Silent Poker, Holy Poker

Every year I go caroling with some of the folks from my choir around the nursing homes in Northeast.  My choir does several outreach programs there throughout the year, but Christmas caroling is the most fun.  We sing a few basic songs, Deck the Halls, Jingle Bells, Silent Night, etc, and invite everyone to sing along with the ones that they know.  Then we take requests.  This year, a cheerful lady, let’s call her “Bluehair #1,” requested Silent Night.  To be sure, we just sang Silent Night.  But if she wants to hear it again (or forgot), well fine.  It’s Christmas.  Silent Night again.

Then another sweet old lady, let’s call her “Bluehair #2” raises her hand.  We call on her and she says, “Is it Christmas?”  To which my friend responds, “Does anyone know that one?  How does Is It Christmas go?”  To which I replied, “I don’t think that was a song request.  I think that was a question.”  We explained to her that yes it was Christmas, and that’s why we were here to sing Christmas carols.  To which she said, “sing Silent Night.”

Unsurprisingly, singing Silent Night four times in one outing (Bluehair #1 had another request) inspired a Federal Circuit Silent Night counterpart, reflecting on that occasional terrible oral argument…

Silent Bench

Silent bench,
Questionless bench,
Throw a bone;
Be a mensch.
Counsel jumps as a softball is tossed,
With no clue that he’s already lost.
End this pain and sit down;
End this pain and sit down!

Silent Judge
Questionless Judge
Can my words
Make you budge?
All that stuff in my brief is worth shit
If you don’t agree with it.
Just tell me what you want
Please tell me what you want

Poker tonight, 8pm, [——].  Don’t be silent!  RSVP.


Reindeer Games Poker

ʼTis the season, my clerk family, where all of the traditions and tall tales of old come back to us in familiar melodies.  Ah, Christmas carols.  Those bouncing, twinkling ditties about Santa and Rudolf that warm our hearts by driving us to drink.  So spike the egg-nog and mull up some wine.  Let’s see what the holiday favorites channel has in store for us today…

You know Markman, and Philips, and Cybor, and Rite-Hite,
Kingsdown, and Seagate, and Lucent, and Limelight,
But do you recall—
The most famous Fed. Cir. opinion of all?
Ritchie v. Vast Resources
Had some very funny facts (it’s a dildo)
And if you ever read it (read it)
You couldn’t help but make wise cracks (IT’S A DILDO)
All of the other law clerks (super-nerds)
Laughed and called the panel names (like “lubricious”)
They never let poor Goodman (wamp, wamp)
Live down that bench memo shame (In ancient Sumeria…)
Then one Foggy Bottom day
Posner came to say (whoa, whoa, whoa)
“Thirty years of precedent?
That’s not really what you meant.”
Then all the clerks went ape-shit
And they shouted angrily,
Ritchie v. Vast Resources
You’ll go down in infamy!” (like Baird v. Army)

Join in the holiday spirit at poker tonight, 8pm, [——-].  Bring something festive.  RSVP so I know how many antler hats and red noses to haul down from the attic.

Guilting Poker

Hello, and welcome back to reality!  Apologies in advance, this is going to be a long email, but I have no choice.  So much has happened since we last corresponded.

We had Thanksgiving Thursday, during which we surround ourselves with all the things for which we should be thankful and silently gripe about how much they annoy us.  Then there was Black Death Friday, during which battle-crazed shoppers awoke at the wee hours of the morning to beat the shit out of each other in Walmart parking lots in the hopes of getting slightly discounted prices on already cheap Chinese-labor-camp-manufactured electronics that will be returned for store credit in January anyway.  A Saturday also happened, but it doesn’t have a name that I’m aware of, probably because most people sleep through it.  After Sit-in-traffic Sunday there was the much celebrated Cyber Monday, during which people do millions of dollars’ worth of online shopping instead of addressing all the work that piled up over the holiday.

And finally, the most recently named day in the tradition of naming post-Thanksgiving days—yesterday—Giving Tuesday.  Yes, this is a real thing, google it.  Giving Tuesday is a day during which people who have compassion or who itemize their tax returns are supposed to donate money to a worthy cause.  Did you not know of this or did you not get around to giving?  Don’t worry, we’ll come back to this.

Because even though I said “finally” in the previous paragraph, the naming of days is not over.  I have named today:  Guilting Wednesday.  And I will herein start the new Guilting Wednesday custom:  guilting.

I shall begin my guilting by reporting on last night’s meeting of the People-Who-Waste-the-Federal-Circuit’s-Time Club, which convened mostly because Omar “the wrath of” Khan was in town carrying out the Club’s mission. He was joined by Michael “better call Saul” Goodman, also recognized for similar efforts.  The meeting was presided over by club president Matt “Unhung Hero” Dowd, and visited by Dan “G.I. Jew: Real American Hebrew” Lerman, our ambassador to the People-Who-Waste-the-Supreme-Court’s-Time Club.  After inducting yours truly, the topic shifted to why these once poker frequenters do not come to poker anymore.  They promised that if they were mentioned in an email, they would show up.  Boom.  Guilting.

But they’re not alone.  Although this listserv keeps growing and growing, the number of people who come to poker is not growing nearly as fast.  So all you lurkers out there, getting your free chuckle at my life’s failures, time to feel the guilting.

Picture Valentine’s Day a couple months from now.  While you all are warm and snuggling with your special someone, I will be running through the frigid streets of D.C. in my underwear.  Not leggings with some funny print boxer shorts over top.  Underwear.  D.C. has no public nudity laws.  I’m not doing it just to show off my pasty white body stuffed into lacy lingerie, but rather for the Children’s Tumor Foundation’s “Cupid Undie Run,” which raises money for research and treatment of neurofibromatosis (NF-1).  Remember the picture of the Pope hugging a man covered in tumors that went viral a couple weeks ago?  That guy has NF-1.  My very good friend’s 1-year-old son (superhero alias: Jimmy Powers) also has NF-1, and we are running in the Undie Run as Team Jimmy Powers.  Remember Giving Tuesday?  And Guilting Wednesday?  It’s all coming back now.

Take the $10 that you aren’t going to spend on poker tonight, because despite saying every week that you are totally going to show up one of these weeks, tonight just isn’t the night, and donate that unused poker buy-in to sponsor Kristina Caggiano on Team Jimmy Powers.  You can donate here:  It’s super easy.  It’s just $10.  It helps babies with tumors.

For those of you that are interested in actually showing up to poker tonight, it will be at 8pm at [——–].  There will be booze and loose women (if you bring them) and absolutely no more guilting.

Babies with tumors.