Reflections in a Mirror (While Shaving): Part 3

While having lunch with three friends, we invented a new (to us) game… “Conversation Starters That Stop Conversations.” We listed 50 or so but the one that stuck with me was, “I’m only telling you this as a friend…” No! You’re not. Stop. This is going to be embarrassing, intimate and unsolicited. A true friend would never open with that line. Yuck!

When we roll off the assembly line we should be equipped with 24 “overs.” Say something stupid, use an over. Do something stupid, shell out another. The reason for 24 is that most of us will use the first 20 within two months of starting to date.

There’s something so relaxing about playing catch. Old gloves. New baseballs. The repetitive motions of catching and throwing seem to loosen the mind and activate the jaw muscles.

Why is it so hard to get moving this morning? The knees are screaming at the butt. The shoulder has disconnected from the rest of the body. The mind can’t quite grasp the danger of a razor moving aimlessly about the nose.

There’s just a little resentment that the Red Sox have won two World Series in the last four years. That was a huge amount of perfectly good angst no longer usable.

When did lawyers become so disrespected? Was there a specific incident? A series of incidents? Shakespeare’s often quoted line from Henry VI, “The first thing we do, kill all the lawyers,” has become a symbol of contempt for the profession. Some argue (mostly lawyers) the line was meant as praise because eliminating the lawyers would open the country up to revolution and tyranny. After reading the passage carefully, I’m inclined to believe Shakespeare may have, in fact, been making one of the first lawyer jokes.

A retired friend went on vacation… from what? I think I’m just kidding but she was a little slow on the answer.

I usually nick my chin and right ear lobe area but the one that drives me nuts is the lower lip. Always in a hurry. Always say don’t do it. Bleeds for several days. Trying to curb the bleeding by sucking on my lip makes me look… well, unusual.

I hate exercising. I hate exercising. I hate every single minute. I have The Stomach That Came to Dinner and won’t leave. I’ve been told the options are exercise (see above), less drinking and smaller portions. I may as well give Mr. Middle a name because we’re going to be pals.

My back is finally showing signs of life this morning but most other parts are hanging back to see what the day holds. Smart parts. I’m with them.

If there really was a big bang, what was before that? Look, something had to exist to big-bang with… quit it. This is what makes my friends shake their heads and avoid eye contact.

Some people are such good dancers, they make my ears swell with jealousy. I was just finishing dinner at a resort in Utah when the nearby band started playing a little rock for a birthday party. A young man in his 20s arrived wearing hiking boots, a plaid shirt and Levi’s. He was so good, all the other dancers stopped to watch. The pretty lead singer insisted he dance with her. I met him briefly and he seemed humble and respectful. My ears were so huge I could have been a stand-in for Bugs Bunny.

One more piece of tissue to cover the cut by my nose and I’m good to go.

Doug Mudford is a lawyer and partner at Barr & Mudford, with an emphasis on serious personal injury. He may be reached at Barr & Mudford, 1824 Court St., Redding, (530) 243-8008.

Doug Mudford
is a lawyer and partner at Barr & Mudford, with an emphasis on serious personal injury. He may be reached at Barr & Mudford, 1824 Court St., Redding, (530) 243-8008, or
Comment Policy: We welcome your comments, with some caveats: Please keep your comments positive and civilized. If your comment is critical, please make it constructive. If your comment is rude, we will delete it. If you are constantly negative or a general pest, troll, or hater, we will ban you from the site forever. The definition of terms is left solely up to us. Comments are disabled on articles older than 90 days. Thank you. Carry on.

7 Responses

  1. Avatar Adrienne Jacoby says:

    A chuckle, a chortle, a knowing nod of the head (as opposed to nod-off which is part and parcel of age). Even old school teachers need all of those. Thanks for being a supplier for my drug of choice . . . laughter!!

  2. Avatar Canda says:

    I always look forward to your column, Doug. Even this "Best of" column had me smiling from beginning to end. Good stuff! Thanks for making my day!

  3. Avatar Doug Mudford says:

    Thanks Canda…

    I was a little concerned when Doni told me she wanted to do a "best of"… I took it to mean I wasn't producing material fast enough…I felt better after re-reading the column because I don't remember writing any of it…


    • No pressure, Doug. Really.

      If you don't remember writing it, the rest of us who read it the first time four years ago probably don't remember reading it, either. Every one of your columns is delightful.

  4. Avatar Joanne Lobeski Snyde says:

    When I read your articles I want to keep jumping into the conversation! This was a wonderful read.

    Another interesting word game is "words you never want seen in the same paragraph as your name in the newspaper." "Dental records" is an example.

    I'm going to try your "conversation starters that stop conversations."

    Thank you Doug for another great article.

    • Avatar Doug Mudford says:

      Joanne… I like your word game suggestion. It would be easier for me to think of words I would WANT seen in the same paragraph as my name…"lottery winner" comes to mind.