Gerri Nel, the South African prosecutor assigned to Oscar Pistorius' murder case, caused the courtroom to erupt into guffaws this morning when he stood up, cleared his throat and said: "Ladies and gentlemen, Oscar Pistorius' case simply doesn't have a leg to stand on."
Nel then stood with his arms out and palms raised and accepted high-five after high-five from those gathered in the cramped courtroom.
"Oh, man. Nailed him," said magistrate Desmond Nair. "Good one. Come up here and give me a fist bump. Ha! No leg to stand on. Where do you come up with this stuff?"
Nel admitted he had seen the "no legs to stand on line" — in reference to Pistorius not having natural legs below the knee — on several Internet comments boards in the days since the tragic incident at the runner's home. He also said he had been e-mailed several versions of the joke by his uncle Phil.
"So I can't claim to have been the one who invented the joke, but there's no way I was going to pass up the opportunity to say it into the public record," said Nel. "I'm like a legend now."
Magistrate Nair recessed proceedings until tomorrow after Nel's killer line.
"Damn, I say we stop until tomorrow," said Nair, wiping tears from his eyes. "Unless anyone has any better lines about ol' no-legs over there. Anyone?"
Barry Roux, Pistorius' defense attorney, says he plans to fire back at tomorrow's proceedings with some zingers of his own.
"Let me tell you what, you're not going to want to miss tomorrow," Roux said of day two of hearings on the tragic death. "I've got some great legless lines. One is about how Oscar is all 'broken up' about everything — you know, because his legs are sort of … well, that's not my best line. I've got some good ones. Trust me. Oscar is even going to toot an air horn for me after I deliver them. It's going to be great."