Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 68

A SLICE OF WRY

'[Bleep] Year'
By Paul Kiernan

Is it over yet? 2020? Please?
As you probably know, these magazine
columns are written well in advance. (Maybe
not written well, but you know what I mean.)
So as I type this, I do not know the eventual
outcome of the year. But I am assuming
(hoping) that if you are reading this, there is still
a District of Columbia and a D.C. Bar and our
new rulers from Jupiter have allowed us to
publish this magazine.
OK, we didn't have an alien invasion this year
(yet), but that's about the only head-spinning,
heart-breaking, who-thought-of-this development missing. Pandemic devastation, closed
schools, shuttered businesses, continued
deaths of Black people at the hands of the
police, riots, economic collapse, fierce partisanship. Throw in fire-nados in California, murder
hornets, and a movie version of Sonic the
Hedgehog, and future generations will wonder
how we made it through the year.
Americans did what we do best: hit the couch.
It was couch for work, couch for sleep, couch
for TV binges, all couch all the time. And when
we weren't on the couch, we were studying
the couch - wondering whether we should
get a new one or add a pillow or skooch the
table a little closer so that we didn't have to
reach so far for the iPad.
We busied ourselves with chores. Banished to
the house, we noticed cobwebs where we
didn't know they could cob. We saw that a
room needed painting and maybe it was time
to replace that shelf paper in the kitchen. (Come
on, we know you have shelf paper.) Washing
windows, planting gardens, redoing the sock
drawer, organizing the cat's toys alphabetically.
By this time of the year, we are beat.
We're all talked out, too. Somehow once we left
the office we spent more time talking to
people than we did when we were in the
office. We talked to people we didn't like to talk
to when we were in the office. We talked to old

68 WASHINGTON LAWYER

*

high school pals, second cousins, people
selling solar panels. Plus, we talked to Alexa and
Siri and our toasters and our remote control
and probably our couch, too. At the end of the
day my throat was sore.
And thanks to Zoom, we had to worry about
what was happening behind us while we were
working. Hard enough to pay attention to the
job in front of us, but now we had to sweat
what everyone would think of our goofy poster
or random sports memorabilia or the absence
on our bookshelf of anything written in the
past 28 years. (Does The Law of Trusts count?)
I wonder how many people now have an indelible picture of the fan slowly turning in your
spare room, or the exact lineup of spices on
your kitchen counter. No wonder the country
was exhausted all the time - all this swiveling
head action all year, like driving in reverse for
nine months.
But somehow we made it (I hope). And for the
rest of your life, if someone ever refers to "20-20
vision" or even the TV show 20/20, you will have
the kind of involuntary reaction in your throat
that is usually caused by Salisbury steak or lima
beans. (Lima bean fans, it's a joke. Salisbury
steak fans? Consult a physician.)

We learned to measure in chunks of six feet.
Calm people became unusually grouchy.
Our daily routines were soon disrupted,
So long Dr. Phil, hello Dr. Fauci.
Here comes Dr. Birx and her scarves
And the latest COVID-news promo
Masking mayors and TV governors
And promptly at noon: Ecce Cuomo!
The year went on forever for real.
Chiefs locked Super Bowl on Feb. 2 (Sunday),
How were we to know that one Groundhog Day
Would multiply into our Every-One-Day?
We lost some talented people -
can't have too many of those men -
Johns Lewis and Thompson,
Kobe, Wes, and Chadwick Boseman.
Bill Withers said we could lean on him
Little Richard made everyone a dancer
And Regis Philbin has a headstart now
On knowing what is your final answer.
The year's takeaway?
There are heroes among us.
Wielding blue gloves or hand trucks
Our debt is humongous.

I can't wait for the future to get here. So to ring
out this terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad
year:

May we all take a page from their tireless service
In this tiring year of over-frayed nerves,
And when we hit '21 let's vow to do better
And become the leaders who know how to serve.

'Twas the night before New Year
And of joy there was plenty
As the whole world bade goodbye
To the dread 20-20.

May our world be safe and healthy and free
As we put this one in the rearview mirror,
As lawyers, let's work to help those in need
And bring equal justice to all ever nearer.

Things started kinda normal
- old "normal" not "the new" -
People working in real offices,
Little Zooming to view.

So Merry Christmas, friends,
Happy Hanukkah too,
And Kwanzaa and Festivus
And a Year that is New.

As the world turned, tilting,
And "for granted" became "out of sight."
(Maybe we could have foreseen the dire	
With Oscar nod named Parasite?)

Already I like Twenty-One
Better than this [bleep] year
Because it will be a regular size
Not like this dreadful leap year!

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020

	



Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020

Digital Extras
Your Voice
From Our President
Practice Management
Calendar of Events
Family Law Assistance Network feature
An Avalanche of Evictions feature
Pro Bono Partnerships Forged in Crisis feature
Help for Pro Se Litigants Feature
Qualified Immunity feature
Taking Legal Support to the Streets feature
Taking the Stand Turning off the White Noise of Systemic Racism
Taking the Stand Situational Principles Aren't Really Principles
On Further Review
The Learning Curve
Member Spotlight - A. Benjamin Spencer
Member Spotlight - Amber Harding
Worth Reading
Attorney Briefs
Speaking of Ethics
Disciplinary Summaries
Pro Bono Effect
A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 1
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 2
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 3
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 7
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Family Law Assistance Network feature
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 11
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 12
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 13
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - An Avalanche of Evictions feature
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 15
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 16
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 17
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Pro Bono Partnerships Forged in Crisis feature
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 19
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 20
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 21
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 22
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 23
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 24
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 25
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Help for Pro Se Litigants Feature
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 27
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 28
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 29
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Qualified Immunity feature
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 31
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 32
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 33
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Taking Legal Support to the Streets feature
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 35
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 36
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 37
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Taking the Stand Turning off the White Noise of Systemic Racism
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 39
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Taking the Stand Situational Principles Aren't Really Principles
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 41
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - On Further Review
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - The Learning Curve
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Member Spotlight - A. Benjamin Spencer
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Member Spotlight - Amber Harding
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 46
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 47
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 49
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 50
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Speaking of Ethics
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 53
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 54
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Pro Bono Effect
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 57
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 58
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 59
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 60
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 61
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 62
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 63
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 64
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 65
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 66
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 67
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Cover4
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