I went through a period where I couldn’t get enough court shows.
Judge Mathis, Judge Joe Brown, Judge Mills Lane, Judge Hatchett, Judge Wapner, Judge Mablean, Judge Alex… I would have watched Judge Reinhold if he had a show. And that’s saying something.
Eventually, I got tired of it all. The hokey catch phrases, the forced attempts at being a hard ass, the lapsing into Spanish every ten seconds and talking about notarized tongues and paying for the hot chocolate. It just got old.
But there was one judge who always kept me interested. Judge Judy.
“Interested” is maybe too casual of a word. This is love. I even love the reruns: the eBay scammer, the woman who sued the cop for giving her a ticket, the woman whose hair fell out after the bad perm. I know them by heart and I could still see them again.
People ask me what it is about her that I like so much, and all I can really say is, I enjoy watching stupid people get punished. There’s just something so satisfying about watching someone with intelligence and authority put the smack down on some idiot who’s really asking for it.
In any case, the unimaginable happened in September of 2009: I actually got to meet her.
I wasn’t expecting a whole lot, to be honest. I thought I might get to watch a case or two, and possibly get an autograph. But to my amazement, I wound up spending several hours with the judge in her dressing room, talking about politics, mothers, movies, shopping and Gin Rummy. And after seeing my engagement ring, she even gave me some advice about pre-nups.
And if that wasn’t enough glamour, I was invited to sit in the front row of the audience for two cases, which means you’ll actually see my pale and sweating face when they air that episode.
And to put the icing on the torte*, I even had lunch with her honor. I was invited into the dining room and I had salad, green beans and chicken. They had corn on the cob and ribs too, but I didn’t trust my hand-eye coordination for that one. Plus I thought I’d get food in my teeth and look like an even bigger starstruck hillbilly.
Now, I don’t want to say too much more, because Judge Judy was very candid and relaxed with me. And I thought that was gracious, considering I am nobody and likely to remain that way. So I don’t want to be rude by spilling everything all over my blog.
But I will tell you that she wears a tank top and jeans under her robe, and she’s built like a brick courthouse.
UPDATE 2/4/13: The episode aired that fall, and I was able to get a photo of me and Martha Plimpton in the front row, trying very hard not to laugh.