Saturday, May 21, 2005
Prosecuting one's suit or pressing one's suit. How archaic these phrases now seem in describing the process of courting a lady's favour. How quaint the word courting itself seems. So why do I not just talk about "copping off?" Well…
A flyer circulating in London's legal district advertises a special speed dating event for lawyers looking for love. Call me an old cynic if you like but "lawyer" and "love" are not words I can easily associate. Surely people whose entire life is spent examining evidence in forensic detail in the hope of closing loopholes, tying up loose ends, eliminating ambiguity and negotiating compromises can have little room in their souls for anything so indefinable, so unpredictable, so illogical as love? And speed dating?
Anybody who has had the experience of dealing with legal matters will know that "lawyer" and "speed" do not belong in the same sentence, or even the same article. (unless the article refers to the case of a lawyer being disbarred for substance abuse.) Layers are people to whom "due diligence" means sitting on their arse doing nothing for long periods while us poor punters pay them by the hour. When dealing with lawyers things happen "in the fullness of time" rather than now or PDQ.
All things considered then, both de fact and de juris, I must conclude that the entrepreneur who has invested his hard - earned in this venture has behaved in a reckless and foolhardy, but not criminal manner.
What little I know of speed - dating is that people have three minutes in each other's company after which they must decide if they are up for a casual shag with the person opposite. The idea of a lawyer doing anything in three minutes stretches the credulity of even the most credulous. It would take the speediest lawyer two and a half minutes to shuffle their papers and clear their throat before saying "My Lord, Members of the Jury…" The whole mystique of the legal profession is built on longwindedness, their speeches are full of notwithstandings and heretofores and are peppered with Latin phrases ordinary mortals cannot understand, pro bono ego. Lawyers are not equipped to formulate or respond to questions like :
"Veal or Pasta?"
"Nissan or Jaguar?"
"J-lo or Mariah?"
"Missionary or Spoons?"
but are more likely to begin "bearing in mind that you are still under oath could you tell me, in your own words and without regard to anything you may have read in the press, would Chinese or Italian be preferable for a first dinner date?" and jump on the response like so "You say Chinese, but if you cast your mind back to your divorce, did you or did you not claim that your partner's obsession with Thai food, which I think you will agree is similar to Chinese, had bored the pants off you?"
Assuming some kind of date is eventually agreed, that would only be the start of the trouble. Imagine negotiating a pre-date contract.
"It shall be understood by both parties that the party of the first part will, on the first date, pay for dinner in full, including wine and tips without prejudice to the party of the second part's right to withhold the reciprocal sexual favours should the party of the second part deem the party of the first part to be minging, unhygienic or in any way pervy."
The party of the first part will then be advised that should the party of the second part exercise the withholding of sexual favours clause pending further perusal of the party of the first part's social and sexual acceptability the party of the first part must have the right to demand that the bill be split down the middle.
Such a love affair would be certain to end in tears of course. Or lawsuits.