I had a pretty rough week last week.  Even though I hadn't gotten my Bar results yet, I was becoming familiar with the ins and outs of being a lawyer.  Client meetings, settlement conferences, depositions and motion hearings.  And although all that stuff is interesting and challenging, there's a darker side to being a plaintiff's lawyer.  It's nothing that violates the Professional Rules of Ethics, but it's still hard to deal with.  

So Vegas Sr. decided to take me out to a nice dinner so we could talk things over.  And I laid it out on the table.  I told him it was tough to sleep some nights.  I explained my ambivalence about taking cases with marginal liability.  As I finished by telling him I wasn't sure I was cut out for this field of law, he placed his fork down on his plate and looked at me.  He knew I was hungry for advice.  And this is what he said:

"You know what I like about this place?  The Caesar salad.  You know a place is going to have good food when you enjoy their Caesar salad.  No place has a mediocre entre when the meal begins with a good salad.  Especially a Caesar salad.  And, the thing is, even if the dinner is somehow average (which is basically impossible), you still go home happy because you know the Caesar Salad was great. Yep.  Nothing like it.  What were you saying?"

He returned my blank stare for a few moments, and then resumed happily munching his salad.  Awesome, Dad.  It's not like I was really expecting him to drop some golden nugget of wisdom on me.  Just a crumb…a flake even….of sage advice would've definitely tided me over.  Instead, I'm treated to a dialogue on how crispy romaine lettuce and anchovie-flavored dressing is the greatest achievement in civilized society.  Although, I don't know what I expected.  In undergrad, I once told my father I had lost $4,000 gambling on college football, and Johnny Knockdown said he was "gonna bust my knees up good for me."  The response of my wisened old Pa?

"Son, tomorrow is another day."

Tomorrow is another day? TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY? There wasn't going to be any tomorrow if Mr. Knockdown found me hiding underneath my girlfriend's couch! Didn't he understand? I explained to him the physics of having one's "knees busted for them."  I repeatedly illustrated to my Dad how much I truly loved walking, and my hatred for all things prosthetic.  I even rented "Casino" and showed him that scene where the guy gets his head put in a vice and his eyeball pops out.  And the fruit of my labor?  My father's final say on Icepick's lien on my femur?

"Son, the only thing I can tell you is what my father told me.  Things will always get better, and try not to look backward.  Now let's go get that salad before Knuckles finds you and you have to eat through a straw.  Hey! A Caesar Salad Smoothie! I bet I could make a million off that!"

"Yeah, Dad. That's a real can't-miss proposition you have there.  Banks will be lining up to finance that gem of a startup."

Now, if you'll excuse me….I have to work off this four grand my Dad loaned me by handing out fliers to Salad Julius.  

Advertisements