A judge attempting to restore order in a courtroom picked up another judge's gavel and banged it on his bench, but the gavel was actually a decorative bourbon bottle and it shattered in a shower of booze.
Judge Al Leal keeps the gag gavel on his bench as a novelty and no one thought to warn visiting Judge Wayne Bachus when he presided Thursday.Prosecutor Graciela Saenz said the courtroom was noisy enough to sound "like a bus station" when Bachus grabbed the glass gavel.
Court reporter Janice James was in the path of the flying liquor but eventually was able to laugh about it. Even the reek of bourbon on her clothes became amusing.
"I want the rest of the day off," she joked. "But I'm taking a taxi home. Otherwise, if the police stop me they'll have probable cause."