Our blog has moved, and is new and improved.

You should be automatically redirected in 3 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The day before Christmas (Hennepin County)

The following is Minnesota Lawyer Editor Mark Cohen's column for this week, which we are making available to our blog readers as a special extra. This holiday poem was inspired by the rodent situation at the Hennepin County Government Center. Happy holidays!

‘Twas the day before Christmas and through the courthouse
Not a creature was stirring, except for a mouse
The exterminator won’t arrive ‘til the New Year
So rodents run amok without any fear

The judges don’t let their feet touch the floor
Keeping them suspended eight hours or more
Their quivering clerks look from side to side
Hoping against hope for a piper that’s pied.

Beads of sweat drip from prosecutors’ faces
Fearful defense lawyers keep losing their places
Every bailiff unlatches the safety on his gun
Mice may be small, but they certainly can run.

Suddenly out in the lobby there arises a great clatter
An army of tiny paws start to pitter and patter
Chief Judge Lucy Wieland dashes out in a flash
To go to the Capitol and beg for more cash

Everything is locked tight when she arrives in St. Paul
Nobody’s done much there since the start of last fall
When what to Wieland’s startled eyes should appear
But Tim Pawlenty sporting his gubernatorial hair.

“We need more funding now to save us from mice!”
And to emphasize her point Weiland repeats it twice
Pawlenty gives her a long and sympathetic sigh
Speaking softly, but firmly, as he re-adjusts his tie.

“I want you folks to know that I feel your pain,
But I’m running late for a meeting with John McCain”
Into his car the governor quickly takes flight
Giving a wink and a nod as he drives out of sight.

Wieland walks sadly back to the Capitol lot
Only to find her car’s been towed from its spot
While most workers leave early on Christmas Eve
Tow truck drivers don’t give anyone a reprieve.

The chief judge takes a bus back to her court
She is now near the end of a workday that’s short
She finds the building’s now been completely overrun
Life’s a rat race, and it’s the mice who’ve won.

Wieland pulls out her cell and can be heard to say
“I need a book delivered, that’s right, right away”
And what book does she order? Oh please!
The answer is obvious — “Who Moved My Cheese?”

So the mice will continue to make merry ‘til ‘08
At which point they’ll meet a much darker fate.
Hennepin workers, I’m sorry to make light of your plight
Happy holidays to all, and to all a good night!

Mark A. Cohen can be reached at (612) 584-1531, or by e-mail at mark.cohen@minnlawyer.com. He offers in advance his most fervent apologies to Clement Clarke Moore, who deserves much better for his classic 1822 poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas.”

No comments: