Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cross My Heart And Hope to Die

I was really looking forward to writing a long piece mocking the pomp and circumstance and the airs and graces of my recent swearing-in. But I'm not going to. Much.

There was plenty of potential for mockery. For example, in attendance were four High Court judges and a Lord Lieutenant with a massive ceremonial sword and a High Sheriff, all with uniforms out of "Duck Soup". I knew what the judges did for a living, but it took some serious wikipedia to work out how the other guys filled their days.

The venue was a massive contrast - a rather cramped modern lecture theatre at the University of Stanster. We were packed in so tight that it was difficult to stand when it was our turn to swear our oaths. Early on I dropped a piece of paper on the floor, but I couldn't have ducked down to get it without appearing to commit an act of gross indecency on one or both of my squashed neighbours.

Fortunately the speeches were brief and soon I was standing and swearing my non-religious version of the oath (hold the God). It was a shock to hear the archaic language come tumbling out of my mouth. I resisted a momentary mad impulse to do a comedy voice.

I sat and later I signed The Book with a disappointingly mundane black Bic biro.

And that's how you make a Magistrate.

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