Nothing changes if nothing changes
You may look at life and think it has changed dramatically from how things were when you were a kid.
But has anything really changed?
We didn’t have the internet – but we still exchanged endless stupid jokes – we just did it in person rather than on WhatsApp.
We may have been careful about making jokes about the Royal Family (not publicly anyway) but we still had plenty of prominent people and entities to be rude about. How many of us remember all the jokes about Lada cars.
How do you double the price of your Lada? Put petrol in the tank.
What do you call a convertible Lada? A skip.
What do you call a three wheeled Lada? A wheelbarrow.
And so it went on.
Estate agents were also the butt of many a good joke – you see, some things don’t change.
And there is still the mileage we get out of the stupid things that people say, both publicly and privately.
For example, although I’m not a massive cricket fan, I still remember that there were two famous cricketers called Michael Holding (a bowler) and Peter Willey (a batsman) which led to the immortal but completely accurate line delivered by commentator, Brian Johnstone:
“the bowler’s Holding, the Batsman’s Willey”
Although little will top that (at least not in my mind) my professional career still means that I get constant amusement from the things that are said to us and about us.
In my early years in law, I was told by an opponent (a litigant in person, not a solicitor) that I was as ugly as I was stupid. What was amusing about this was that we’d never met, so he had no idea what I looked like. On that basis, if I was attractive (!!) that must automatically mean I was also quite bright!
Recently, the office was intrigued by an enquiry in relation to a probate matter, asking if our potential new client was allowed to sell her recently deceased mother. We assumed that she meant her mother’s possessions (and had just left a word out of the sentence) but it did lead to an interesting discussion in the office about what is a body worth and where would one go to sell it.
Of course, not every mistake (or deliberate joke) is entertaining. Sometimes people leave words out in error and create all kinds of difficulties for themselves which they won’t be laughing about any time soon.
I recently helped someone who had sent a WhatsApp message saying, amongst things:
I accept that the contract is binding
That may sound fine, only they’d left the word “don’t” out of the sentence which of course then gives it a completely different meaning.
You may think that a WhatsApp exchange is innocuous, but if it includes an admission of liability, you may be regretting it for a while, especially if you don’t notice straight away and the error isn’t obvious so that everyone knows it’s a typo.
So proof read everything before you send it (even text messages and cricket commentaries) and think carefully before you say things that could make you famous for all the wrong reasons.
Kleyman & Co Solicitors. The full service law firm. Considerably more sought after than a Lada.