Chocolate: A Comic Courtroom Play (Scene 7)


Caleb (12) takes his turn in the federal judge’s chair.

As a prosecutor I could often count on the defendant’s mother to believe completely that her darling little boy could never do anything to hut anyone.  In trial, as in life, however, even the best of mothers may not always know how to help their wayward children.  I hope you enjoy Scene 7 of Chocolate.

By Roger Evans Baker

The Characters:
• The Honorable Marsha P. Stone, Judge of the 13th District Court
• Mr. John Butcher, Prosecuting Attorney
• Mr. Gil Sullivan, Defense Attorney
• Victor S. Bull, the Defendant
• Ashton “Flapper” Cuff, Court Bailiff
• Officer Harold Ketchum, Police Officer
• Vickie Hicks, Bull’s 17-year-old niece
• Judd “Snoops” Lawson, Bull’s duplex neighbor
• Ernest “Tubby” Brown, Bull’s drinking buddy
• Winowna Darling Bull, Bull’s 76-year-old mother

MR. SULLIVAN. Just one more witness, Mayam, an important one. And she won’t take long.

JUDGE STONE. Very well, you may proceed.

MR. SULLIVAN. The defense calls Mrs. Winowna Darling Bull, the defendant’s mother. (pause) May I call you Winowna, my dear.

WINOWNA. (delighted) Why, yes, that would be delightful.

MR. SULLIVAN. How old are you, Winowna, dear.

WINOWNA. (shyly, but with pride) Seventy-six last Tuesday.

MR. SULLIVAN. Well, happy birthday! Winowna, tell us about your son, Victor.

WINOWNA. Well, Victor was born on the farm near the little town of–

MR. SULLIVAN. Not that far back, Winowna, dear. Just tell us what Victor is like.

WINOWNA. (glad to be helpful) Why, my Victor is simply the sweetest son a widowed mother could ever have. He calls me every week to see if my social security check, retirement check, royalties check, and dividend check have arrived. Then he takes them to the bank and cashes them for me. He buys me my groceries and gives me quarters for Friday night Bingo. He keeps the rest safe for me in our secret hiding place. It’s so nice to feel secure.

MR. SULLIVAN. That’s really not what I meant, Winowna, dear. Tell us how Victor is with his family.

WINOWNA. (delighted) Oh, that! Why didn’t you say so? My Victor loves his family. He wouldn’t hurt a fly. Oh, he hunts, of course, but just to put meat on the table. Quite an assortment, too. Deer, elk, moose, bear, pronghorn, duck, goose, and pheasant. It’s a hard life, you know. (giggling) Victor can be a bit careless, too. He’s shot himself in the foot twice, you know. That finger of his must just itch to pull the trigger.

MR. SULLIVAN. Would he ever point a loaded gun at his beloved wife?

WINOWNA. (shocked) Goodness, no! How dare you even suggest such a thing. Of course, he’s popped her once or twice, just to let her know who’s boss, you know, just like my dearly departed did to me on more than one occasion. But she deserved it, I am sure.

MR. SULLIVAN. (in dismay) I think you’ve told us enough, Winowna, dear.

MR. BUTCHER. Just one question, Your Honor. Mrs. Darling, would you say–

WINOWNA. (suppressing a giggle) It’s Mrs. Bull, young man, but you can call me Darling if you wish.

MR. BUTCHER. (blushing and flustered) Right. (regaining his composure) Well, would you say that a man who gets drunk, who beats his wife, who gets angry and jealous over nothing, and who shoots guns in his own home could be dangerous?

WINOWNA. (indignantly) I certainly do! Heaven help the poor girl! That man, whoever he is, should be thrown in jail!

MR. BUTCHER. (again, almost singing) No further questions.

MR. SULLIVAN. (deflated): No further witnesses, Mayam.

JUDGE STONE. Good. I mean, very well. Mr. Butcher, do you have a closing statement, or do you submit it to the judgment of the Court?

[Come back tomorrow for the last scene of Chocolate.]

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