Legal Widow

In an unfortunate incident involving children refusing to go to the loo before leaving Pizza Express and needing to run indoors as soon as we got home, I left the car keys in the ignition. Once everyone had calmed down and apologised for knocking each other over in the rush (I’d put money on Deminimus in a 100-yard dash, I must say), we had a good look round for the keys and realised we couldn’t find them. Then we had a look outside for them and soon realised that they weren’t the only things that were missing – we couldn’t find the car either. Some enterprising young scallywags had driven off in it.
It was the Lawyer’s big shiny car in which the children weren’t allowed to open so much as a box of Tic Tacs, but it wasn’t very shiny when the police found it, having been driven all night through a local quarry where the gravel bounced off the bonnet like hail. It was also full of crumpled Stella Artois cans, which reassures me that we are attracting a better class of thief in our neighbourhood. I, of course, will be paying for the error for the rest of my days, although the way the Lawyer is whinging about the company insurance policy excess you’d think all the paying will be done by him.
Until the damage is repaired, the Lawyer has sadly been forced to take the bus into work. It’s so long since he took one that they’ve had time to put road humps all the way through the estates that lie between us and the city centre, and he noticed his stomach joggling uncomfortably every time they went over one.
“Do you think I’m fat?” he asked that night, squeezing out a flap of stomach for me to inspect.
“Let me measure it, Daddy,” squealed Liability, who is doing numbers at school. She got out her Barbie ruler. “Fourteen inches of fat daddy,” she shouted.
“She means centimetres, of course,” said the Lawyer smugly, although he’s never quite sure how big a centimetre is, having been brought up in old money.
“No, inches, Dad,” said Subjudice. “Look.” And he did look, and it was indeed inches, and there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
He was down to the gym that night, breaking the sacred inverse law of gym membership which states that the more expensive it is the less you use it, and that having joined in January you never go again after March. He goes so rarely he doesn’t have any gym kit, and had to wear the firm T-shirt they get given every time there’s a rebranding, which comes in handy because he sleeps in them, and it’s always nice to get a gift of new nightwear every so often.
He came home from the gym despondent, because it wasn’t just his sagging stomach that didn’t measure up: every taut and glistening body in the cardiovascular zone was wearing a company T-shirt that wiped the floor with his.
“They’ve all got slogans on theirs,” he whined. “And they were ironed.”
He wrote down the best slogans to show his boss.
“But do you really think a slogan will make the firm look better?” I asked.
“Who cares about the firm?” he cried, writing furiously. “Imagine the looks I’ll get wearing one of these: ‘Love law, love life,’ or ‘Lawyers do it solicitously,’ or ‘Where legal eagles dare,’ or ‘Lawyers do it in teams,’ or ‘Come to us for your highs and laws.’ But this is my favourite: ‘Lawyers do it in time-recorded bursts of six minutes or less.'”