Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Plaintiffs' Lawyers' Meeting

(This meeting takes place in a law firm in the year 2050, when Corporate America and the federal government have been allowed to suppress all tort actions through sweeping tort reform.)

Two partners from the famous law firm Dewey, Cheatem, & Howe, LLP are thinking of ways to drum up some business.

Walls have ears, and now they happen to be listening—with some genuine interest this time—to the ideas being thrown around by Bill Dewey and Will Cheatem.

The walls overhear this conversation.

“But everyone who speaks any language invests in names. They were lied to.”

“Yes. L.a.n.g.u.a.g.e commits fraud. No one can be sure that he says what he means or she means what she says.”

“And no one can be sure his meaning is ever really understood.”

“Okay. Let’s file a complaint.”

“All Native Speakers and Non-native Speakers can be class members.”

“Imagine the attorney’s fees we’ll collect!”

Bill Dewey and Will Cheatem sit quietly satisfied for a few minutes. Their eyes sparkle with greed as they consider the economic potential of a lawsuit against Language.

Bill snaps his fingers and pounds a fist to the table, “Hey, while we’re at it—let’s file a lawsuit against Time.”

“The magazine?” Will Cheatem looks confused. “What fraud did Time Magazine commit?”

“No, you imbecile. We’ll file a lawsuit against Time, as in tic tock, tic tock. One o’clock. Two o’clock. Rock around the clock. Time!”

“Oh, yes. Time is also a big fraud. And people invest a lot of it doing lots of useless stuff.”

“Yes. Anyone who has ever invested Time in any useless endeavor could be a class member.”

“Yeah. Like picking up after messy kids. Why does that take so much time? Or scrubbing showers and toilets! Flossing our teeth. Standing in line. Idling in traffic. We invest way too much time in all that. What do we get in return?”

The lawyers at Dewey, Cheatem, & Howe want you to become a class member. They're kick-ass litigators who've never lost a case. They litigated that famous case in which that group of Bay Poets sued Cynicism and Irony. The case never had a chance to settl. Straight to court. Jury awarded 10.6 million dollars. Cynicism committed suicide. Irony is on the run.

Yes, Language shall have her day in court, and Time shall have his.

The sounds we make and the clocks we race against. Big. Ponzi. Schemers.

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