by Southy

© June 2005


Jim was grateful for the interruption when his desk phone rang. “Ellison.”

“I’ll have you know that my testicles have ascended into my abdominal cavity.”

“Is there a reason why I need to know this?”

Laughter. “Have you ever watched this show? This lady is impossible!”

“Since I work for a living, I don’t get much opportunity to watch daytime TV.” 

“You’ve got to see this! I mean, this woman is too much.” Blair mimicked a high-pitched witch-like voice. “ ‘I’m speaking. I’m speaking.’ She asks these poor litigants questions, and then she gets pissed off and accuses them of interrupting when all they’re doing is answering her.”

Jim tried to decide if he had any idea what Blair was talking about. The word “litigants” suggested some kind of court TV show. “I’ve had my share of courtrooms, Chief. I don’t need to watch that phony stuff on TV.”

“No, no. These are real cases. And this woman, this judge, she’s got these poor people so pussy-whipped that all they can do is stand there and get orally abused. It’s like verbal castration.”

“Did you say pussy-whipped?” And to think Blair took satisfaction in not being demeaning toward any race, creed, religion, or gender.

Jim noticed that a few heads looked in his direction.

“That term applies. I mean it! I’m going to record the rest of this show for you so you can see for yourself. Then you can tell me if I’m overreacting.”

“I’m really not interested,” Jim said as he turned his attention back to his computer screen.

“I don’t see how she can get away with treating people like this. It’s no wonder this show is so popular. It’s like people watch it so they can be glad that they aren’t in the shoes of these sorry schmucks who stand in this judge’s courtroom and get demeaned. Really, if you want to feel good about your life, just watch the stupid crap these people are willing to get humiliated for.”

Jim started typing on the keyboard. “Like not paying rent?” he guessed.

“Yeah, that’s what the first case was about.”

Jim grinned to himself. “Then maybe we can get in contact with the producers and see if you and I can be on.”


Jim’s grin widened. “Back rent, Chief. I figure we’re up to about five months by now.”

Blair’s voice sobered. “Who swept the floors last week? Even the corners?”

“You did. And then I had to sweep after you to get all the dust bunnies you left behind.”

“Who took your list to the grocery store and bought everything on it?”

“You did. But I never asked you to go to the store for me. In fact, because you took the list before I was finished with it, we didn’t have any gravy for the roast beef and we had to have macaroni and cheese without the cheddar cheese.”

“Who didn’t ask to be reimbursed for your groceries?”

“You. Why should I reimburse you for something I never asked you to do in the first place?”

“Who’s recording Judge Judy for you so you can enjoy how impossible she is when you get home tonight?”

“You are. And I have about as much interest in watching that program as I do in watching grass grow.”

Silence. Then, “Jim, has anyone ever told you that you have an aggravating, contrary personality?”

Jim continued to click on the keyboard. “Not a soul.”

“I don’t bel -- She just told this poor old guy that he’s stupid!” Blair mimicked the witch-like voice again. “’You’re stupid! You’re stupid!’ I can’t believe she’s allowed to treat a poor old man like that.”

Jim turned a paper in the file he was working on. “You know something, Chief?”


“You’re stupid.” He continued typing.

“Jim, did it ever occur to you that when people call others stupid, it’s because they’re, like, incredibly insecure about their own intelligence?”

“It’s never crossed my mind because I don’t think it’s true.”

“It’s true. I mean, this judge has got to be the most insecure person in the world about her own intelligence if she has to call people stupid on national television.” Pause. “And, by the way, you calling me stupid doesn’t have the same effect on my testicles as her calling other people stupid.”

Jim feigned offense as he continued to input data. “Are you saying your testicles like my tone?”
Others in the office glanced his way.

“Well, they aren’t coming out of hiding, but nor are they cowering to any greater degree.”

“So they’re indifferent?”

“Yeah, they’re indifferent. It’s this judge they want to hide from. It’s like her whole goal is to castrate everyone in the room – men and women both.” Pause. “Though, I guess for women, it would be something like a boobectomy.”

“Boobectomy?” Again, he caught the glances of his fellow detectives.

“Yeah.” Laugh. “I just invented a new word.”

“You need your head examined, Chief.”

“Oh, man! My testicles are coming out of hiding!”

Jim continued to input data.

“There’s this woman on this commercial. Oh, wow, look at those legs!” A purring noise came across the line that made Jim wonder what Blair was seeing. “Oh, man, my testicles have dropped back into my scrotal pouch and they are so, so ready for action.”

Jim cleared his throat as softly as he could manage. “Chief? Why don’t you hang up? I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in what your testicles – or anything else down there – are doing right now.”

“Okay, Jim,” Blair said breathlessly. “Good idea.” Then, “The commercial is over. I’m turning off the TV so I can continue the fantasy.”

“I’m hanging up, Chief.”


Jim put the receiver back on its cradle and focused on his computer screen, his tongue in his cheek.

From the corner of his eye, he saw Simon enter and take in the smirks around the room. 

“What’s going on?”

Jim shrugged and didn’t look up from his work. “Sandburg was just giving me an update on the status of his testicles.”

“Huh. What, were they injured or something?”

“Only verbally. By a witch on TV.”

“I guess that would do it.” Simon moved around to the front of Jim’s desk. “Speaking of which, have you ever seen that show, Judge Judy? Now that’s a woman who’s out to castrate.”

Jim glanced up at his boss. “Some of us work for a living, sir, and don’t get to watch daytime TV.”

Simon waved a hand. “Don’t get testy. My son watches it and records it. For some reason, he thinks I need to see it, too. That woman is enough to make your balls – “

“Ascend into your abdominal cavity?” Jim finished helpfully.

“Why, yes. That’s a good way of putting it. You’ve obviously seen the show.”

“Actually, I haven’t. My testicles have never had that particular experience.”

Simon drew a breath and took out a cigar. “It’s one they won’t forget, believe me.” He moved off to his office. Then he paused to say over his shoulder, “When Sandburg’s at home, you ought to have him record it for you sometime.”

Jim shook his head as Simon disappeared into his office.

“Hey, Jim,” Taggart said from desk.

Jim looked up.

Taggart grinned. “I guess I need to get a roommate, huh? Then I can have someone call me when they’re bored and tell me all about their testicles.” He burst out laughing and others followed.

Jim made a point of leafing through the open file folder on his desk. “Somehow, I don’t think testicular conversation applies to roommates in general.” He sighed forlornly. “ I think it’s just a Sandburgian trait.”

“Lucky you.” Taggart laughed some more.

“Yeah. Lucky me.” 

Jim’s attention returned to his computer screen.


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