It turns out 86-year-old Ella Orko isn't just a bad shoplifter, she's also a bad actress.
Last week, when the greedy Granny was arrested for attempting to steal $250 worth of items from the Dominick's store at Fullerton and Clybourn she looked perfectly healthy, stuffing sudry items into her unmentionables.
But Orko showed up for court on Monday in a neck brace and wheelchair.
Understandably, Judge Marvin P. Luckman had doubts when the Orko, dressed like a walking calamity, claimed to be hard of hearing, too.
"I can't hear too good," she said.
Luckman, however, had been speaking loudly and clearly enough for all the people in the back row of the courtroom to hear him.
"I don't know if she's playing a game, or if she's serious," said the judge.
Regardless, he stepped down from the bench, stood directly in front of Orko, and bellowed every word individually.
"Do ... you ... have ... any ... questions?" he shouted.
"No," said the elderly criminal.
Orko's felony charge was reduced to a misdemeanor in exchange for her guilty plea. All of the merchandise had been returned, and she was sentenced to two days in jail, which she had already served before her court date.
After the hearing, Judge Luckman said, "I've been doing this for a lot of years. She's an actress."
Matt Bartosik, a "between blogs" blogger, can hear just fine but doesn't always listen.