Thursday, March 25, 2004

Report: Day 22 

"Can you help me with a quick question about the CFR?" CFR stands for the Code of Federal Regulation and contains lots of useful information about federal agencies and the scope of their power.

"Absolutely I can," I replied, " but first I have a question for you. What are you doing in ten years?"

"Oh," said the flummoxed student. "Well, my background before starting law school was in television news. I'm hoping to do a little time with the Attorney General's office and get some real practical litigation experience and then return to TV news somewhere down the line working the courtroom beat. So I guess in ten years I'd like to be back behind the scenes on the news."

"No, no. March 25, 2014. Got plans?"

He looked at me blankly while he processed. "Um, no," he stammered. "No plans. Not yet."

"Great!" I said. "Let's make some."

On today's page Benrick has provided a coupon to be filled out and signed by the parties agreeing to meet in ten years' time. I am still reluctant to cut my book, so I copied the page a few times and had a stack of the coupons at the ready. I produced one and began reading it to the still bewildered law student on the other side of the desk. "We, the undersigned, may only know each other casually, but we hereby agree to meet up in exactly ten years' time at--" Here there is a blank on the coupon. "What do you think? Lunch? After work drinks? Dinner?"

"I think a drink after work would probably be best. Are you serious?"

"I'm completely serious. Ok, so I'll just put '5 p.m.' in the blank. Well, let's also put 'aprox.' so we give ourselves a little wiggle room. Ok, so 'exactly ten years' time at 5 p.m. aprox. on the twenty-fifth of March 2014' as we have already agreed. Ok, but where will we meet? 123 Washington Street here in Newark? Back at this very location?"

My law student was starting to groove on this now. "No. We should meet somewhere more fun. Have you ever been to Chumley's?"

"You mean the speakeasy?"


"Great idea! Ok. So '5 p.m. aprox. on the 3/25/14 at Chumleys. In case we have changed beyond recognition, we agree to wear the following identifying features:' Ok, I propose propeller beanies."

"Alright," he said, "but where?"

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"Where will we be wearing the beanies?"

"Oh, I see. You're asking if we should attach the propeller beanies to our elbows or something."


"How about if I just put in posession in parens like this. This way we'll have flexibility in regard to the beanies."


"Ok. So 'we agree to wear the following identifying features: propeller beanies (in posession). In case we have nothing to say to each other, here is a list of current hot topics to reminisce about:' Ok, we have eight spaces on this form. I think the first should be Janet Jackson's boob."

"Oh, sure. That's a hot topic. The Passion of the Chirst is big right now."

I nodded. "Huge. Israel and Palestine are in the news again."

"Well," he commented, "that will always be a hot topic. Ten years from now they will still be in the news."

"True enough. Still the assassination is pretty big, so let's go with it."

"Ok. How about no pizza in the library. I got busted for pizza just yesterday."

I was clearly dealing with a student. "Ok. No pizza in the New Jersey Reference room. Who's your favorite professor?"

"Prof. Thomas," he quickly responded.

"Great. And your favorite football team?"

"The Steelers."

"Perfect. What else can we reminisce about. How about The Apprentice? It just started and it's huge."

"God, I hate that show," he said.

"Great. We can reminisce about how horrid it was. And how about the utter lack of art in this building. Tons of white wall space and nothing to adorn them."

"I've often thought about how plain the walls are. That's perfect."

"Ok. Now then, all we have left is to sign this form. Right there. I'm Brian by the way."

"Brock. Nice to meet you." We shook hands.

"Great, Brock, so I'll just get you a copy of this for your records and if I don't see you before, I'll see you on March 25, 2014. Now about the CFR..."

Today is plastic fantastic day.

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