Before you start in with the lawyer jokes (Q: "How many people refuse to hire a lawyer when their own hide is on the line?" A: "Who knows, but don't hold your breath waiting for one to turn up in court."), allow me to stipulate that lawyers, in the public mind, are remarkably analogous to member of Congress. Everybody considers everybody else's lawyer or legislator to be a shyster or a porkmeister, but one's own is the secular saint who brings home the bacon (or saves one's bacon) when the chips are down. Think about that for a minute. I can wait.
Okay, we hope you availed yourselves of that opportunity to grab a smoke, do a little Tai-Chi, say a short prayer or all three. Let us now resume the mainstream of today's symposium.
This week my wee, wise spouse was doing her Guardian Ad Litem thing, acting as the legal representative of a minor child in a very rowdy Richmond neighborhood. I'm always a little apprehensive about the 'hoods she frequents in the the performance of her duties, but neither sleet nor gale nor urban blight will deter her from her appointed rounds. The thing is, the girl is absolutely fearless. She'd better be, living with a loose cannon like me.
On this particular occasion her consultation with the family was finished and she was just taking her leave when small-arms fire, rather a lot of it, erupted in the side yard. Although several bullets struck the house, investigators are not sure whether the multiple shooters were actively targeting the house and its inhabitants or just doing a little free-form gang banging at a randomly determined location. In any event, The Light of My Life immediately hit the deck, in her own colorful parlance, "like a sack of hammers."
For a young lady gently reared and with no combat training, that act alone demonstrated a felicitious clarity of cognition some don't associate with Members of the Bar. A lot of other professionals, journalists and college professors for instance, oftentimes do not seem to know enough to come in out of the rain, but at least one lawyer in the Commonwealth of Virginia has enough sense to seek a lower elevation in the presence of flying projectiles.
But wait, there's more! While communing with the carpet, my Little Dove Pie had enough sense to crawl rapidly toward the kitchen, where she reasoned the windows were high and few, while a number of steel-and-insulation clad appliances could be conveniently placed between her and a stray round.
So much for the dumb lawyer jokes.
Now, about the crooked lawyer jokes ("Two lawyers are sitting on a park bench when an attractive woman happens by. The young lawyer says, 'Boy, I'd sure like to diddle her!' The old lawyer inquires, 'Out of what?'"), allow me to state that more than once I have overheard My Petite Sugar Plum on the phone advising a potential client that he doesn't need a lawyer. Rather than taking the job and billing him for services rendered, she'll walk him through the steps of what he can do to address the problem all by himself, saving costly legal fees which he may then lavish upon fripperies such as food, rent, heat, light, insurance etc.
Considering the fact My Household Goddess paid taxes last year on significantly less income than what a fresh-out-of-college first year teacher makes in Hopewell City Schools, it seems obvious the Good Lord left all traces of sneaky acquisitiveness out of the manufacture of this particular Esquire.
Okay, so she's not yet supporting me in the style to which I would (very much) like to become accustomed. She's still a stone babe and she's still my bestest pal ever. Part of that extreme attraction is no doubt due to my preference, romantically speaking, for extraordinarily smart women. Not to put too fine a point on it, my "List" (women with whom I'm provisionally allowed to cheat on her) is limited to Paula Poundstone, Hillary Clinton, Judy Tenuta and Condi Rice. Plus, of course, a couple of "Emeritus" slots reserved for Margaret Sanger and Ayn Rand, both of whom have been dead for a number of years.
And when I say my lady love is "extraordinarily smart," I don't just mean book smart. I mean street smart. Lawyer or no, I'd go with her into any potentially deadly situation in full confidence that if I spaz out and start running around in small, confused circles, yipping like an agitated terrier - as is my wont - she'll trip me, knock me down and drag me to the safest place she can identify.
Sure, she scribbles briefs for a living, but the girl's got her head screwed on straight. She also has excellent taste in just about everything ... with the possible exception of her taste in the selection of husbands.
All the votes aren't in on that one yet, but we'll get back to you.