My wife Cheryl’s birthday is coming up. She tends to buy what she wants, which is a good thing unless you’re trying to buy her something she wants. Because this is a difficult task, it is wise to “listen” for clues concerning her current and unusual interests, or sometimes to straight out ask her.
She recently mentioned three things. The first was to convince our neighbors to sell us a third of their back yard so we could build a three-car garage. She was confident that, “given my legal expertise and powers of persuasion,” I could convince them of the wisdom of that deal, get the land subdivided and replatted, and also convince the proper city officials and subdivision trustees that the building of the garage in a historic district would not violate any subdivision indentures or zoning restrictions. I was glad to do those simple tasks for her, except the neighbors didn’t really want to cooperate.
The next thing I learned she wanted for her birthday was construction of a roundabout with a fountain at the intersection where we live. To her, that sounded like a relatively simple thing for me to accomplish. It took only a buy-in from all of the neighbors, approval of the neighborhood association, endorsement by our alderperson, a traffic study by the city street department, an allocation of city funds, a vote from the full board of aldermen and then calendaring of the construction. It might not get done by her birthday next month.
Another thing she wants is a train set, suspended in the air, running around the ceiling of one (or more) of the rooms in our house. I just don’t know what to say about that.
Needless to say, I’m working on all of these things, but in the meantime I thought I would try to get some ideas of my own, so I started exploring the obvious place — TV infomercials. To my surprise, my review of current TV infomercials revealed there are many things offered — at prices far more reasonable than suspended train tracks — that, although not necessarily designed for, will be extremely useful in my law practice. The first thing that caught my attention was the Thunder Vest.
The Thunder Vest is a wrap-around dog vest billed as a common-sense apparatus to make our canines feel calmer and more secure. I immediately ordered four of them in the “Great Dane” size. This was not because I have Great Danes, which I do, but because I’m hopeful they will fit some of my smaller legal opponents. It just seems that lately, for some odd reason, I have been getting them all riled up, and they tend to go off half-cocked and do unproductive things. I’m thinking if I present them with a Thunder Vest, explain it will be good for them and that they should try it on, it will improve their demeanor.
But that’s only the beginning. For $19.95 each, TV also offers the Hurricane Spin Duster and the Lint Lizard. My desk at work is always full of stuff, and it gets dusty. With the Hurricane Spin Duster, I’m figuring I can clean it without moving all of the papers around my desk. I’m certain the Lint Lizard will come in handy to suck the Great Dane hair off my suits, or to clean the train tracks my wife wants for her birthday. These may not be Lint Lizard’s intended uses, but creativity is part of being a successful lawyer.
Bell + Howell offers a lot of products on TV these days, and one of them is the Animal Repeller. In the event the Thunder Vests don’t work, I’m thinking this particular item may have some application for my really overly aggressive opponents. Then there are Battle Vision Glasses. They are advertised as “combat-ready,” and what could be more important for a trial lawyer? Further, the maker claims that with Battle Vision Glasses, you will see things that are not detectable by the normal eye. That is the exact type of trial tool I’ve been searching for my whole legal career.
In a less aggressive vein, during family-programming hours, TV offers some more practical lawyer tools. Take, for instance, the Climb Cart. It sports six rotating, stair-climbing wheels, so moving a bunch of documents up courthouse steps will be a whole lot easier than in traditional briefcases with four or no wheels.
Finally, I couldn’t resist the Egg Sitter. What in the heck, you wonder, is an Egg Sitter? Well, it’s some sort of weird, blue state-of-the-art cushion that, according to the advertisement, is named the Egg Sitter because “you can put an egg on it, sit down and it won’t break.” According to the infomercial, the result is the Egg Sitter makes your rear end feel “cool and comfortable” — even after sitting all day, wearing Battle Vision Glasses, while responding to a motion for summary judgment. I immediately bought a carton of them for my associates and me.
So as you can see, even when shopping for one’s spouse, a creative lawyer can find lots of common-sense things on TV that are useful in his or her practice. Oh, and by the way, I did recently order one more Thunder Vest. Cheryl’s been getting a little irritated with me lately, and I’m thinking it might just be the perfect birthday gift for her.
2018 Under Analysis, LLC. Under Analysis is a nationally syndicated column of the Levison Group. Mark Levison is a member of the law firm Lashly & Baer, P.C. Contact Under Analysis by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.