An Undersea Farce (#17)
Deep in the Pacific, in the Courts of Clownfish, a claimant was making a claim. He was a starfish. His name? Paulie.
“That…that thing! He destroyed my house!” The “thing” was Pyro the vampire squid. He was a prime suspect, being 6 inches long, large enough to destroy Paulie’s cloister easily. He defended himself by saying that he lived down lower than Paulie, at 3500 feet. It was true, but I wasn’t sure. Pyro wasn’t the most congenial.
This was a huge trial. Paulie was very well-known. He had a large coterie of friends, and there was a consensus that he was a nice guy. Even Archie II the giant squid came. He came from 11000 feet, so it was quite a trip.
The judge scanned the crowd for guilty faces. He found a few. He thought, and came to a decision.
“Ahem.” the judge said, “Paulie, your house is not commodious, is it?”
“No, sir. It just comprises of a rock with a bed under it.”
“Well, what if there was a rock that looked like your house?”
“Ricky the Rockfish, come up here.”
“Sir…I’m just a poor fish…”Ricky pleaded.
“You are a connoisseur of starfish, are you not?” the judge said. Ricky tried to swim away, but the police caught him.
Paulie’s house had only been hidden by Ricky, not destroyed. Ricky posed as his house, but Paulie never came in. He was on a trip. By the time Paulie came back, Ricky had fled, in search of a better meal.
“But how did you know?” Ricky yelled as they took him away.
“By your countenance. You looked guilty as one of the guests. Also, (pausing for effect) Paulie’s house had a face.”
And that was the judge’s magnificent coup.