Here's another glimpse into the friendship between Selma and Bull, a dynamic that unfortunately did not have the opportunity to flourish and be more fully explored on the show. Set after S2E17, "The Battling Bailiff," Bull takes up writing poetry again, and his latest is a tribute to... oh, you probably already guessed.
"All right, $50 fine and time served. That's a wrap, people!"
As Judge Harry Stone brought the gavel down on the night's court session, all participants – criminals and employees alike – stood up and began to mill about the courtroom, either taking their leave or socializing after a night's worth of arraignments. All, that is, except Bull Shannon, who took out a small black notebook and started jotting something down, a grin spreading across his face. This simple act was enough to catch the attention of his coworkers, who were all surprised to see him writing again. Just a week prior, Bull had chucked his previous book of poems to the elements after being laughed at, and made the rash decision to be a professional wrestler shortly after that. His time in the ring, however, had lasted about ten seconds. Bad enough he had frozen like a statue in front of 20,000 people – dressed in a leotard, no less – but it was even worse for him that his best friend hadn't been there to cheer him on.
But she came. After he'd made a complete fool out of himself, Selma had shown up and, as she always did, made everything right in his little world. It was right after Harry had apologized for pushing him into wrestling and egging him on – Bull declared that nobody tried to stop him from making such a dumb mistake.
"I tried," came a most familiar, nasally voice. "But I was outmuscled."
Bull spun around and felt his heavy heart lighten. She had shown up after all, in her red coat and pearls, because she cared about him. "Selma," he said, relief bleeding into his voice as he crossed the room to stand before her. "You came."
Anybody else would have gotten mushy at this time, but Selma would sooner have quit smoking than get weepy. She simply shrugged and said, "Oh, I wouldn't miss it. Violence, stale beer, sweat; reminds me of my prom."
Bull's grin became bashful as he realized how stupid he must look to her, standing there in what basically amounted to a long-legged spandex bathing suit. And the fact that he had frozen? Man, he hated the idea that it had happened in front of her. She had taught him to keep his act together, and boy, had he blown it tonight. "I looked pretty stupid out there, huh?" he asked, waiting for her to pass judgment on him.
"Yes," Selma agreed, to which he bowed his head... until he saw her brown eyes sparkling. "But it took a lot of guts!" She smiled and held out her arms.
That was all Bull needed. Even though he had to bend double to do it, he hugged her tight like a boy hugging his mom, allowing the humiliation to evaporate in that warm embrace. It wasn't often that Selma got warm and fuzzy with anybody, but she always knew just how to be warm with him, to bring him back to reality. His guide, his pal, his heart's mom. His Selma.
Selma had indeed given him the strength he needed to return to the courtroom, but that wasn't all. She had inspired him to take up his pen again, which he now worked rapidly across the pages of his notebook while his colleagues looked on in curiosity.
"Bull?" Not surprisingly, Harry was the first to speak. "Are you writing again?"
"Yup," Bull replied without looking up from his work.
"You are? Oh Bull, that's wonderful!" Billie exclaimed, rushing to his side. "What are you writing about? Is it another poem?"
"Uh-huh. No talking feet this time," he said, this time glancing up in Mac's direction.
The court clerk shook his head. "You are never gonna let me live that down, are you?"
Bull grinned. "Nope."
Billie patted his shoulder. "Well, I'm happy for you, Bull. Good to know you've got some zippity back in your doodah." She peered at the notebook. "Can we hear it?"
"Not 'til I'm done." Bull scribbled down something else and then clicked his pen. "Okay, I'm done!" The big bailiff waited until his friends had all gathered 'round before speaking again. "I thought I'd never write another poem again after what happened last week, with the wrestling and all..."
"Say the W-word again and die," muttered Dan, who was still sore about the $10,000 he had lost betting on Bull as "The Battling Bailiff." Harry gave him a look while Bull continued with his speech.
"But someone inspired me to write a new poem – this one, the one I've just finished. I call it 'Small Wonder.'" He cleared his throat and began to read.
"When life has got me feeling dead
And chains me to the wall
She stands on chairs to smack my head
'Cause she's just five feet tall.
We share a drink at Muldoon's bar
To chase away the blues
She's my best friend and lucky star
In orthopedic shoes.
And if some slimebag makes me mad
At all the human race,
She lights one up and lets him have
A smoke bomb in his face.
Yes, I'm the mutt and she's the brains
Like Scooby-Doo and Velma
I dedicate these four quatrains
With love to my friend Selma."
Bull paused at the end of the stanza, unsure of whether to meet his colleagues' eyes. He needn't have worried, for one glance revealed nothing but smiles – save for Dan, who didn't smile at anything unless it was dirty or all about himself. But it didn't matter when Harry, Billie, and Mac were all grinning ear to ear... and the one he'd honored was positively glowing with pride, which filled his heart until it was fit to bursting.
"Aw, Bull, that was beautiful!" Billie praised, always the first to speak in events like this.
"Really sweet of you, Big Guy," Harry agreed.
"I gotta hand it to you, Bull, you done good," Mac concurred, rounding out an even three for three.
But of course, there was always one critic. "Yeah, real sweet, if you like hearing about orthopedic shoes," Dan scoffed. "I'm surprised you didn't mention the bunions on her feet while you were at it." He coughed in the next instant as Selma, who had been taking steady drags on a cigarette, breathed a cloud of smoke into his face. "Jeez, Selma, I was kidding! It's nothing against you!"
"No, but it is against him, and he's been laughed at enough. The next person who makes fun of his poems answers to me, you hear?" Selma stared straight at Dan, who nodded sullenly. "Good. Now if the peanut gallery doesn't mind, I got something to say." She crushed out her cigarette and walked over to Bull, craning her neck to look him in the eye. A brief silence passed as she shook her head slightly, a smile playing with the corners of her mouth. "'Lucky star in orthopedic shoes'? Really?"
"Well, I thought about calling you a diamond in the rough."
Selma snickered. "Yeah, some diamond I am. Last time I checked, I wasn't precious."
Bull smiled. "You are to me, Selma."
"Bull... don't be gettin' sappy on me."
"Yes, ma'am." He grinned hopefully. "Did you like it, though?"
Selma looked thoughtfully at him. "How did I inspire you to write it?"
"You made me believe in myself again after I made an idiot out of myself in the wrestling ring. I wanted to say thank you."
The little bailiff smiled. "Then I love it." She welcomed Bull into her arms as he bent to hug her, and as his head neared, she gave him a kiss on the cheek. "I don't give those out to everyone, you know. It's my thank-you to you."
Bull's smile all but lit up the galaxy. "Thanks, Selma."
"That's 'Small Wonder' to you." She cocked her head at him. "What do you say we go get some ice cream?"
"Sure!" Bull glanced at his friends. "You guys wanna come?"
The four court officers looked at each other. Though the offer was tempting, they all knew the real answer to that question. "No thanks, Bull. I think you and Selma ought to spend a little quality time together," Harry said kindly.
"You speaking for the whole court there, Har?" Selma asked.
When Harry sneaked a look in her direction, Billie nodded. "Yeah, he is. You guys go have fun."
"Okay!" Bright as a bird, Bull turned back to his buddy. "Come on, Selma. Let's get down to the Big Dipper before they run out of clown sundaes."
"Make sure you order the Bozo Bonanza," Harry piped up. "They give you a red nose and a paper hat if you eat the whole thing."
"And how many have you eaten, sir?" Mac asked, his brown eyes crinkling in a smile.
"Ten, but who's counting?" Harry answered, proud of being the court's reigning clown prince.
"Blaze trails, Harry." Selma slipped an arm around Bull's waist. "Come on, let's go. I'll buy if you'll wear the hat and the nose."
"Deal." And they walked out of the courtroom arm in arm – the Battling Bailiff and his best friend, the Small Wonder.