The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Michele Bender

February 8, 2014

Judge Judy’s tough in any language

— In her relentless effort to “correct and serve,” Judge Judy Scheindlin is “on the road” promoting her new program, “Hot Bench.” (I’m not even going there.)

For 10 years, since her retirement from New York City’s small claims court, she’s delighted TV viewers with her no-nonsense approach to legal quagmires.

The daughter of a Brooklyn dentist, she also crusades for proper grammar.

Her sassy corrections have earned her even more notoriety than her legal prowess.

“I signed that promissory note under ‘distress,’ ” insisted a felon.

“You mean duress,” Judy snapped.

“Yeah. That, too.”

“I tole them investigationeers where I fount it,” argued a young woman clutching a cellphone that wasn’t hers. “I tole them.”

“And I’m sure they heered you,” Judy replied.

The liar and young lady did not leave quietly. “This is a tapestry of justice,” the Sprint-snatcher howled. “A tapestry of justice.”

When trouble broke out at a fast-food eatery, an irate assistant manager accused her trainee of theft. “I seen him fill that laundry basket with money.”

“She crazy,” he exclaimed. “She bipolaroid.”

Faced one day by a particularly inept liar, Judy rose to her full 5-foot, 1-inch frame, stared him in the eyes and snarled, “Don’t pee on my foot and try to tell me it’s raining.”

So, all you grammar scofflaws, misspellers, and “slang-slingers” … get ready. You’ve dangled your last participle and split your last infinitive. There’s a new sheriff in town.

Well, maybe not so new, but she’s locked, reloaded and ready for bear.

Put your listening ears on. The best is ahead.

Michele Mikesic Bender is a Johnstown resident and a member of  The Tribune-Democrat’s Readership Advisory Committee.

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