Saturday, June 05, 2010

Hello, A Ghost Story, and Another Top Tip

It's a quiet Saturday night here in the Last House and everyone else is in bed. Whusband built a fire in the remains of the pressed aluminum "fire pit" which has now lost all three of its shaky legs and its lid. The children spent a gratifyingly low-tech evening watching the sparks fly upward, telling ghost stories, making s'mores, and running after fire flies.

The Understudy told a chilling tale about a the daughter of a wealthy family who went with her mother to an expensive antique shop where the mother "paid retail" for a beautiful doll. The doll's hand was posed with two fingers raised. The daughter of the house decided right away that she did not like the doll and put it in the basement. That very night, however, the girl heard someone moving slowly around downstairs, then coming up the stairs, and then in her own room. It was the doll! And it was mad! It jumped on the girl and killed her! The next day, the doll was holding up three fingers. The mother immediately took the doll back to the antique store and asked for a refund.

I confess that my campfire experience was shortened by my desire to get back to the movie about Temple Grandin that I had recorded on the DVR. Temple G. the autistic cattle expert who has become so famous. I heard her interviewed on Fresh Air when this movie came out (on HBO) and was really fascinated to hear her talk about her life and her work. If you can find that interview as a Podcast it would be worth your while to listen.

The movie was genuinely compelling and a very nice piece of work. (What drove me to the computer just now was my feeling of gratitude and admiration for the creative people who brought it off and got it into my living room.) Claire Danes, as Temple Grandin, was brilliant. So, that's my top tip. I see from the movie's web site that it's out on DVD now. Have I ever steered you wrong?

Bon weekend tout le monde.


R. Sherman said...

I once had the dubious duty to cross examine Dr. Grandin in a lawsuit I was defending wherein she was one of the plaintiff's experts. (I do a lot of animal/stock liability cases all over Missouri. Go figure.)

Anyway, she is a very interesting person and very smart. I'd seen a story about her on 60 Minutes some years back, and was most impressed by her success, despite/because of her situation.

For that reason, the cross was difficult. Nonetheless, I did my job for my client (a rancher here), even though I didn't feel great about it afterword.


Madame DeFarge said...

Again, a brand new name for me. I shall hunt out and peruse. Hope all well.

KSV Woolfoot said...

Hey R - Where were you with this story when we did brush with greatness? I don't envy you having to x examine her - sort of like having to x a secular saint, and one who's entitled to accommodations? How'd that lawsuit work out? In my experience, the one with the fanciest expert usually wins.

R. Sherman said...

Well, for one thing, I didn't think too many of my readers knew who she was.

As for the result, we settled it when it became apparent during voir dire that the jurors, most of whom were ranchers or cattle people, thought the plaintiff was a dumbass for getting into a pen with a Brahmin bull whilst carrying the bleeding carcasses of several squirrels he'd just shot.

(BTW, not to brag, but I've never lost a cow or bull case. [Insert frantic wood-knocking here.])


Nan said...

I have the movie in my Netflix queue but they haven't released it yet out of the saved section.

That was one scary story. I wouldn't have been able to sleep afterwards!

Lulu LaBonne said...

I so love it that after the child was killed the mother is mainly concerned with getting her money back - I guess one doesn't expect dead children if one has paid retail

KSV Woolfoot said...

Hey R - I won't ask you what it is about freshly killed squirrels that provokes bulls. I am putting that one down in "notes to self." I didn't know you were a cattle lawyer? Done any railroad cases lately?

Nan - Yes it was scary, particularly because that murderous doll was so expensive. I mean if it had been 50 percent off...
Thanks for dropping by.

Lulu - Of course that ending was what persuaded me the story should be recorded! Nevermind about grief or a funeral or vengeance or anything. When she wrapped up her story, I made up a little impromptu dialog:

Mother (at the antique shop): Excuse me, but we bought this doll here yesterday, and last night it crepr out of the basement and killed my daughter, and so we would like out money back.

Shopkeeper: Madam, our products are not warranted against supernatural murderous intent.

Mother: Well, I think you might have told me that the doll had already killed two children and been returned twice! I mean, I paid retail!

(and so forth).

R. Sherman said...

The railroad has its own lawyers because most are self-insured (sort of). I'm just hired to do insurance/personal injury defense. As it happens, I won a lot of animal cases early in my career and voila a niche was made.


KSV Woolfoot said...

Hey Mme - For some reason your comment didn't appear in my in box til just now. How odd. Anyway, I'd love to hear your review of the film. I have thought about it a lot since I saw it last week.

R - I want to hear more about those animal cases. I sense of rich vein for your blog...