Memories of a Law Geek

I’m one of those faintly creepy people who always wanted to be a lawyer. Well, in 1984 I briefly wanted to be the first female president of America (we lived there at the time) until my dad pointed out that I couldn’t because I wasn’t born there (and yet he had no qualms about continuing the Santa deception, even after I left a note saying “sign here” for Santa). Anyway, a brief chat in Twitter about kids tv and I decided to watch Rocky and Bullwinkle on YouTube. I first watched it around my fifth birthday when we’d just moved to the States and just happened to pick an episode on YouTube which was a bit of a revelation when it came to the whole “why be a lawyer” thing. It cracks me up to think of child me watching this and thinking “right. I can be a princess but only if I can outsmart a contract lawyer’s small print”. The relevant segment is from 5:49 ish and only runs for two or three mins.

In reality, I didn’t want to be a contracts lawyer until I started doing it and realised I had a flair for it (and the inability to keep the necessary emotional distance to be able to do something like family work) but, who knows. Maybe the memory of that episode was lying dormant, just waiting for that day to come.

Seeing that reminded me of this. I suspect every kid in the USA has seen I’m Just a Bill at some point since it was made in the 70s .

For some reason I swear I had a comic book version too. I don’t know if it was a tie in or something I got through school but I’m sure I had it. Maybe it was just one feature in a magazine. I don’t know because the law geek bit’s all that’s stuck in my head (other than a faint suspicion there was a picture of Menudo in it too but they were everywhere at the time). The odds of anyone who grew up in America in the early 80s reading this seem really slim but if you did and remember the comic, comment, please, to tell me it’s not an imaginary comic I wrote in my own head, although I did want to be Wonder Woman around that time too so maybe it was an imaginary comic and I was a geeky law making superhero in my own mind, I don’t know. I’m pretty sure Wonder Woman never fell off the monkey bars while playing superheroes with her brother, scaring him witless because she’d had the wind knocked out of her just as their mum was calling them in for dinner. Pretty sure. It’s probably a good thing he didn’t know about using gaffer tape on broken ribs back then or he’d have had me mummified to be on the safe side before I’d got my breath back.

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11 thoughts on “Memories of a Law Geek

  1. Hayes

    I’m with Steve. Rocky and Bullwinkle never gave me a career. I did love almost every American cartoon, though, except for Caspar the friendly ghost and Mighty Mouse – they were rubbish. I lived in Kenya till I was six or so. There was one TV show a week! One! Little House on the Prairie. I was starved. Moving to the UK was an improvement, although three channels didn’t offer that much choice. Things really picked up moving to near DC in 1980. I used to get at least two hours of cartoons in before school. Then of course you could watch four hours plus in the evenings. And because it was America, you didn’t get one, you got two. So I probably saw every M*A*S*H, every Welcome Back Kotter, every Three’s Company, every Love Boat, every Fantasy Island, Every Magnum. It was like a dream.

    Reply
    1. lawgeekblog Post author

      Little House on the Prairie?? Dear God. That’s just cruelty to children! Only thing worse would be non stop Brady Bunch! Agree on Casper & Mighty Mouse – crap. Not enough violence. You’d probably have been in the US at the same time as me but I was younger so I probably watched some stuff you’d have considered beneath you like Mr Rogers & Sesame Street (seems funny now to think it wasn’t on in the UK then) too. I did miss Mr Ben living out there though. Funny you mention Mash because I had the theme from Mash in my head after watching that Rocky & Bullwinkle clip because I saw it so much as a kid too.

      Reply
      1. Hayes

        “Suicide is painless, it brings on many changes” – even though Piers and Hawkeye were popular with the ladies, that show probably didn’t do much to make me want to be a doctor. Of course, the film is even darker.

        I can’t remember caring about missing anything in particular in the UK (I was there 80-84). It’s just that general left out feeling whenever anything’s discussed that you completely missed out on. And of course I became obsessed with American Football, which was impossible to keep in touch with when I was back in the UK (the old one programme a week syndrome), at the expense of the Premier League, leaving me teamless and therefore almost impossible to trust by vast swathes of the male UK population.

        I watched a bit of Sesame Street and Mr Rogers, obvs, although I suppose when you’re 12 someone like that is already being suspected of being a massive pervert. Still remember the theme tune and intro, though, with his terrible voice.

        Two more shows for you: HR Puffnstuff and Gilligan’s Island….

      2. lawgeekblog Post author

        I can’t say I wanted to be Hot Lips either! I got a bit MASHed out in the end, by my teens, because my dad was hooked on it but it was a brilliant show. I was ’82-’85, so similar. Can’t remember missing much else. Wanted pets and wasn’t allowed ’til we moved back and when we very first moved there and I saw Mr Rogers I demanded to know why my Shufflie Castle had been left in England (it was just like the Mr Rogers castle and I’ve just discovered it was rare because it was purple) but that’s about it! Know what you mean about feeling out of touch. Because I was younger it wasn’t a thing at the time though and I don’t think I missed much by missing 3yrs of Blue Peter etc! Think I was already well jaded about Mr Rogers by the time we moved back when I was 8 (just in the sense I was too cynical and cool in my own head for him) but I watched it recently and it’s a surprisingly brilliant show. He used proper adult vocab with pretty complex words (none of that eh oh crap) which was a huge thing for preschool/primary tv, taught kids to be themselves, dealt with important issues like divorce and I even happened to watch one with a visit to a Graham cracker factory, which had me hooked (just like the crackers)

  2. Hayes

    I’m lying a bit. I probably did want to be Hawkeye or Pierce. I just didn’t want to be a surgeon. Now you’ve made me want to watch Mr. Rogers! *looks on Amazon*

    Reply
    1. lawgeekblog Post author

      Well, that’s understandable. They didn’t seem too keen on the actual work thing themselves. šŸ™‚ *sucks in deep breath preparatory to big rant* You’ll be out of luck on Mr R. There were loads of episodes on YouTube but someone (presumably pbs owns the rights) had them taken down for infringement which is horrible because they’d only released a few themed sets of a week’s worth on dvd unless people want to pay through the nose to order specific episodes when I looked

      Reply
      1. Hayes

        Yes I couldn’t find much on YouTube. Amazon.com seems to sell an episode for $1.99 and a season for $11.99 but I sold my Manhattan penthouse so no longer have an American address to send Amazon.com stuff to. Disclaimer: I never had a Manhattan penthouse.

      2. lawgeekblog Post author

        Just had a look and I think a series is still only 5 episodes (he’d do a week on pets or whatever) but the option of streaming episodes wasn’t there when I looked a couple of months ago so I guess that’s why they rampaged through YouTube, cutting out the full episodes. Makes more sense now

      3. Hayes

        Stream for free if you pay for Amazon Prime, which is $79 a year – interesting.

        I’d like to see a new school version – Nile Rodger’s neighborhood. Because I bet he lives somewhere quite nice, and he could take us around it and show us places and stuff. He’d probably be playing music while he did it.

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