THE ADVOCATE 679
VOL. 78 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2020
truth’,” quoted Associate, in a tone that made it very clear he was quoting,
which he was.
“Cannabis?” said Partner, incredulously.
“Sure,” Student replied, pulling out a box of Big Bob Marleys. Student
offered one to Associate, who took it without hesitation and said, “Thanks,
great idea. It will help us relax.”
Partner felt obliged to intervene. It was difficult keeping up with
Canada’s changing marijuana laws and fatal to fall behind the times. Still …
“I think we should keep in mind the anti-smoking rules of the Firm and
refrain at this particular point in time. And I was actually referring to the
strange requirement of the short story competition that you mentioned.
Surely you misread?”
“No, unfortunately not. The rules state clearly that the story must contain
the word ‘cannabis’.”
“But why?” asked Partner, with manifest exasperation. “That’s daft. Why
would that be a rule?”
“I don’t know,” Associate said. “Plaintiff raises the same question.”
“Oh dear,” Partner sighed. “I can see problems already.”
“And then there’s the next one—‘sunset’. The story has to contain the
word ‘sunset’,” Associate shrugged.
“You mean the story has to be set when the sun is setting?” Partner asked.
“I don’t know. It says ‘sunset’.”
Student, emboldened from the earlier discussion, raised an important
point. “Could you use ‘dusk’ instead? Or ‘sundown’?”
Assistant spoke for the first time. “Maybe ‘nightfall’? Or ‘twilight’?”
“There might be copyright problems with ‘twilight’,” said Associate, who
never missed a legal issue, real or imagined. “How about just ‘eve’ or
“‘Evening’ is awfully vague. The sun could be long set while much of
evening lay ahead,” Partner chimed in, not to be outdone. “I suggest something
more lyrical. ‘Eventide’. Or ‘gloaming’. Or possibly … ah, yes, ‘crepuscular
light’!” Partner sat back with a look of great satisfaction.
Paralegal spoke—a rare and usually annoying event. “That last is more
than one word. The rules are quite clear. It has to be just one word.”
Student, who disliked Paralegal with an intensity usually reserved for
estranged spouses, had to speak up. “What about ‘post-truth’? Is that one
word or two words?”
A silence settled over the room, like dust settling on the furniture of a
long-abandoned house, except much more quickly. But after what was only
a few seconds, the silence was broken.