Last night I had a lovely impromptu dinner in the Palms Hotel food court with my mother and two prostitutes.
I walked up to them and said, “Hi, can my mom and I join you for dinner,” and the white one said, “Sure.” During the course of dinner, the black one told me that she had been in jail 10 times in the past 6 months, and the white one talked business with an attorney from Australia.
The better negotiator: her.
They told me they had lots of good stories for my book and would be happy to share. We exchanged phone numbers. I’ll keep you posted. I just hope they realize that I’m serious about the book thing and not looking to be their pimp/next customer.
If you watched The Today Show this morning, you probably noticed weird: I wasn’t on it. I can only assume that not inviting me on to discuss LAWYER BOY was some sort of sick practical joke on the part of The Today Show producers, but to be honest, I didn’t find it very funny.
But speaking of funny, attorney/humorist Kevin Underhill wrote up a review of Lawyer Boy on his blog http://LoweringTheBar.net. Here’s part of it.
“Rick Lax sent me a pre-publication copy of his new book, "Lawyer Boy," which was released today (July 8). After reading it, I first considered hunting him down in order to eliminate further competition in the legal-humor department, but decided instead to post a review of the book.
Hunting people down can be really tiring (unless they are elderly, which this guy is not), and it's expensive to have someone else do it.
This is a very funny book, and that starts with its premise, which is pretty much summarized in the book's first sentence: "I always wanted to be a magician, but my father, a tax lawyer, never considered magic a 'viable career path.'" Neither was political science, which Lax had studied in college. So, really, what other option is there in that situation but law school?
I also majored in "political science" -- which, Lax notes, really doesn't exist -- with a focus on the Soviet Union, which now definitely doesn't exist. My other major was in ancient history, which by definition is the study of things that no longer exist. So, while I was never a magician, my options other than law school were also pretty illusory. Why this kind of background might lead people to legal-humor writing is beyond the scope of this piece, which after all is supposed to be a goddamn book review.
"Lawyer Boy" is, more or less, a memoir of Lax's first year in law school at DePaul University in Chicago. It's a lot more entertaining than that might sound, though, even if you are not a lawyer, because the writing is clear and funny, frequently laugh-out-loud funny. No, not eyebrow-lift or even appreciative-nod funny, but the laugh-out-loud kind.”
You can read the rest on his blog, http://loweringthebar.net.
LAWYER BOY doesn’t come out until Tuesday, but my local Barnes & Noble was selling the book today. They had four copies of the book on the “Hardcover New Releases” table, and one of them was propped up on a bookstand.
I went to that Barnes & Noble to study for the bar exam—22 more days (!)—but ended up spending my time hovering nearby my book, waiting for somebody to pick it up. Trouble was, this bookstore is in Chicago’s business district, and nobody really goes there on weekends.
But FINALLY, some guy carrying two or three other books picked up LAWYER BOY and flipped though it for five whole minutes. He read the jacket description. Read the blurbs. Read a random page. But then he put it back on the bookstand.
“Didn’t make the cut?” I said.
“Excuse me?” he replied.
“You flipped through the book for like five minutes. And it looked like you were into it. You only flipped through that other book you’re holding for like sixty seconds. What the hell?”
“Do we know each other?”
The guy’s name, I learned, was Sam. Sam was in town for a summer clerkship at BigLaw…and I’m pleased to report he ended up buying a copy of Lawyer Boy. And no I don’t feel weird about talking somebody into buying my book; I’m panning to persuade people for a living, after all.
(Critics from the New York Times Book Review and the New York Review of Books fight over a copy of Lawyer Boy)
It’s official. I have a favorite joke. Never had one before. Before, when people would ask me to tell a joke, I didn’t know what to say. Now I do. Here goes:
This turtle was mugged by a gang of snails. Afterwards, the police asked the turtle, “Could you describe the snails who mugged you?” The turtle replied, “I don’t know; it all happened so fast.”
Anybody else got an all-time favorite joke?