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Funny stories from the bench
Liberty lore
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A bondsman can be a person’s best friend if he is caught and put in jail and his bond is set for a huge amount of money. He can call a bondsman to put up the bond for him.
Of course, this costs some money for the alleged criminal. The bondsman assures the court that the suspect will make his or her appearance in court at the time given. Kenny Fussell is a bondsman and owns the Fussell Bonding Company, which opened in 1994 in Hinesville. Thank goodness, I have never had to call upon him! In 2000, Fussell published a book, “When Even Your Mama Can’t Help,” of supposedly true stories that he has heard in court, changing the real names to protect the identities of the subjects. Kenny gave me permission to use some of his hilarious stories.

“Harry was a character I cannot forget. His reddened face was covered with three day’s growth of red beard. His hair stood up on his head pointing in 10 different directions, and his clothes looked like an unmade bed. I asked him what they had him charged with this time.
“‘Well, sir, this is the craziest charge I have ever had. See, it was like this. I had only a few beers at Bullies and on the way home, I stopped to get gas. Well, I weren’t paying any attention, and I let the gas tank run over. Gas ran all over my hand. Well, I got back in the pickup and headed on down the road. I had gone a little way when I felt like a cigarette. So, I lit up and my whole arm burst into flame! So, I held my arm out the window and shook it and the officer saw it and pulled me over and wrote me up.’
“‘He wrote you up?’ I asked. ‘What in the world did he write you up for?’
“‘Well, sir,’ he said, ‘for waving a firearm in public!’
“Harry burst into laughter and I realized that I had been the butt of a joke. Harry’s real charge was public drunkenness, which I bonded him out at no charge.

“HOT WAX —‘Judge, I guess you could say that I was disorderly and I’ll plead guilty, but I want a chance to explain. You see, I was doing a little work at the coast and had some boards, 16x2x8, in the back of my pickup. Well, Sam, my old black Lab, always rides in the back of my truck. This time, he was surfing out close to the ends of the boards as I rode down the highway. And when I stopped to get gas, this here lady comes running up to me shouting and asking me if I love my dog. Well, I says, I don’t know about loving him, but I like him pretty good. And she goes on to shout that I must not if I let him ride in the back of the truck like that. And what if I had an accident? And well, Judge, this ain’t the first time that me and the Yankee lady had words, anyhow. Judge, I told her that if you are riding in my truck and I have an accident in it, it is everyone for himself. And that is when the officer came up and that is why I am here.’
“‘I see,’ the judge said. “And you said that this is not the first time you and the lady had a disagreement?’
“‘That’s right, Judge,’ the construction worker replied. ‘Last month, me and Sam were working on a dock at Half Moon. Well, Sam gets off in the marsh and gets muddy. So, on the way back, I stop at the car wash in Midway and rinse him off with the power washer. This same woman comes flying up to me and tells me that is the cruelest thing she has ever seen in her life.’
“‘I see,’ the judge said. ‘And how did you respond that time?’
“‘Well, Judge, that kind of set me off, so I tell her, Lady, if you think this is cruel, just stick around for the hot wax.’
“The courtroom burst into laughter, and once order was restored, the man went on to explain that this woman was from so far north that she hadn’t a clue that Labs like the water and thrive on it, and he truly did care for Sam, at which time the case was dismissed.

“MAGICAL — One night, a desk sergeant was booking a young fellow and asked what his occupation was.
“‘I’m a magician,’ he replied.
“‘I see,’ the sergeant said, ‘and what instrument do you play?’
“‘No, no, I do magic tricks,’ the young man replied.
“‘Let me see your tricks then,’ the sergeant said.
“The young fellow agreed and took a small piece of tissue paper, tore it in half and had the sergeant hold out his hands. Then he had him close them and turn them over. Grabbing each hand, he told the jailer that he could make the paper disappear. After a number of moves and incantations, the magician instructed the officer to open his hands. He did so and revealed that the papers were still there.
“‘Huh,’ the sergeant said. ‘You ain’t much of a magician. You can’t even make a little piece of paper disappear. Can’t be much of a living doing what you do.’
“‘It’s alright. I have another job,’ the young man replied.
“‘I should hope so. What else do you do?’ the sergeant asked.
“‘I sell watches. Do you want to buy one?’
“‘The young man held out a watch for the sergeant to see. The sergeant studied the watch for a second and said, ‘No, I done have one just like that. See.’
“He held out his arm and his watch was gone.
“‘Hey, you hold on a minute. That’s my watch!’
“Everyone burst into laughter. The sergeant snatched his watch, and the magician held out his other hand in which he had the jail keys.
“‘You might need these too.’
“In shock, the sergeant said, ‘Quick, bond this fellow out before he lets himself out!’

“GIANT CHICKEN — ‘Driving under the influence, speeding, reckless driving and fleeing and alluding are the charges. How do you wish to plead?’ the old judge asked.
“A tall, slender, black man in soiled work clothes with a red baseball cap crumpled in his hands stood before the judge with his head downward as if in prayer.
“‘See, here, Judge. I ain’t gonna lie to you. I’d done had a drink or three, and I was probably going a bit too fast, but it was that giant chicken that caused all the trouble.’
“‘Mister, this is a court of law and I’ll not have you mocking it. Do you understand?’
“‘Your Honor, I ain’t mocking no one. It was like I said. Me and Junior come around the corner and there he stood most of 6 feet tall, right smack dab in the middle of the road. I cuts the wheel to keep from hitting him and in the ditch we went. As for that fleeing, sir, when I comes to, that there chicken was staring in the truck window at me. Well, sir, I crawled over Junior and lit out down the road, and I ain’t been back.’
“The judge, fighting back a chuckle, turned to the arresting officer, who stood shaking his head and rolling his eyes.
“‘Your honor, it seems that a fellow that lives on that road raises ostriches for a living. And it seems, one got out and caused quite a stir before they rounded him up.’
“Returning his attention to the defendant, the judge continued. ‘Well, Mr. Jones, what am I to do? You openly admitted to both drinking and fleeing. What do you think your punishment should be?’
“‘Well, Sir, Judge, ain’t nothing you can do can match the worst done happened to me. See, the two things I like most in the world, I done give up. I ain’t had a drop to drink since that night, and I can’t even stay in the house while my wife’s frying up chicken.’
“After some deliberation, the judge dismissed most of the charges.”

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