Not that I actually need anything lawyered, but I got it into my head that I needed to get my affairs in order last year, and there is a bunch of lawyers right down the hall from my office, so right before Christmas, I collared one of them and told him I needed a will and whatever goes with it.
I happen to like all those lawyers because they’re nice, despite what everybody says about all lawyers being assholes. Or maybe they’re just nice to me. And they’re funny.
My own particular lawyer, who I selected because he happened to be standing at the elevator at the moment I decided all of this, is especially funny.
I have been told that he will get on the phone and just raise Cain at somebody if he feels like it, but I’ve never seen it happen. Plus he has a little refrigerator under his desk that he keeps full of sugary soft drinks in cans. He doesn’t seem to mind that sometimes I wander down there and ask for a Coke, and he knows that Coke might mean Fanta Orange.
So I don’t know how to write a will. I Googled some, but that was really no help, because all those wills were rich-people wills, and I’m not rich. Those wills were, for want of a better term, written by eccentric people, eccentric being the term you use when a person is crazy but has a lot of money. If I wrote a will like that, people would just think I’m crazy.
What I have is a house and a fairly big piece of land that it’s sitting on. And a bunch of personal effects that certain people want (I know because they told me so). So there was no way around writing a crazy people will.
I sat down and made a considered list of my things and how they needed to be distributed. What my attorney said was “all you have to do is make the list and out beside it put a dash and ‘Aunt Judy’ or whoever.”
I did that, but it looked so bare that way. I couldn’t stand it. I like things in sentence form. So I went back and put it all in complete sentences and formated it all nicely and took it down to him and paid him.
He didn’t mention it, and I didn’t mention it, though I was sure he had read it, which made me think it was special double cranky crazy, even by his standards, even when I had to go down there and get some other papers taken care of.
Today I stopped by his office with the other papers and he said, “Hey. I have your will. Reckon we ought to sit down with that and finish it up?”
He didn’t say it, but I bet he’s thinking I have specific funeral instructions, and I do.
While I was down there, I remembered that my mother and stepfather had been planning to go to Helen this past weekend, but didn’t because a friend of theirs had died and his brother, a celebrity known to people of a certain age, was there and they are spending time with him. I was telling my attorney this story, and that he was probably at their house at that very minute having a ham sandwich on…
…and he picked it up right there and finished it: white bread with mayonnaise squishing out the sides and a piece of iceberg lettuce and a slice of tomato and some Lay’s potato chips. Oooh hail yes!
And this, friends, is how I know I have the right attorney.