Lawyer Conquest This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The judge called for a fifteen-minute recess. The young lawyer who was in the process of losing the trial quickly ran to the bathroom. His pen had exploded all over his hands. He washed the ink off, straightened his tie and was ready to leave. But when he got to the door, it was locked.

He tried the doorknob a few times but it still wouldn't open. He jiggled the knob, slammed it with the palm of his hand, and tried again - no luck. He was locked inside the bathroom. He slammed his body into the door repeatedly. He kicked the door, even threw a trash can at it, but it didn't budge. The lawyer yelled and screamed until his lungs hurt, yet his calls were unanswered.

The lawyer soon was out of breath. He sat on the bathroom floor to collect his thoughts. Finally, the solution came to him. He would simply escape through the window, and be back inside before the recess was over. It was perfect, but his flawless idea appeared to have a flaw. There was no window.

What kind of bathroom has no window?! the lawyer disgustedly asked himself. The lawyer had two choices: he could sit and wait for somebody to find him, or he could flush himself down the toilet. The lawyer was a very impatient man - he chose the toilet.

Flushing himself down the toilet was a new experience. The only precaution he took was to take off his brand-new $400 Italian loafers. So, with his shoes off, he hopped inside the toilet, whispered a prayer, and triggered the flusher. Around and around he went. Wow, this is kinda fun, he thought. But going around in circles through a pipe leading to the sewer lost its appeal very quickly. The lawyer felt nauseous. Finally the pipe emptied into the sewer. The young lawyer landed with a sickening "plop" in a small pool of stagnant water. The first thing that hit him (besides the sewer floor) was the smell. The lawyer quickly got up and lay in one of the dry pipes. He would rest, but that's when he saw them - a dozen men and women in blue and black suits. They were clean and healthy-looking and were from 30 to 70 or maybe even 80 years old. The lawyer didn't know which was more unbelievable: that he had just flushed himself down a toilet, or these suited men and women standing before him. He fainted.

When the lawyer awoke, he was in a bed inside a large room tconnected to the sewers. Fortunately, it smelled better. He was dressed in a brand-new blue suit, and he had new shoes. His hair was washed, his body clean, and his face shaved. Aside from the feeling that a jackhammer had hit his skull, he felt pretty good.

A man was sitting next to him. He was older, in his fifties. He had thinning gray hair that was slicked back. He was smoking a big, fat, smelly cigar. He was also wearing a blue suit. The man pulled the cigar from his teeth and said, "Ah, thy young prince hath finally arisen from his heavenly slumber. Heh-heh. How do you do, Joe? The name's Charlie. I'm guessing you've got some questions, and I got stuck answering them for ya! So, ask away."

The young lawyer turned to face him, "Joe? How'd you know my name is Joe?"

Charlie drew in more smoke from his cigar, exhaled it in several perfectly formed rings, and smiled, "Oh, we know a lot about you. Let's see ... Joe Sinclair, age 29, 5'11", 180 pounds. Your mother's name is Anne and your father, Joe Sr., died in a car crash when you were only eight. You're a terrible lawyer with a foot odor to match. You love ice cream and money, and you hate pickles and soap operas. You wanted to be the next Johnny Rotten until you realized you had half a brain. That's when you entered Harvard Law in '87. You graduated eight years later and became this miserable excuse for a lawyer I see before me," he took another drag from his cigar. "Oh, yeah, and you're afraid of clowns. That about cover it?"

Joe's jaw just about hit the floor, "Wow!" he exclaimed, "but don't you think you're being just a bit harsh? What do you mean Amiserable excuse for a lawyer'? I think I'm pretty good."

Charlie almost choked on his cigar laughing. Once his laughing fit started to subside, he wiped the tears from his eyes and said, "Pretty good?! Son, you're terrible! Worse than me even! We're all terrible! Every one of us down here is a crummy lawyer just like you! What, you think any ordinary person can flush themselves down the toilet? No! Only we lawyers can. We pick up this little Agift' as soon as we lose a case. They know about it, all of them. The world has no use for a losing lawyer, so they flush us down the toilet, literally. That's why we must destroy them all!"

Joe gasped, "Destroy? Who? Why? How?"

Charlie put out his cigar and looked straight into Joe's eyes, "Why, we're gonna destroy everybody but us lawyers, son. Every single person who has ever done any amount of business with anybody tied to the government in even the smallest respect knows about us. I'm guessing you had a bit of a fit when you realized that bathroom door was locked. Kicking, screaming, the whole bag. Am I right?"

"Yes," Joe answered, "Yes, you are."

"But doesn't it seem a little strange that nobody heard you? Even though the courtroom was so close? Isn't it a little weird that nobody came looking for you?"

"Why, yes!" Joe exclaimed, "Yes, it does!"

"But they never came for you, did they?" Charlie shouted. "They just figured if we leave good old Joe in the bathroom long enough, he'll just flush himself down the toilet. It's perfectly natural for a failing lawyer to flush himself down the toilet, right? Those cries for help? Just the wind. That pounding against the door? Rats in the walls. They think you're dead, and I bet not one of them has looked back since they locked that door. They tried to destroy us, Joe. All of us. Now it's our turn to destroy them!"

Joe's brow creased in thought. Then his eyes widened and a smile came to his lips. "What do we use to get back at them?" he asked.

Charlie handed him a briefcase. "Inside are 2,000 paper clips and 2,000 rubber bands. The paper clips are explosive. You shoot the clips with the rubber bands and KABOOM! Heh-heh. Not a bad idea, eh? Thought of it myself."

"Incredible!" Joe exclaimed. "No, I'm serious. Let me try it. Alright, let's see. You stick the paper clip in the rubber band like so and fire."

Joe shot the explosive paper clip at the wall, realizing his mistake too late. Charlie grabbed him and tried to shield their heads, but it was no use. The paper clip exploded against the wall, instantly killing them, and triggering the two thousand paper-clip bombs in the briefcase. The underground lawyer city was destroyed, and only a few escaped.

* * * *

Six months later:

"So, in conclusion, ladies and gentlemen of the jury," the balding lawyer stated, "With all this in mind, I think that you will agree that the defendant is guilty - er ... um ... I mean innocent." The lawyer took his seat. He tripped over a chair, exposing his mismatched socks. The jury couldn't help but laugh. They had just sat through the worst trial possible. This man was no better a lawyer than half their grandmothers. They laughed at the man, but they also harbored a little sadness and guilt because they knew what was coming next.

The judge stifled a laugh too, banged his gavel, and filled the courtroom with cries of order. "I call for a fifteen-minute recess," he said. Then he focused his attention on the balding lawyer. "Mr. Smith," he said, "why don't you take this time to clean up a bit?"

"Okay," the lawyer said, picking up his chair. He sneezed, straightened his papers, and went toward the bathroom. The courtroom was filled with a macabre silence. Everyone knew what was going to happen, only forty-year-old Alan Smith, father of three and loving husband, was clueless. He opened the bathroom door and shut it with a click that seemed to echo through the halls of eternity.

Five minutes passed, then ten. Finally the pounding came, followed by cries for help. The cries started out slightly embarrassed and amused, then quickly advanced to panic. Five more minutes passed and now it sounded like 42-year-old Alan Smith, host of the last barbecues on Water Street, was crying.

The bailiff, sitting with his head between his hands, jumped up and confronted the judge. "I can't take this anymore, " he snarled. "That poor man has been my friend for years. I'm letting him out."

The judge laughed, "Oh, no, you're not. Sit down, bailiff."

The bailiff tugged on his hair and screamed in the judge's face. "Do you not remember what happened last time? How many were down there, sir? Two, three million? How's it feel to know you were partly responsible for the population of Oklahoma in deaths? Huh? C'mon, tell me - how's it feel?"

The judge calmly bent forward and looked the sweating, red-faced bailiff right in the eyes. "You tell me, son. You knew about it too. You're just as guilty as I am, my friend. Now, sit down."

"No," the bailiff said. "Not this time. You can have me fired, but I'm not letting this one go. I'll jump down that toilet and pull him out if I have to. You can't stop me."

The judge sat back and laughed, "No, I can't. You're right." The judge reached under his chair and pulled up a gun, pointing it at the bailiff. "But the business end of this .9mm sure can. Sit down, bailiff, before I blast you all over Exhibit A over there. I'll give your wife my best wishes personally. So, go ahead, son. It's up to you. You can sit down and shut up or thank God you've got life insurance. Which is it?"

The bailiff's knees buckled and he began to cry. He couldn't help it. He wailed as he found his seat. The judge offered him a hanky, but the bailiff couldn't hear him over his sobs.

The pleas for help from the bathroom died down and stopped. Another minute passed, and everybody held their breath, the judge included, as the sound of a flushing toilet rang in their ears. Forty-two-year-old Alan Smith, who had just bought his wife a diamond ring for their fifteenth wedding anniversary, had taken the path so many lawyers had before him.

The judge banged his gavel. "The jury finds in favor of the plaintiff, blah blah, yadda yadda yadda. Court's adjourned. Tomorrow be here for Birafra vs. Griffin. And be ready with your stonefaces again. I hear this Robert Shapiro guy is just as bad a lawyer as the one we just saw, but enough of that. Who wants Chinese? My treat." 1


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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