2 July 2001
"Daddy, would you want to live in the Big Brother house?" asked Deminimus, who is far too good with buttons and has learned that E4 broadcasts free during the day.
"As one who already spends his life with people I have to pretend to like, I'd rather stick pins in my eyes," said the Lawyer, cheerfully. "Besides, I think it should be against the law for the English male to bare his chest in public, no matter how much time he's spent down the gym."
"But would you win?" asked Deminimus.
"He'd be thrown out for not knowing what a kettle looks like," I muttered.
"No, but then the girls would take pity on him and teach him home making and personal development skills," said Subjudice, who has obviously swallowed the national curriculum.
"Not if they were personal injury lawyers they wouldn't," said the Lawyer.
"Why not, Daddy? Why not?"
"They are naturally cynical. They wouldn't believe I didn't know how to make a cup of tea and would actually bring it up in front of the housemates at a team meeting and discuss how they could trick me into showing that I knew you had to warm the pot."
"Ooh, lawyers must be horribubble," said Liability.
"Some of them are alright," said the Lawyer. "Property lawyers would be quite good in there, because they're used to unpopular jobs. They'd do the things that no one else would dream of touching, like cleaning out the chickens.
"And you'd have loads of intellectual property lawyers applying to get in. They'd spend their time being all abstract and saying they couldn't do the tasks because the parameters weren't worked out yet, and how it's a rapidly evolving area but too early to give an opinion on it, and playing Oasis on the guitar. Ghastly.
"Then you'd get the corporate lawyers being Tory-boy and rerunning the election with the bleeding-heart public projects lawyers. Then they would actually start talking about PFI and the public sector borrowing requirement, because it's like an illness with them. And you'd have the euro for dinner, every night.
"The divorce lawyers would be drawing up rotas to get everything on record, and you'd get the family lawyers trying to be all conciliatory and seeing both sides, and trying to get the tax lawyers 'involved in the team', but the tax lawyers would just want to sit in a corner and work out the shopping list. The pension lawyers would have got there first anyway though, and worked out that they could only afford to gamble 10 per cent of the allowance on the tests, given the long-term prospects for the group.
"Of course, the real nightmare would be the sole practitioner. He'd be the one walking round with his top off, using olive oil as a tanning aid and benchpressing the giggling paralegals. He'd spend all his time explaining how he was providing a real service to his clients, not like these big City boys, and how big fish like swimming in small ponds. He'd slap all the blokes on their midriff and say, 'When's it due?'
"Hopefully, he'd get voted off in the first week, but they've got a sneaky charm, sole practitioners. The winner would probably come from a magic circle firm. They always win everything anyway."