Friday, December 15, 2006

Just got back upstairs after a fire drill. The guy in the office next to me weighs about 300 pounds, from a life of junk food and never getting up from his chair. When he started at the firm 7 years ago he weighed about 160 pounds, played basketball every weekend, and wouldn't even touch the free cookies in the attorney lounge. But he's put on about 20 pounds every year since and now he's a monster. Hasn't really bought any new clothing either, so everything's unbearably tight on him. It's embarrassing to even look at him, so we try to make sure his door stays closed, and we've certainly stopped letting him meet with clients or recruits. The cleaning staff got upset when we made them go into his office and sweep up the crumbs so we've left him to fend for himself in that department too. He hasn't done a very good job, because he really can't reach the floor anymore. In sum, he's a disaster. Why his story is relevant to today's fire drill: clearly he can't get down the stairs, and even more important, he knows it. We send out e-mails in advance of the fire drills, so people know not to schedule conference calls or associate time-outs in the janitor's closet during that time. The drill was supposed to be at 11AM. At 10:50, I see Fat Man leaving his office, for the first time since '03 or so. He told me he'd see me downstairs. And then I watched him get into the elevator. We got downstairs and there he was, an ice cream sandwich in each hand. I don't even know where you get an ice cream sandwich in the building at 11AM. I think he might have taken them with him from his office, in case he got winded riding the elevator. In a real fire, he's obviously not going to make it. I'm not sure that's a terrible thing.

Someone e-mailed me about the new same-sex marriage law in New Jersey, allowing civil unions. My e-mailer wanted my thoughts. I think she assumes I have some opinion about this. I don't know why I would. I don't care who gets married. Same gender, opposite gender, it doesn't matter, no one's ever home anyway. Marriage is meaningless. No one here sees his or her spouse for more than a couple of hours a week anyway, so why should it matter who or what they're married to. Even if I had a problem with the idea of same-sex marriage, and I don't know why I would, it certainly wouldn't matter in practice. Let them ban all marriage, let them force arranged marriage, let them change the whole marriage regime, it simply doesn't matter for anyone I know or work with. Marriage is a fiction designed to enable someone to stop dating. There are people here who got married in 1993 and still haven't taken a honeymoon.

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