My friend Amy’s daughter Athena said that her friend Lola would think I’m “the coolest guy in the world” if I mentioned her in the Vent. Assuming that is still a compliment in the ever-changing world of teenage lingo, it is an offer I can’t resist. So before I get to the substance of this Vent, let me say a few words to Lola.

I’ve never met you Lola, (unless I have, in which case OH YES!! I REMEMBER NOW!!!) but I’m sure you are a great person. In fact, I’m sure you are the best person on the planet, even better than Daryl Strawberry or Condeleeza Rice. I don’t know if they do “reverse Siamese twin attachment” surgery. There are the obvious ethical, insurance coverage, and in your case, parental consent issues to deal with. But putting those aside, there is no other person who I would rather be permanently stapled to, at the shoulder or the cranium, than you…Lola.

A few Vents ago I said I would shortly be moving my office to Bala Cynwyd after having an “Allentown Moment” (you don’t want to live there Lola). Well, I had another one this week, and I wanted to share it with you. See, I got a new case, a case that exudes Allentown the way that George Will exudes “Sexy” (hey, you have your taste, I have mine).

My client (who we’ll call “Bob”) went fishing in Fogelsville, a suburb of Schnecksville. After a couple of hours lazily casting his line and thinking “Man, that W is a sharp cookie,” he felt a big tug. On the end of his line he had the largest Trout ever caught in Pennsylvania (16 lbs 4 oz). Bob knew how fortunate he was. He thought, “good thing I caught him! He could be happily swimming somewhere else by now.”

Soon, his picture was on the front page of the local paper, just above the results of the Presidential election, and just below the big story of the day “DUTCH MILLER’S FRIDGE GOES ON THE FRITZ.” It’s big news in Allentown whenever something goes “On the Fritz.” The next day another local guy called the Allentown Police saying that Bob hadn’t caught the record trout in Fogelsville after all. Instead, this guy alleged that Bob caught the trout on his own private pond. Now, you might not know that a state record Fish can’t be caught in a private pond (if you’ve been living under a rock). However, even the dimmest among us (and you know who you are!) knows that you can’t actually steal a trout. Why, that’s “Trout Stealing” for God’s sake. And thus a scandal was born.

Now, hold up 4 fingers. Now count them. That’s how many Allentown cops became involved in the investigation. I’m guessing the conversation in the squad room went something like this:

OK men. Time to get your assignments. We’ve got
a full plate today. First, we’ve got a murder.

COP #1
Murder, Schmurder.

OK, well, we’ve got a rape.

COP #1
Rape, schmape.

Well, lets see. We’ve got a “Filing a False Report
on an Official Fish and Wildlife Form.”

COP #1
Filing a False Report on an Official Fish and Wildlife
form…Schmiling a False Report on…a..Schmofficial…uh
….OK, I’ll take that one.

COP #2
Can I help him?

Depends, are you sober today?

COP #2

OK then, your’e on the case. Hey, Cop #3, why are
you crying?

COP #3
Sorry, Sarge. It’s just that my father once had a Filing a
False Report on an Official Fish and Wildlife Report case.
He never caught that guy. He couldn’t let it go. He started
drinking, mostly Fresca, but still, it wore on him. Then he
quit caring about anything. He quit his job, he started going
to a different hooker every night, finally he blew his brains out.

I’m so sorry, Cop #3.

COP #3
I just don’t want that to happen to me, except for the part
about the hookers.

Of course not. We’re gonna catch that Filing a
False report on Fish and…well, you get the idea!

COP #4
Let’s get him boys!

All cheer and run out of room, but come back when they realize they forgot their pants–then run out again, still as enthusiastic as ever.

So I am going to trial on this case (eat your heart out David Boies). I do so wistfully, knowing that it may well be the last trout-related case I ever try. Although, you never know where life will take you: I may wind up loving this case so much that I develop an exclusively trout-based practice (like Clarence Thomas used to have). If you have any Trout related problems, or any problems at all relating to controversial Fish and Wildlife Commission filings, you know who to call. Half-price for you Lola.