The Law has been blighted by the invention of the photocopier. Back in the good old days for which all barristers pine (the 1780s in case you were wondering), getting a document copied meant sending it to a copyist who would dip a quill in ink and painstakingly transcribe. No 4000 page bundles in those days. To cope we have had to resort to trolley bags to drag our instructions around. I have a range of them and my current favourite is an enormous and stylish Mandarina Duck one. Before today it had only be used once: to carry home P’s dirty laundry from Scotland.
My client today is the World’s largest Law Firm. That is quite a client to have. I was pleased. They wanted me to represent them by which I mean someone was suing them and they want me as their lawyer. I was most pleased. Anxious to make a good impression I broke out the quality luggage and made my way to their Canary Wharf Skyscraper.
Having been shown into a plush conference suite, I chatted lightly as I unpacked my files. Opening the zip with a flourish I noticed that a pair of P’s knickers had somehow lain hidden in the depths of the bag and were now flopped nonchalantly across the top of my papers. I cast a glance at the clients but they were all filling bone china cups with delicious fresh teas. I could still get away with this. I flicked at the underwear with my hand and it dropped into one of the bag’s recesses and, mercifully, out of sight. I then piled the files onto the table and zipped the bag shut again. I paused to regain my composure and began to set out my advice. I found it unnerving that none of them were looking at me. Instead they were focused on a point about a foot in front of me. I looked at my files nervously. No underwear appeared to be attached. What was it that had so grabbed their attention? Could it, I wondered, be the sturdy and extravagantly curled pubic hair that was sat atop the uppermost file?
I grabbed the file and followed their eyes as the hair slipped from its surface, twirled to the table top and then slid onto their handmade carpet. At that point I didn’t know where to look so I focused on the other file. Well now, what a coincidence! It too was sporting a merry-looking pube. AsÂ everyone in the room was thoroughly professional no-one asked me how well I’d got to know the papers.Â