Lisa Pendens , partner at the prestigious law firm of Sue, Takeitt, and Runn raised her index finger and moved it in an arc in front of her face sort of pointing in the general direction of the judge, but not at him.
“Objection, Your Honor. This has no bearing on the case.” She said.
“Overruled,” the judge intoned immediately. Turning towards the witness he said, “Answer the question.”
Her shoulders slumped as the witness proceeded to answer. His testimony was devastating to their case.
Zach, co-counsel with Lisa, for the defense, watched questioningly and made a mental note to ask her about that at his earliest opportunity.
At exactly 12:00 noon, Judge Parker banged his gavel and declared court was recessed for lunch. Lisa and Zach made their way to the diner across the street from the courthouse and tucked into a couple of tuna salad sandwiches.
“It’s not going good for us today, Zach,” Lisa said, “we don’t seem to be able to catch a break with Judge Parker, and now these potato chips are soggy. Jeeze, it’s one of those days.”
Zach was moving his index finger in front of his face pointing, sort of but not really, at Lisa Pendens, senior counsel on the case, and technically Zach’s boss, for the time being.
“What are you doing Zach?” she asked with a puzzled look on her face.
“There’s nothing wrong with your chips Ms. Pendens. They’re crisp and fresh.”
Lisa shook her head just slightly as if she were finding her bearings. “Damn, these are good chips. Want a couple, Zach?” she asked.
“What? Oh, no thanks,” he said. “Wanna tell me about that finger thing with the judge today?”
“What finger thing?” she pretended to look puzzled. “I’m sure I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“How are your chips?” he asked.
“Stale and soggy, pretty terrible,” then she realized what had just happened. “Shit, how’d you pick up on that?”
“Hey, I can do it too, as you have just seen. It doesn’t always work though. Maybe 30 percent of the time, that’s it. How well does yours work?”
“I’d say better than half, but today’s not my day.” Lisa told him warily. “When did you figure out you had it?
“More importantly, when did you figure out I had it?”
“I’ve known I had it since I was a kid,” he said, “it helped me get through law school and pass the bar. How about you?”
“I guess on some level, I’ve always known but I didn’t really put it together until about three years ago. There’s no sense trying to hide anything from you, since you have it too, I’ve only recently been trying it at work, I’ve mainly been using it to get dates. I think it might make me famous if I can figure out how, exactly, it works.”
“Ms. Pendens, may I make a suggestion?” Zach asked and then without waiting he continued, “My sisters and I all have this to some extent. We used to experiment with it at mealtime with our folks and what we found is that if one of us did it we had, at best, a 20 – 30 percent chance of success. My older sister, Jessica, has about the same control as I do, thirty percent success rate. Our younger sister, Natasha, has less, maybe 10 to 15 percent. No more than that. If we did it together, the effect was better than additive. If Jessica and I tried together to get dessert before dinner it consistently worked better than 50% of the time. If Natasha joined in too, it never failed.”
Lisa just stared at him with her mouth open.
“Let’s try it together on Judge Parker this afternoon. Maybe our luck will change.”
Lisa continued to stare.
“Come on!” he said, “What do we have to lose? We oughta try!”
She was completely non-responsive. He snapped his fingers in front of her nose and she snapped out of it.
“Yeah, yeah,” she said. “It’s worth a shot.” She narrowed her eyes and continued to stare at him then she asked, “Do you really have a sister named Natasha?”