Archive for March, 2009

Year 3, week 27: my identity – yeh right!

Well, the story’s finally out on The Times that I've gone and got myself a book deal with Harry Potter's very own, Bloomsbury Publishing. It’s all set to come out in August and it seems that you can already order advance copies on amazon. But one thing they insisted on was that my identity be revealed. I mean, who's going to do the publicity otherwise? So there was only one way of getting around it that I could see and that was to appoint someone to pretend to be me and take over any publicity work that needs to be done. I thought about selling the role on ebay or possibly offering it to UpTights for comedy value but in the end I settled for my good friend Tim Kevan of 1 Temple Gardens who I have to admit bears more than a little resemblance to TheBusker. He was happy to oblige and really, why wouldn’t he? He’s already taking a break from the Bar and the surfing life of North Devon certainly seems to fit the writerly image far more than my own reality which involves rushing around the county courts and (I’m ashamed to admit) still living in the spare room at my mother’s. So there you go, they say it’s him but now you know better. Just another big corporate conspiracy. But one thing of which you can definitely be sure: whatever Tim Kevan is up to with his publicity gig, I will continue to be writing this blog and keeping you up to date on my various fights with TopFirst and UpTights.

 

So go on, tell your friends and buy the book!

March 31, 2009 · Tim Kevan · 10 Comments
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Year 3, week 26: LeadingCounsel

Much chatter in the clerks room this morning due to the fact that TheBusker brought his dog into chambers. Given that the dog was actually dragging him along on the lead, HeadClerk was immediately in with: “Ah, your famous dog and leading counsel, I see.”
“Wouldn’t have been allowed in my day”, said HeadofChambers.
“Oh, I don’t know,” replied TheBusker. “I’m sure most barristers had a gun dog of one form or another back in the nineteenth century.”
HeadofChambers didn’t rise to the gentle banter but in the meantime UpTights looked like she was about to jump out of her stretched skin. “If that mutt comes anywhere near my room I will put down poison,” she yapped.
“Shouldn’t be too hard for you,” piped up OldSmoothie. “I mean, take your pick. You want the spiteful venom which comes from your mouth or just the plain simple botulism you inject. Come to think of it, maybe there’s a connection.”
“Shut up OldSmoothie. It’s a health and safety issue. They bring in all sorts of things.”
“What, like fleas and ticks?” said TheBusker.
“Exactly. Bloodsucking parasites the lot of them.”
As the words left her mouth, everyone looked at her and smiled. Finally it was TheBusker who delivered the punchline: “I would have thought they’d get on rather well with a bunch of lawyers in that case, wouldn’t you say UpTights?”

March 26, 2009 · Tim Kevan · One Comment
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Year 3, week 25: jobsworths

I overheard TheBusker telling HeadClerk this morning about a parking fine he’d be given: “Yes, I was parked about an inch over the edge of the parking bay and only because the first car had already encroached into my own.”
“So what did you do?” asked HeadClerk.
“Just not worth the time even considering an appeal so I sent off the money with a little note saying that I was not going to dispute the fine. Oh, and I added that the traffic department had seven days to come to my house and clean off the glue which the ticket had left on my windscreen or else I would not only report them for criminal damage but I would also be issuing civil proceedings for trespass to property as well as hiring a very expensive contract cleaner to do the job.”
“And how did they react?”
“They’d obviously never had anyone raise this before and within two days of my letter being sent I had not only the traffic warden himself but also his boss knocking at my door at 8am with a bucket of hot water and a cloth.”
HeadClerk smiled and TheBusker had the attention of the rest of the clerks room by this point. “I know we all can’t choose what we do for a living and everything but there’s no need for anyone to be a jobsworth. I mean, who’d choose to be a traffic warden, anyway?”
“Reminds me of that Harry Enfield sketch,” said HeadClerk, “where a child was taking belongings out of a doll’s house and then looked up at his parents and said, ‘When I grow up I want to be a bailiff.’”
“Though I can’t say I was surprised that it was a Westminster traffic warden who discovered the car bomb outside that Tiger Tiger night club,” continued TheBusker. “You know, maybe that’s the solution to the war on terror. Just fill the security services with armies of commission-based traffic wardens.”

March 18, 2009 · Tim Kevan · 8 Comments
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Year 3, week 25: I’m appalled…

Following on from BusyBody and UpTights’ banter about OldSmoothie ‘emerging’ last week, BusyBody was telling me this morning what it’s prompted: “Well, it’s all about your google profile these days BabyB and one of the easiest ways to increase the number of high ranking references to you is to leave comments on big news stories on the websites of national newspapers.”
“Right,” I replied hesitantly, wondering quite where it was going.
“Yes, so the first small step for raising his profile has been to leave about two hundred such comments all over the web. All signed in his name.”
“And saying what, exactly.”
“Oh, that’s easy. We want to create just the right profile to allow him to ‘emerge’ as he likes to put it. So each comment starts with ‘I’m appalled…’ and then ends with ‘What I say is bring back hanging!’ As for the content, well…you can imagine.”

I certainly can and I’m wondering what OldSmoothie’s reaction will be when he discovers an array of bigoted comments all made out in his name surfacing on the internet.

March 16, 2009 · Tim Kevan · 3 Comments
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Year 3, week 24: emerging

OldSmoothie was lamenting times gone by at Chambers Tea yesterday afternoon. “No-one just emerges any longer.”
“What do you mean emerges?” I asked.
“Emerges. Just what it says. Appears in place. Emerges from nowhere to take the role.”
“And I’m imagining that would be referring to the role of high court judge, would it?” asked BusyBody.
“Not just them. Prime Ministers used to just emerge. Ambassadors, heads of the civil service. They’d all just emerge. But yes, since you’re asking, high court judges too. It’s ridiculous having an application process for such a complicated and sensitive role.”
“Yes, I hear you weren’t even shortlisted following your own application, OldSmoothie. Great loss to the judicial system, I’m sure.” It was UpTights hitting him this time.
“Coming from someone who can’t even judge our little games of battleships without exploding, I hardly think you’re one to talk.” But he wasn’t to be diverted from his little reverie: “But all I’m really saying is that it’s a crying shame. No more old-fashioned consultations. Quiet words over a G and T. Now it’s all just form-filling and quotas.
“Well,” said UpTights, “any time you want to emerge as Ambassador for Outer Mongolia, you just tell me OldSmoothie, and I’ll get right onto the Prime Minister myself and make absolutely sure it happens.”
“I’d support your emergence into any place but this one to be honest OldSmoothie,” added BusyBody.
They were a tag team now and UpTights followed up with: “Yes, a campaign for the emergence of OldSmoothie. Maybe a few articles in the press, a petition on the Number Ten website and of course the obligatory Facebook group.”
BusyBody smiled and said: “You know, I think you may just be onto something there.”

Really, I dread to think where it may now lead, what with BusyBody’s surplus energy and UpTights’ manic moments.

March 12, 2009 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Year 3, week 24: bring it on

Well, first it was Worrier being hired to defend the Banksters. Today, it transpired that they’ve gone one step further than that and taken on UpTights and TopFirst as well. All I have to say in response is: “Bring it on. May the game continue and the best wig win.”

March 11, 2009 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Year 3, week 24: banksters

“Hey, BabyB.” It was Worrier and she had rung me on my mobile sounding in a particularly nervous state even for her. “I just wanted to give you a heads up before you found it out from anyone else.”
“Found out what?” I asked.
“Er, well, I don’t want you to take this the wrong way but I’m actually on the bankstigation cases.”
“That’s wonderful news,” I said. “What’s the problem?”
“Er, that I’m on the other side. I’ve just joined a new firm of solicitors and they’ve put me straight onto these cases.”
“Hmm, of course that wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that you used to be in this chambers, would it?” I said, teasing her a little.
“BabyB, that’s precisely what I’m worried about. I think they might be using me.”
You don’t say. “Look, please don’t worry on my behalf. As far as I’m concerned there’s nothing you could know about us that would compromise us in any way.
“Oh, thanks BabyB.  I really needed the reassurance.”
“Hey, don’t worry. As for being used, Worrier, remember you’re a lawyer. We use and get used. It’s what we do.”
“I guess,” she said.
“And Worrier,” I added, “everyone has the right to a fair trial. Financial terrorists, fraudsters, robbers and yes, even Banksters.”

Not that hiring Worrier is exactly going to give them the most aggressive defence in the world, bless her. Just one more example of their razor sharp judgment in action.

March 10, 2009 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Year 3, week 23: TheScreech

Last night I went to a dinner at a certain red brick university in which we were all there to encourage people to apply to the Bar. I assume they organised it on a Tuesday on the basis that students are basically drunk for most of the rest of evenings later in the week. Either that or they’re even more hardcore and simply like to start off the heavy drinking early in the week. Anyway, that’s certainly what it turned into for me when I discovered quite who I was sitting next to. Or rather what I was sitting next to, since all I remember are a pair of hands and a voice. Ridiculously large hands for his tiny body coupled with a screeching little voice which was something between the sound of bats being woken and a high pitched whining passing of wind. The hands and the voice just didn’t mix well and it has to be said, nor did we. Let’s just say that he was full of himself and perhaps leave it at that. Or at least, it might just suffice to say that he was a chancery lawyer who liked talking about himself and his “massive” income and his unfeasibly “large” practice. Then there was his “enormous” room in chambers and his “generously proportioned” flat next to Tower Bridge. All described with the assistance of those hands which he waved around as if he were directing aeroplanes on a runway.

After about half an hour of this, even the two earnest female students opposite were starting to look over at me in amusement every time he came up with another boast. Just as he was in the middle of his “if you play your cards right you too could have huge clients and even bigger cases like me”, one of the students piped up with: “So MrScreech, would you say that size matters for a career at the Bar?”
It suddenly stopped him in his tracks and he blushed and replied with: “What do you mean by size?”
“Why would you ask what I mean,” she replied. “What could I possibly be referring to other than clients and cases? So, size. Does…it…matter…” She pouted these last few words before digging into her main course which just happened to be toad in the hole. TheScreech was silenced and one thing is for sure: the lady will go far at the Bar.

March 4, 2009 · Tim Kevan · 2 Comments
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