I must confess that I entered the new year with a sense of dread. Let me explain. Last year was an incredible year for me as a legal humorist. It was so incredible that I didn't see how this year could possibly top it. And with the news filled with stories of layoffs, foreclosures and bankruptcies, humor was going to be in short supply.
However, it appears that I was worried for nothing. In less than 24 hours, I have been proven wrong. After all, I had not taken into account the X factor -- ex-professional athletes.
Time and again, former professional athletes have come to the comedic rescue. And true to form, Charles Barkley began 2009 with a bang by being arrested for DUI (Driving while Utterly Ignorant). Not only did Sir Charles fail his field sobriety test, but he made my new year by making the dumbest statements to the police since Robert Blake's infamous "I left my gun in the restaurant" alibi.
After running a stop sign, Barkley tried to explain his behavior by telling the officers ... oh, you're going to love this one ... that he was in a hurry to pick up a woman who was waiting on a street corner for him at that very moment. Barkley went further to explain that he was particularly anxious to pick up this woman because she was, shall we say, linguistically skilled. In fact, according to Barkley, she had given him a "private concert" that qualified as ... and these are his words, not mine ... "the best one I have ever had in his life."
That's right! This man who has aspirations of being the next governor of Alabama attempted to employ the "really good orally sex" defense as an excuse for running a stop sign and drunk driving. Needless to say, the police were not convinced. I also suspect that the soon-to-be-ex Mrs. Barkley won't be impressed either. If his wife is anything like mine (and the fact that he is still alive, seems to indicate that she is nothing like my wife), her divorce attorney will be the only person delighted with Sir Stupid's simultaneous admissions to adultery and presumably solicitation as well (look at the mugshot above and you tell me if there are women out there looking to pleasure Sir Chunky for free).
And here is the truly amazing part ... The "I was in a hurry to cheat on my wife" statement was not Barkley's most ridiculous statement of the night. That distinction belongs to his attempt at bribing a civilian police employee into forgetting about the whole thing with a promise to ... you're really going to love this one ... "tattoo your name on my ass." Is that supposed to be some kind of perk?
Think about it. Is this going to be the sentiment chiseled onto his tombstone by his friends and family -- "Here lies Billy -- loyal husband, dedicated father and the person referred to on Charles Barkley's butt." And assuming that he always dreamed of achieving this rather unusual form of immortality, how would he manage to bring up this "accomplishment" in casual conversation?
"Oh, so you just got back from Mount Rushmore, huh? Well, did I ever tell you that my name is tattooed on an equally large mound -- Charles Barkley's butt? I did, huh? Several times? Well, never mind. How was the weather in South Dakota?"
If the news for the next 364 days is anything like the news on January 1st, this is going to be a very, very good year; at least, for me (and lawyers specializing in representing the wives of ex-professional athletes). In fact, if the big firms start practice groups in this thriving area, they might just be able to stem the tide of layoffs and most importantly, keep hiring humorists for their events. Oh yes, 2009 is going to be the best year yet!