Trying to Have a Head

Years ago, pre-kids, I spent several years playing lawyer at a big law firm. I had a nice office in a brand new office building that overlooked a scenic riverfront area. I had a secretary. I had a good paycheck. I had towering piles of mind numbingly boring and technical work to do.

The big kahunas at the firm liked to think of their kingdom as a collegial place to work. In fact, “collegial” was their favorite adjective. Of course, if you scratched just a little, you might get a whiff of the good ole boyness that was just beneath the surface.

One of the perks of our new office building was that the lobby area and the outdoor space along the river were often used to exhibit art, to make us all feel cultured and stuff. One day, another female lawyer and I strolled outside to have our lunch. The latest art exhibit featured larger than life nude statues of women. They were tasteful, of course. We were not in the least offended by their nudity, but we were disturbed by the fact that all of them were headless.

“Hey, they have no heads.”

“Huh. How about that.”

“Look, that one looks like it’s trying to have a head.”

“Huh. How about that.”

In the end, I was disturbed that their heads didn’t matter, that whoever okayed the exhibit probably didn’t even notice that there were no heads, and that the collegiality was somehow failing to seep into my psyche and motivate me to want to work a life-draining 2,500 billable hours a year doing work that did not allow for any creativity. In the end, Fate intervened and my husband was transferred to another state.

Thank you, Fate, for providing me a graceful exit excuse before my head detached from my body and rolled out the door and into the river, never to be seen again.

P.S. My exit interview went something like this:

“I certainly hope you enjoyed your time here at the firm.”

“Well, I learned a lot.”

“I hope you enjoyed it too.”

“Well, I learned a lot.”

Danger at the Mall

By now you’ve probably seen the video of the Pennsylvania woman who learned the hard way about the dangers of walking while texting. As she walked through the mall where she worked one day last week, she was engrossed in texting a friend. She walked directly to a fountain, where she toppled over the knee-high edge and fell in. She instantly got up, climbed out, and went on her way, soaking wet. 

Alert mall security guards caught the whole thing on video and posted it on YouTube, no doubt to educate the rest of us about the dangers of texting while walking. The video does not identify the woman and is taken from a distance so that she is unidentifiable, except to those who know her well, like her nephew, who called to alert her to the video. (In case you missed it, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGpVpsaItpU )

Like any good American who suffers embarrassment when the consequences of her stupidity are caught on tape in a public place and posted for all the world to see, the woman retained a lawyer and appeared on Good Morning America to discuss her embarrassment. I’m sure the lawyer will zealously represent his client and sue the mall, the security guards, the company that designed the fountain, the company that installed the fountain, the cell phone company, and the friend who the woman was texting.

We should thank this brave woman for pushing through her embarrassment to come forward and warn us of just how dangerous the mall can be. No doubt new regulations will be implemented at malls everywhere as soon as possible:

  • Shoppers will be issued a set of water wings upon entering the mall. Sure, that will make it hard to try on clothes, but safety is the number one priority here.
  • A 6 foot safety fence will be erected around all mall fountains.
  • A certified fountain life guard must be on duty during the mall’s operating hours.
  • Merchants must provide shopping bags that can serve as flotation devices in the unlikely event that a texting shopper makes a crash landing into the fountain, despite all the other precautions.

Let’s be safe out there, my fellow shoppers, and if you must text and walk, at least use a waterproof cell phone.