Legal Widow

Subjudice has taken the Royal Wedding to heart and has spent the past week terrorising her brother and sister into acting as her attendants while she wafts down the hallway with a sheet trailing behind her. Deminimus and Liability, meanwhile, are getting fed up having to stick ostrich feathers behind their ears and bow or curtsy every time they see Subbie coming, so they’ve taken to hiding in the cupboard under the stairs and plotting for the new republic.

They are so sick of the whole thing that they behaved dreadfully at a family wedding at the weekend. Subbie put all that wafting to good use as a bridesmaid, but was so concerned with keeping her head at a suitably royal angle that she forgot all about the bride, who had to walk up the aisle with an over-long veil catching on the under-floor heating grilles. It nearly took her head off halfway down, and there was a frightening moment when everyone behind her prepared to leap for her floral wreath, but she managed to whisk her veil free and catch Subbie in the eye with the trailing end of her bouquet for good measure. It was just enough to make her pay attention, but nothing that would leave a mark. The bride, the Lawyer’s sister, is a personal injury lawyer, and knows a bit about incapacitating people.

At the reception, Deminimus and Liability ran around shrieking and stealing things from other children and stuffed trifle into the best man’s socks, but a combination of nerves and copious champagne stopped him from noticing until the time came for his Jamiroquai impersonation on the dance floor, when it all came out again.

By that time he had also revealed the startling truth about the groom’s business trip to Australia, a jaunt which has caused much muttering and looking up of airline schedules by his fellow partners as they tried to devise similar hand-holding meetings with panicky clients in exotic locations.

To Perth he went, however, with an interesting itinerary which took in a weekend in Bali before he even got there. He arrived at the taxi rank outside Perth airport to find that none of the drivers had ever heard of the Young Lochinvar hotel and that tourist information was similarly stumped. Cursing his secretary, his assistant and the travel agents in the same breath he brandished his booking details at the tourist office woman, who was then able to tell him that the Young Lochinvar hotel was in Perth, Scotland. “In Perth, Scotland!” repeated the best man, wondering where the laughs had gone.

There was a deathly hush in the room, as half the lawyers there added up the enormous expenses claim, a quarter of them started panicking about booking the litigation conference in Honolulu, and at least three imagined themselves snuggling in behind the groom’s big walnut desk back at head office.

It seems the groom promptly booked himself into the Hilton and did the whole thing by teleconference. No one would ever have known if the bride hadn’t acted brilliantly for a wine dealer in a nasty case involving an exploding bottle of mineral water and agreed to forego fees in return for rivers of champagne at the reception.

The sickening thing, said the Lawyer that night, is that he’ll probably get a pay rise; half the equity partners don’t know a teleconference from a trombone and it’ll be seen as a stunning use of new technology.