Please don’t focus on the fact that this is a cheap lawyer joke. (Or the fact that this is tax day — file form 4868 with a check approximating the tax you owe to get an automatic penalty-free extension to August 15.) Focus, instead, on the fact that this is the 300th daily comment I’ve written and yet up until now, as best I can remember — and despite the scads of them that various of you have sent me — I have not yet recirculated a single cheap lawyer joke.

In part this is because many of my best friends are lawyers. In part it is because even many lawyers who are not my friends do fine, honest, necessary work.

Still, at $295 an hour — and given the occasional unctuous, greedy snake that manages now and then to slither under the Bar — perhaps a little ribbing every 300th comment or so comes with the territory.

To wit:

Three lawyers and three MBAs are traveling by train to a conference. At the station, the three MBAs each buy tickets and watch as the three lawyers buy only a single ticket.

“How are three people going to travel on only one ticket?” asks an MBA.

“Watch and you’ll see,” answers a lawyer.

They all board the train. The MBAs take their respective seats, but all three lawyers cram into a restroom and close the door behind them. Shortly after the train has departed, the conductor comes around collecting tickets. He knocks on the restroom door and says, “Ticket, please.”

The door opens just a crack, and a single arm emerges with a ticket in hand. The conductor takes it and moves on.

The MBAs saw this, and agreed it was quite a clever idea. So, after the conference, the MBAs decide to copy the lawyers on the return trip and save some money (being clever with money, and all that). When they get to the station, they buy a single ticket for the return trip. To their astonishment, the lawyers don’t buy a ticket at all.

“How are you going to travel without a ticket?” says one perplexed MBA.

“Watch and you’ll see,” answers a lawyer.

When they board the train, the three MBAs cram into a restroom, and the three lawyers cram into another one nearby. The train departs.

Shortly afterward, one of the lawyers leaves his restroom and walks over to the restroom where the MBAs are hiding. He knocks on the door and says, “Ticket, please.”

Oh, wait. That’s not the joke I meant to recirculate. This is the one:

One day, a man was walking along the beach and came across an odd-looking bottle. Not being one to ignore tradition, he rubbed it and, much to his surprise, a Genie actually appeared.

“For releasing me from the bottle, I will grant you three wishes,” said the Genie. The man was ecstatic. “But there’s a catch,” the Genie continued. “What catch?” asked the man, eyeing the Genie suspiciously. The Genie replied, “For each of your wishes, every lawyer in the world will receive DOUBLE what you asked for.”

“Hey, I can live with that! No problem!” replied the elated man. “What is your first wish?” asked the Genie.

“Well, I’ve always wanted a Ferrari!” POOF! A Ferrari appeared in front of the man. “Now, every lawyer in the world has been given TWO Ferraris,” said the Genie.

“What is your next wish?”

“I could really use a million dollars…” replied the man, and POOF! One million dollars appeared at his feet. “Now, every lawyer in the world is TWO million dollars richer,” the Genie reminded the man.

“Well, that’s okay, as long as I’ve got MY million,” replied the man.

“And what is your final wish?” asked the Genie.

The man thought long and hard, and finally said, “Well, you know, I’ve always wanted to donate a kidney….”

Apologies: to those of you who are lawyers, related to lawyers, or aspiring lawyers; to those of you who have already heard these; and to whoever actually hatched them in the first place (like most Internet ephemera, these two have been floating around unsigned).


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