denyce Sanders, RDR, CRR
Houston, Texas

Lost in translation
An interpreter was involved in this depsotision, which is probably why the witness was confused.
Q. And when you went back at that time, what hours were you working?
A. Nine. My schedule.
Q. The same hours you were working before the accident?
A. I don’t remember because I have so many.
Q. So many what?
A. Sweaters. Aren’t you asking me about sweaters?
Q. No, I’m not. I could care less about your sweaters.
David Novick
Howard Beach, N.Y.

Inquisition or deposition?
Q. And why did you write those notes?
A. Just to remember because I knew I was coming in for the inquisition. Is it the inquisition?
MS. SMITH: Yep. That’s what it is.
WITNESS’S WIFE: Deposition.
Virginia Dodge, RDR, CRR
Boston, Mass.

Accidents happen
The captain of a tug was pushing a barge and hit a bridge, causing damage to it.
Q. Were you also the captain of your tug when your tug hit the Alligator Bridge down at Albemarle Sound? Is that correct?
A. The Alligator Bridge?
Q. Yes, sir.
A. The bridge hit me.
Q. Yes, sir. I won’t even touch that.
Sue Ash, RMR
Norfolk, Va.

I don’t remember
Q. Is dementia in the family? Do you know?
A. No.
Q. Unless you forgot. Just kidding.
Diana D. Sabo
Tinley Park, Ill.

Follow the bouncing ball
ATTORNEY: At the conclusion of the trial, the court will give the jury a packet of instructions to follow in reaching their verdict. Do you think you will be able to follow the court’s instructions, even if you may not agree with the law?
JUROR: I’ve been married for 17 years, so yes, I can follow instructions, even if I don’t agree.
Kari O. Narey, RMR, CRR
Waterloo, Iowa