Monday, July 9, 2012

Magician Part 2 : chapter 7 of Man in the unicorn suit.

      Years ago at the beginning of my career I drafted a simple contract between a man and his former wife.
She received a certain ring and he in turn received the assurance that she would never interact with him again.  This is unfortunately the bread and butter of our trade, magic. You may think of it as an exotic binding gag order. If you are the sort of person who thinks Des Moines is exotic. It was boilerplate. A nearly everyday contract completely binding. Not by penalties but by nature. On the signing, she lost her ability to even think about pestering her former husband. 

     I only remember the interaction because of its inanity. Him, a formerly handsome and now decidedly potato shaped man. Her, the leathery wreckage of a trophy bride.  The former couple came into my office with  insightful utterances like 
         "This does not look like a wizards office ... shouldn't you have a stuff owl or something? . . .or a skull?             . . . Why do you have a Mac? . . . I don't think a wizard should have a Mac" 

I deflected the questions with the most interest I could muster. 

    "I am not a Wizard ... Macs are great computers"

The second answer of course if a lie of sorts Apples are fine computers but I use one because contractual obligations. (Apple is a smart company.)

    "How do we know this thing is going to work?"

    "The same way one knows the sun is going to rise tomorrow  and that we are never going to have a black    president. This 'thing'  works as inevitably and by the same principles" 

We all laughed and I printed out the contract on my Mac. Fingers were pricked.Vellum was signed. She left with a ring and a vague expression on her face. Her former beau gave me 50 thousand in cash in a briefcase of all things. I told him that we take Visa.

This exchange took place in 2004, the irony of it reached full flower when just last week I received an invitation to their wedding.

    In a film or on television I would have attended the wedding to make my inquiries. This being real life I made a phone call. He delivered a narrative about seeing her in the moonlight or some-such and thanked me for letting him out of his contract. I accepted his incorrectly attributed thanks and asked who exactly did he speak to in my office. (This of course was a canard or as the young folks like to call it social engineering. I do not have any employees.) 

He described a "lovely older woman" who served him tea and oatmeal cookies. Afterward she cut his contract in two with large kitchen shears. 
 I thanked him for his time, apologized for not being able to attend the wedding, and congratulated him on his happiness. Discussed the Redwing game that I had no intention of watching. Then hung up the phone and spent the next 10 hours staring at the wall and wondering if the sun would rise in the morning.

   

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