They used to refer to lawyers as alligators and not as sharks like they do today.

A shark usually takes one bite and then goes off and waits to see if his victim weakens or dies before he bites it again. Sharks often need the reinforcement of other sharks in order to kill while an alligator always kills by itself.

It seems lawyers have changed. They are now a lot more like sharks and not at all like alligators anymore. They now work in groups and not alone like they used. They don't seem to have the same tenacity as we used have.

We used to be totally ruthless.

Alligators have also changed a lot in the past two centuries. Back then any alligator over four feet long had no natural enemies. Then western man came along with their guns. Those gators who had the meanest genes must have been killed off and now all you have are milder types that never even exit the swamps anymore. The same thing seems to have occurred to attorneys who are no where near as nasty as they used to be.

200 years ago both attorneys and alligators were the solo artists of mayhem and slow death. The alligator's initial bite locks on like a vise and savagely crushes bones, flesh and organs. They can pull even the highest down into the mud with them. Then they roll over and over with their victim through the mud, branches and rocks until their victim's bones are shattered beyond comprehension, they stop only when their victim is dying or dead. Then they may dismember their victim and gulp an arm or a leg down. This is often done while their dinner is still about 10% alive. Sometimes they will vomit the appendage and swallow it again and repeat this time and again until the appendage has reached the consistency that they prefer. They may leave the still breathing carcass with it's useless limbs until it dies, ripens and rots. All of which seems to add a flavor more to an alligators liking while they go merrily off searching for another victim.

This was the same behavior as attorneys had 200 years ago however they appear, along their 'alligator like genes' to have died out.

Attorneys and Alligators both could also be seen walking down the streets of the US Capital (which was made from part of a swamp) looking for victims every day except on Sundays.

It was quite common for visitors to the capital to allow their pet dogs to run free outside in the streets. These dogs knowing nothing about alligators would approach them barking. Often these small and medium size dogs were last seen in the jaws of an alligator being carried back to his swamp for dinner.

However things were exactly the opposite on Sundays. Then the farmers came into Washington to attend church and they brought their big hunting dogs with them. These dogs would roam the capital looking for any alligators that were walking the streets. They would bite their tails and chase them back into the swamps where they hid until Monday which was a lot like what ministers did to attorneys who attended their church on Sundays.

Beware of Alligators and early American lawyers as both of them can act like primal beasts which you would never want to tangle with.

(I used to know a lot more attorney jokes like these but I have forgotten them in the last 200 years.)


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2004-8 John Pinil