Monday, November 03, 2008

Ham Sandwiches, Beware

It was once said that one could get a New York City grand jury to "indict a ham sandwich." The phrase was uttered by Sol Wachtler, former Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, who was eventually himself indicted for harassing a former lover, and served time for it.

The phrase was then used by Tom Wolfe in his coruscating The Bonfire of the Vanities, and I'm using it now because today I begin grand jury service, which may well extend through the month of November.

I don't eat ham, but the word "indictment" has the pleasant ring of deep, government-backed disapproval to it. Now if only it could apply to crimes reported by the fashion police.

I can see it now: "Your Honor, the jury has found the defendant guilty of extreme fugliness."

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