Photo of Stephen McConnell

This is our vacation week, so it’s time once again to play the game of “Where in the World is Stevie Mac?”  Last year, we wanted to visit a place with nice sights, great beer, and, most of all, zero chance of terrorism.  We chose Belgium.  Let that sink in for a moment.  This year should be easier.  The animating factors in 2016 — fear of jet-lag, fear of poverty, and, yet again, fear of terrorism – conspired to keep us fear-ly close to home.  Enjoy these hints:

  • Hello misnomer!
  • It never ratified the 18th amendment (prohibition – so, yes, this is our kind of place).
  • There is a specific law against biting off someone’s leg.  (The legislators here have obviously gotten a little too into The Walking Dead.)
  • The first American ever jailed for driving his car too fast earned that distinction by going a rip-roaring 15 mph here in 1904.
  • Cap guns are illegal in this state.
  • You will be fined if you throw pickle juice on a public trolley.  That rule will frustrate the DDL Son to no end.
  • Finally, our all-time favorite basketball player, Marvin Barnes, hailed from these parts.   Barnes (nicknamed “Bad News”) was part of a gang of high schoolers arrested for robbing a bus.  The victim had no trouble identifying Barnes, who had been wearing a letter jacket with his name embroidered on it.  That brush with the law did not stop Bad News (later shortened to “News”) from having a remarkable hoops career.  Barnes began his professional career with the ABA’s St. Louis Spirits.  Once upon a time, his team was scheduled to fly home from Louisville at 8 o’clock.  Because of the East-to-Central time zone change, the flight was scheduled to arrive in St. Louis at 7:56.  Barnes refused to board the flight.  In his immortal words, “I ain’t getting on no time machine.”  Instead, he rented a car and drove home.  Sadly, Barnes died way too young (62) a couple of years ago.  Let’s pour out a little White Ship Lovecraft IPA in his honor this week.

Speaking of time machines, we often feel as if we were in one whilst interviewing law students on campus.  That season will be in full swing just as we return from our sunny sojourn.  Why, it’s simply a continuation of our vacation, isn’t it? High hopes and boat drinks all around.  Watch us squeeze into law school cubbyholes and chat with students well under half our age for positions that pay about five times what we got when we escaped Hyde Park.  We try to avoid asking the usual hack interview questions, if only because we could not ourselves think of answers that are both acceptable and true, so why demand more of others?

“What is your greatest weakness?”  Either cheesecake or judicial balancing tests.  Eating one makes us fatter; reading the other makes us dumber.

“What do your friends and colleagues say about you?”  Nobody knows more about James Bond or less about ESI discovery.

“Where do you see yourself in ten years?”  Probably in the same small law school cubbyhole, interviewing people a third our age for ten times what we first pulled down in our salad days.  And we still will be utterly flummoxed by ESI discovery.