Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The DWI Construction Company and a Masters in Underworld Education

We all have our gifts.  Some of us—not me—can sing.  Some of us—also not me—can dance.  Some of us—I can’t draw a straight line with the assistance of a ruler—are artistically inclined.  Some of us...well...some of us have talents that aren’t  What does that mean?  It means we don’t get to brag about our abilities and show them off like the singers and the dancers and the artsy fartsies.  Well, I intend to rectify that unfairness a touch today. 

It’s all about what you know...

I am the granddaughter of a homicide detective, the niece of an FBI agent and the daughter of an attorney.  Let’s not forget that I’m an attorney as well.  When I was young, my father allowed some of his criminal clients to work off their attorney’s fees by doing projects or repairs around our house.  My brother and I called it the DWI Construction Crew.  There were some seriously sketchy characters.  For example, Dad forgot to tell Mom that he had a guy coming to the house to chop down a pine tree in the back yard.  Mom opened the front door, took one look at the Harley riding dude with his axe and other tree cutting paraphernalia and screamed while slamming the door in his face.  Awkwaaaaaaard.

I have worked in some capacity at a law firm ever since I was about fourteen years old and it was an education equal to none.  I actually consider myself very fortunate:  I got the Southern Belle upbringing with a little underworld spice to make things interesting. 

Many of my unorthodox skills were born of necessity.  My gentle readers may or may not be familiar with this scenario, but teachers at my elementary and junior high schools made a practice of sending tests and papers with grades lower than a “C” home with the student for the parent to read, sign and return the next day.  Of course, the practice was intended to put the parent on notice that a little more work might be required in certain areas, but all of us kids merely made the connection of Bad Grades = Punishment and...well...we did what we had to do.

I like to think of myself as a Signature Reproduction Specialist because “Forger” sounds pure common.  One morning when I was in fourth grade, my Dad caught me signing his John Hancock to a less than stellar math test.  Of course, I got into trouble, but I learned later that Dad was so impressed with my exact replication of his signature that he actually struggled a little bit about punishing me.  Since that time, my skills have been admired and employed in numerous practical jokes.  I am particularly well known for my Ralph Macchio, Anna Nicole Smith, Rupaul and Kato Kaelin, but my Kardashians are a work in progress.

Another skill born of necessity?  I am an above average lock picker—that’s what happens when you go to college at a girls’ school with a curfew.  It’s also what happens when you share a dorm suite with inconsiderate individuals who lock you out of your bathroom about three times a day.  The first time I ever successfully picked a lock occurred when I found myself locked out of my dorm room.  I half jokingly borrowed a paper clip from someone and fiddled around with the lock in a fairly half-assed fashion.  Imagine my surprise when it worked!  After that, it was off to the races.  Upon reflection, I could and should have charged a substantial fee for my services during my tenure at Peace and Chapel Hill.  Oh well...

My other talent is that my brain is a vast storehouse of useless information.  My husband calls me the female Sheldon Cooper for those of you familiar with The Big Bang Theory.  Like Sheldon, I tend to recite random facts at random and often inappropriate times. 

The first time I met my husband’s family was particularly bad.  We somehow got on the topic of TV shows and crime dramas (probably spurred by the fact that I am a lawyer’s daughter) and somebody wondered why the bad guys always licked the cocaine when they bought great piles of the stuff to presumably sell elsewhere.  Well, I happened to know.  Accordingly, I enlightened them as to the fact that the “lick test” is for quality control purposes:  If the tongue goes numb, it’s cocaine and the faster the tongue goes numb, the higher the value of the product.

What did my future in-laws think about my trivia knowledge?  Close your eyes and picture six faces that looked like deer in the headlights with the only noise being the sound of crickets. 

A gal picks things up when she works with clients who have extensive expertise brokerage.

My last talent?  I can spot a hooker a block away.  Okay, maybe that isn’t such a talent as the fact that I’ve represented most of them, but you’ve got to give those of us “talently impaired” a break every now and again.

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