This amusing item was in the Long Branch (NJ) Record, 27 March 1903, pg.

5, col. 1:


Rockaway Justice Makes an Odd Ruling Interpreting Law.

"Yer honor, he spat on the floor," said Policeman Sullivan to Magistrate

Healy in the Far Rockaway Court when John Trumbull was arraigned, charged

with violating the sanitary code.

"Just spat?" inquired the magistrate.

"Yes, he spat on the floor of the smoking car."

"Well, if he spat he wasn't spitting," ruled the wise magistrate. "The

law says 'spitting' is prohibited in public places. 'Spitting' is plural;

'spat' is singular. It don't give any punishment if a man merely spat.

"Futhermore, a smoking car is not a public place. Women are admitted in

public places, but they are not allowed in smoking cars, so a smoking car is

not a public place. Trumball is discharged."