Monday, February 07, 2005

Fishy Business

One of our less-riveting duties is to enforce fishing licences. All money raised from licences goes back into maintaining the waters, so it seems a fair-enough system.

Today we have a brand-new prosecutor, a young barrister. He tells our clerk that he has never prosecuted before, so would the clerk give him a nudge if he went wrong, please. As it happens none of us have done any of these for ages, so I ask the learned Counsel to remind us of the cost of a licence, so that we have an idea where to pitch the fines. Confusion. He doesn't know. His young assistant rushes out of court clutching her mobile, and comes back after a couple of minutes with a piece of paper. "May it please you Sir" he begins "A rod licence costs £23.25 for coarse fish, and £62.25 for salmon and sea trout".

I can't resist it. "Mr. Smith. The salmon and trout rivers of West London are less than renowned, so we shall deal with all of these as coarse fishing licences".

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