Friday, May 12, 2017

Mustard and Cheerios

There are certain things, that while perhaps perfectly okay on their own, make for a highly questionable combination. For example: mustard and Cheerios; your father-in-law and a sold-out showing of Brokeback Mountain; and Trump and everything in the whole history of the universe ever.

Two more awkward combos I discovered at the Alaska Bar Convention in Juneau this week: (1) Constitutional law scholar Erwin Chemerinksy, a podium, and a highly clinical description of serial digital penetration of the vagina to illustrate a core principle of criminal procedure; and (2) me, alcohol, Professor Richard Painter, karaoke, and a room full of lawyers.

First some background: I have this little problem, which I'm certain I've touched on before, where I talk a lot when I get nervous and/or a tiny bit drunk. Like, a lot. Like, a LOT A LOT.

I discovered this tendency the hard way many times throughout the course of my adult life. 

One year on Valentine's Day, I talked my boss's boss's ear off for an entire 1.5 hour flight from Anchorage to Juneau AND the ensuing cab ride downtown because I thought we were dying in turbulence, and it was the only thing that made me feel calm. Even though part of my brain kept saying "stop talking," the other part just wouldn't listen and boldly forged ahead.

Yesterday I did the same thing to my friends, colleagues, and boss's boss's boss (that's THREE LEVELS OF BOSS IN CASE YOU ARE COUNTING) AND the keynote speaker for the Alaska Bar Convention whom I follow religiously on Twitter.

Armed with my third or perhaps fourth cocktail of the evening, I cornered the former ethics lawyer for the Bush White House and several other lawyers (including my aforementioned boss-in-triplicate) as I gushed over Professor Painter's witty anti-Trump tweets, and held forth on my hazardous exploits in the First Amendment and social media. In my peripheral vision, I could see one of my closest colleagues--the Jiminy Cricket of my professional conscience if you will--eyeing me with a cautionary look that said, "you can stop talking now."

But Ms. Cricket is British and prone to a certain measured reserve incompatible with my MO. So nevertheless, I persisted.

Still, I knew better, at least, than to succumb to pleas from numerous equally intoxicated attorneys to try my hand at karaoke. I watched several consecutive victims fall prey to the ill-advised combination of Alicia Keys + vodka + an obvious lack of professional voice training and I was not about to tumble headlong down that same bottomless well. 

I mean, what do I look like? Someone who would eat mustard with Cheerios? 

I don't think so.

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