Q: What is the difference between a catfish and a lawyer?
A: One is a scum sucking bottom dweller and the other is a fish.
I am who I am. I am not what I do. Oddly enough, there are people who don't understand the distinction. I'm not sure whether they have problems separating who they are from what they do for a living or whether their work is so all-consuming it simply defines them.
Though not an exhaustive list, I have been a gas jockey, draftsman, astronomer, factory worker, steel fabricator, lawyer, banker, writer and hospitality worker. None of those things adequately define who I am and, quite frankly, with the exception of writer, I did them because I had the skills and/or education and, more importantly, because they paid the bills. Had fate been fickler, I'd have done none of those jobs and spent my days frittering away family wealth. I'm sure that activity would have had the pleasant experience of shaping me into something other than what I am but, as Popeye said, "I yam what I yam."
As much as it pains me to take exception with anything written in so august a publication as Piqu e , I fear last week's news piece on the latest fous to enter the mayoral Campagne de Fous left an overwhelming impression that Ms. Wilhelm-Morden was a bit of a catfish. As a recovering lawyer, I take exception.
Generally, this wouldn't matter to me. I've come to understand the lasting impression anything we write in Pique has on the attention span challenged people of Tiny Town. But with the other mayoral fous being on record as referring to his now-announced opponent as an ambulance chaser, I feel compelled to speak out... or at least be similarly slandered myself.
The fact of the matter is, while our brethren south of the border may indeed chase ambulances, that particular activity happens far less often in the socialist paradise of Canada. Simply put, chasing ambulances doesn't pay the bills up here. Awards for medical compensation are, understandably, mere fractions of what they are in the litigious states of America, given Canada's universal healthcare. And for whatever reason, Canadian juries aren't nearly as sympathetic towards injured parties; as a result, they tend to be stingy awarding damages.
Nonetheless, there are people injured in the Great White North and there are negligent acts that need to be addressed and the only people around to do the heavy lifting are lawyers, as satisfying as it might be to sic a biker on someone who hurt you. But just to be clear, lawyers don't bring lawsuits; their injured clients do. Journalists don't make news; they report it. Columnists on the other hand....