Geneticists have yet to identify what triggers the desire to become a lawyer¾other than the inability to get into medical school. Laymen, on the other hand, have numerous explanations as to where lawyers come from. Like, “under a rock.”
My first legal stirrings came one day in third grade when it was too cold and rainy to go outside. I was in the kitchen preparing my after-school snack—three Hostess cupcakes sliced carefully down the middle so you could taste the chocolate icing and the creamy filling with a single lick—when I heard the TV on. So I carried my cupcakes into the TV room where my sister was watching a program called “Divorce Court.”
“Now in session,” an authoritative voice informed us, “the Court of Common Please; Judge Paul Pompinode deciding.”
Or so it sounded to my nine-year-old ears.
And then the TV announcer began whispering, like you do when you’re somewhere you’re not supposed to be (which it sort of seemed like we were) “The bailiff has just called the case of Tuurjed Flehmswaller versus Betty Lou Flehmswaller. Let’s listen in.”
So I did.
“Tuurjed Flehmswaller—that’s quite a mouthful then, isn’t it!” said Judge Pompinode after Mr. Flehmswaller had proceeded to the witness stand, removed an impressive wad of chewing gum from his mouth, slid it into the pocket of his yellow and brown striped sports jacket, and swore on a bible to tell nothing but the truth. So help him God.
“Perhaps, Mr. Flehmswaller,” said Judge Pompinode, “you could tell the Court what drove you and Mrs. Flehmswaller to this sorry state of affairs.”
“The State of Affairs!” said Mrs. Flehmswaller, “Ain’t that just perfect!”
Which prompted Judge Pompinode to tell Mrs. Flehmswaller that it was Mr. Flehmswaller’s turn now, but not to worry; she would get hers soon enough.
“Go ahead,” Judge Pompinode told Mr. Flehmswaller.
“Yes Sir, Your Honor,” said Mr. Flehmswaller, “I was droved to this sorry state of affairs, by Greyhound Bus. Because somewheres along the road of life my magical romance with the Complainer started rolling down hill, hit some bumps in the road and slud off into a ditch.
“Which was just water under the bridge as far as I was concerned, until things took an ugly turn the day the Complainer, Mrs. Flehmswaller, kidnapped the farm animals that I am blessed with a gift for making out of used pipe cleaners. And she give ‘em away to Fifi Olsen, who lives under the house next door and is the neighbor’s cat. To which I had no choice, Your Honor, but to respond un-kind.
“So being a God-fearing man who believes in an-eye-for-an-eye, I preceded to dis-attach The Finger off of the Complainer’s favorite knickknack, her Finger-in-The-Dike Limited Edition porcelain figurine. In accordance with the Lord’s teachings.
“I could go on-and-on,” Mr. Flehmswaller went on, “about how the Complainer has made my life a living “H-E double hockey sticks,” Your Honor …”
“Well perhaps I should get a piece of the tale from Mrs. Flehmswaller, said Judge Pompinode.
“Well, thank you so very much!” said Mrs. Flehmswaller, smiling at the Judge for such a long time it seemed like she must have forgotten all about her Finger-in-The-Dike Limited Edition porcelain figurine.
But she hadn’t.
“Sad to say Your Honor,” Mrs. Flehmswaller said sadly after taking her seat on the witness stand and arranging her floral patterned skirt just so, “the ResponDant neglected to mention certain impertinent facts constipating mental cruelty & unusual punishment. Namely, that after The ResponDant did heinously definger my genuine porcelain family hair-loom, he went out and got inebrewated. As is his Friday night usual.
“And when he returned to the marital commode that night at God-only-knows-what-hour, the ResponDant proceeded with malice, a four thoughts and a blow-torch, to affix said Finger to my bathroom affixtures!
“Which was insult upon injury, Your Honor. Because now every time I set myself down in the tub, I am greeted by the rudest of gestures from my own faucet; to wit: The Finger.”