This article started out as something I posted on the CompuServe Court Reporters Forum (CRForum) a couple of decades ago, and was turned into an article for MS-Strokes (The magazine of the Mississippi Court Reporters Association) in 1997. Later, portions of this article also appeared in the Journal of Court Reporting. I came across the article while going through some old archives, and thought my friends in the legal and court reporting business might appreciate it.
The inspiration for this article, of course, came from Jeff Foxworthy. As a side note, at least eight of these came from real life — I’ll let you figure out which eight!
You might be a redneck court reporter…
…if you’ve ever missed the verdict because you were mooning the defendant.
…if you use the pencil holders on your steno machine for cigarettes.
…if you have to move at least three cats to get to your CAT.
…if you wear your fishing vest on depositions because the pockets hold four steno pads.
…if you use cinder blocks instead of a tripod.
…if you’ve ever bet your judge you could drink a six-pack and still report that FedEx guy.
…if you have six steno machines, and only one works.
…if you have “y’all” in your dictionary.
…if your living room bookshelves are boards stacked on boxes of last year’s steno notes.
…if you have a spittoon on the side of your steno machine.
…if your bailiff introduces the judge by saying, “Y’all git up, Bubba’s coming.”
…if your steno machine has ever spent the winter on your front lawn.
…if you’ve pre-scripted the jury charge, and you call it up by writing “yadda yadda yadda.”
…if you bought text enlarging software so you could edit with a hangover.
…if you painted your steno machine black with flames coming off the keyboard.
…if you have a brief for “(witness nodding and belching)”.
…if you have a bass lure on your paper tray.
…if your front porch is held up by a hi-boy tripod.
…if you had your wedding reported so you’d have the vows in writing.
…if you’ve ever taken your notebook computer to a service technician to get the cigarette ashes out of the keyboard.
…if the attorney called for a sidebar, and you said, “Good idea, Judge! I’ll have a mint julep.”
…if there are at least three pieces of duct tape on your tripod.
…if you found underwear in your steno case, and you don’t know whose it is.
…if you’ve ever spilled a beer in your CAT system.
…if you’ve ever wrapped a fish in steno paper.
…if you’ve modified your steno case to hold the machine, tripod, three steno pads, and a six-pack.
…if you have a tripod rack in the back of your pickup truck.
…if you’ve decided to get into captioning so you can work in your underwear without the judge getting all upset.
…if you’ve ever had to call a scopist because you were too drunk to edit a daily.
…if you’re related to the judge, both attorneys, and the defendant, and don’t see anything wrong with that.
…if you check your purse on a date and find two kinds of steno machine oil, but no lipstick.
…if you watch Deliverance, and find yourself thinking, “How would you SPELL that?”
…if you’ve ever had a depo interrupted by a husband saying, “I did NOT sleep with your cousin Sally. She’s my SISTER, for chrissake!”