Constitutional Daily

Founding Principles

The Tenure Paradox - Robot pimp

Slap on the Wrist for "Non-Consensual Sex" - Lampshade, Esq.

Intelligence: The Gathering - Graphic and Gratuitous

Grads are the New Illegals - Robot Pimp

Meet Entitlement Eric - Robot Pimp

Wherein I Solve World Peace - Lampshade, Esq.

A Necessary Delusion - Shadow Hand

Do you even need to shave overhead? - Lawyerlite

LSAT Jenga - Publius Picasso

http://www.constitutionaldaily.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1573:legal-reasoning-redux-5&catid=38:there-and-never-back-again&Itemid=65

Time, Place, and Manner

...Should have some links here or something.

Banner

Carter Mayhew

E-mail Print PDF

[Author's Note: I've always wanted to write a short satire on a few trends I see emerging in contemporary culture. This is the opening of one I began a few weeks ago. I figured I'd throw it out for some feedback.]

I.

Carter Mayhew was born on the South Shore. The exact town’s irrelevant, but it was a decent one. His father was a certified public accountant, his mother a marketing consultant. Both had college degrees, made good money, and had saved enough of it to live in a neighborhood of similarly aspirant, modestly successful sorts.

From a young age, Carter showed promise. He wasn’t an exceptional student, but as his kindergarten teacher noticed, he had above average powers of perception.

“The testing doesn’t show him to be gifted, but that’s just standardized stuff. He seems to grasp the bigger picture.”

“The bigger picture?” Mrs. Mayhew wouldn’t stand for anything less than gifted, the baseline for children in the neighborhood.

“When we have nap time, Carter colors.”

“In his sleep?”

“He tells me he isn’t tired, and closing his eyes is just pretending. So I let him color.”

“Are there other children who color?”

“They pretend to sleep.”

“How do we cure this?”

“Cure it?”

“If the other children pretend, and Carter doesn’t--”

“He sees through things.”

“I’ve always subscribed to, ‘When in Rome...’”

“True. But you’ve also heard, ‘In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king?’”

Mrs. Mayhew scanned the room. She had, but where? “Tony Robbins?”

“Erasmus.”

“I have his book. ‘Secrets of the Highly Effective,’ or something like that.”

“Right.” This time the teacher scanned the room. She wished she’d had a cigarette. In an age she only knew from television, but somehow seemed twice as legitimate, she’d have already lit one, taken Mrs. Mayhew to the teacher’s lounge, poured both of them highballs, and spoken plainly. Alas, she wasn’t tenured. She just smiled.

Mrs. Mayhew was insistent. “I’d like you to make him sleep like all the other kids. If he has to pretend, so be it.”

“Of course.” The customer is always right.

The teacher did exactly what she knew she ought to, given the boy’s mother’s wishes. Carter colored during nap time every day for the rest of the year.

***

In fifth grade, Carter was sent to Sunday school. His family wasn’t chronically religious, but his father assumed it was best to expose the child to organizations with which most of society had at least a surface relationship. Half of Mr. Mayhew’s clients visited to a church, synagogue, or mosque once a week, and most of the other half, if asked, professed a general affinity for religion before quickly changing the subject.

Three weeks into lessons, while dropping Carter off, the Pastor of the church took Mr. Mayhew aside. “Are you and Mrs. Mayhew skeptics?”

“In what regard?”

“Carter asked me last week, ‘If God can do anything, can he make a rock so big he can’t pick it up?’”

“His teachers tell me he’s perceptive.”

“It’s a mystery, you know.”

“Perception?” Mr. Mayhew worked with financial statements, where that was only ninety percent true.

“You can’t analyze faith.”

“Kids are so... curious.”

“Which we welcome, of course.”

“Who abhors curiosity?”

“Certainly not us.” The Pastor was adamant. “Just so long as it’s channeled properly.”

“I’ll have a word with him.” (I forgot to mention earlier, Mr. Mayhew’s firm did the Church’s books.)

On the ride home, Carter’s father was blunt. “It’s not polite to ask whether God can make stones so big he can’t pick them up.”

“Why?”

“You’re young.”

“Does the answer change when I get older?”

“It’s better to leave some things unsaid.”

“Who says them then?”

“No one.”

“So we just think them?”

“You’ll think a lot of things you’ll never say.”

“For how long?”

“For good.”

This was true on the cul de sac in which the Mayhew family lived, and among the people on their street who received salaries which they needed to pay the loans on the homes and cars they parked in their garages and the tuitions for schools to which they sent their children. But Mr. Mayhew knew it wasn’t true everywhere else. He knew many of his own clients who’d sold large businesses for lots of money, and now said exactly what they felt like saying, whenever they felt like saying it. And what they said was far more colorful than an inquiry on God’s ability to make and move large rocks. In fact, these people didn’t talk about God at all. They didn’t need seem to need him.

[I don't suppose it's hard to see what societal trends I'm targeting. I just wonder, would a hundred pages of a satire like this - with a plot, of course - sell? Thanks in advance.]

[Read more from The Philadelphia Lawyer]


blog comments powered by Disqus

Philadelphia Lawyer, Unfiltered

The finest blend of analysis, advice, and fury on the internet. Sour mash, oak barrel aged, published at cask strength.

 


Most Recent Article:

In Defense of Risk (Happy Fourth of July)


All Articles from The Philadelphia Lawyer

Author Profile

The Robot Pimp

An in depth look at the emerging intersection of law, behavioral economics, and robots.


Most Recent Article:

The Tenure Paradox


All Articles from The Robot Pimp

Author Profile

Practice Makes Putrid

Legal practice would be all rainbows and buttercups, if it weren't for the clients, and opposing counsel, and co-counsel, and judges, and the law.


Most Recent Article:

Eat Mor Fiv Freedums


All Articles from The Namby Pamby

Author Profile

Gin and Glannon's

As Shadow Hand suffers through law school, the rest of us get a little Schadenfreude.


Most Recent Article:

I Just Work Here


All Articles From Shadow Hand

Author Profile

Irresistible Impulse

Dr. Rob Dobrenski's daring expedition into the psychology of lawyers and the law. (Not a substitute for a life well lived.)


Most Recent Article:

You're Not a Failure, You're a Narcissist


All Articles from Dr. Rob

Author Profile

Graphic and Gratuitous

Sometimes cartoons are the highest form of communication. Those times are known as "most of the time."


Most Recent Cartoons:

Intelligence: The Gathering


All Cartoons

There And Never Back Again

Defunct Big Law attorney BL1Y shares his misadventures as a writer who accidentally went to law school.

 


Most Recent Article:

JD vs MFA


All Articles from BL1Y

Author Profile

Lampshade, Esquire

We're dealing with some technical difficulties here. Hold up a minute.


All Articles From Lampshade, Esq.

Staff Infections

News, humor, and other non-billables from our underpaid, uncredited, unsexy staff.

 


News Articles

Smaller News Bits

Large Numbers of Law

Mixed Bag of Lawesome

Reviews

Scofflaw Multistate Bar Review

Lawyerlite