I guess I’ll let Gilbert Shelton of Freak Brothers fame comment on this:
Ho-Lee-Shit! Now that’s some world class ramblin’!
The man clearly knows his chicken.
I absolutely love this series by Brett Weiner.
Ooh, I’d forgotten to check back on this series to see if any more were made. Hadn’t seen the slightly more recent one yet: “Expert Witness”
I know that lawyer’s pain.
The Vernon, Florida flashbacks are intense. I might have double-gobbled.
Rob, I think you’re mistaken about the point of the photocopier video. I don’t believe the man being questioned was playing dumb, though the lawyer questioning him no doubt did. Many Americans only know this object as a “Xerox machine” and are not familiar with calling it a “photocopier.” This did not occur to the lawyer, thus the hilarity.
A large part of the case revolved around the definition of “photocopy”. From a summary provided by the court that heard the case: “The fiscal officer counters that R.C. 317.32 controls the cost of the requested copies. Subsection (I) of R.C. 317.32 provides that the county recorder shall charge $2 per page for photocopying a recorded document.”
The county was trying to apply that to records electronically copied onto a CD, charging $2 per page on the entire CD. Since the case actually did revolve around “the plain meaning of ‘photocopying’”, it’s a little difficult to believe that the man being questioned had no idea.
It’s like someone saying they’ve never heard of adhesive bandages, facial tissue or freezable packets of sugar water themed after aquatic mammals.
Well, that one gave me pause, but mainly due to the specificity. Don’t think I’ve ever referred to those by name!
They are great after a bowl of puffed rice promoted by elves that also work as marching band leaders for some reason. Doubly so if you pour fluid intended for a calf but diverted by an agricultural technician over the puffed rice first.
Then maybe I could use some bleached shredded trees promoted by a family of overly saccharine cartoon bears.
Eh, what? I thought it was obvious why “Xerox” was the punchline. Note in the video how the person being interviewed (Patterson) made several requests for the attorney (Marburger) to define “photocopier,” but the lawyer decides to be an asshole instead (I know, what a surprise).
Here’s how the rest of the testimony went:
Marburger: What do you call that machine? Patterson: Xerox. Marburger: Xerox. Is the machine made by the Xerox Company? Is that why it's called Xerox? Patterson: No. Marburger: So Xerox, in the parlance that you've described, the language that you've described, is being used generically as opposed to describing a particular brand; is that right? Patterson: All of my life I've just known people to say Xerox. It's not commonplace to use the terminology that you're using. Marburger: You mean it's more -- people say Xerox instead of photocopy? Patterson: If you're referring to a type of machine where you place a piece of paper on the top and press a button and out comes copies of it, they usually refer to it as a Xerox. Marburger: Have you ever heard it referred to as photocopying? Patterson: Not with my generation, no.
Did you even read the court’s summary?
The county was trying to claim that “photocopy” covered “copying digital files to a CD”. That’s what the case was about. The law they were using to justify charging $2 per page specifically used that language. The lawyer wasn’t being an asshole by trying to get it on record that the guy was trying to claim that he didn’t know the definition of “photocopier” or “photocopy”.
Patterson: I understand that there are photocopying machines, and there are different types of them just like […] there are different cars.
So based on that, the guy knew the answer to the question of “Are there any in the Recorder’s office”, and yet he decided to continue on playing dumb by talking about different types of them as though that would matter to the answer. Which it would, but only because the guy’s side was trying to redefine the word.
I see your point.
In any case, I believe there’s a lesson embedded in the video that kind of transcends the particulars of this case itself.
I quickly scanned the headline and read it as “verbatim dramatization of deposition in bizarre chicken suit.” (As opposed to plain, old, ordinary chicken suits, I guess.)
This was a county records department. Of course they know what a photocopy is! It’s defined in statute, they do it every day, and the problem was they were claiming that copying to a CD is a “photocopy,” so they could charge $400 for giving someone a 200-page PDF.
The county worker was portrayed as a dumbass in the dramatization for interpretive, humorous effect. The text is verbatim–the real one was being an ass, and it surely cost them in the long run. Likewise, the real lawyer was not screaming in the actual deposition, but calmly providing the guy with rope.
Or even more simply as, like he said, a xerox. Lower case x, applied to the machine, the act and the product. Much like washing things in the hotpoint and sucking it up with a hoover.
Ok, that makes sense if you look at the case in context. But I suspect someone just viewing the video itself would get a different takeaway if they didn’t consider the wider details of this case, no?