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This Writer’s Life: The Written Law

By April 19, 2015Guest Blogs, Language

You know that bit at the start of a book that goes something like ‘all characters contained within this work are fictitious…’ Well I always figured they just made that bit up randomly just in case Aunty Mabel recognised herself as the gossiping cough syrup addict living next door or something, and decided to sue. But they actually have lawyers sorting through that sort of thing. There’s a whole load of legal stuff backing it up, what you can and can’t say.

Now I’ve always been of the mind that lawyers and the arts should never mix, mainly because lawyers are really expensive. They also use such complex sentence constructs that nobody can really get into their books. Have you ever seen a best selling law book? No not John Grisham. Real law books, the ones bound in leather with gold lettering, so thick they make War and Peace look like a government pamphlet on what to do if they French invade. Lawyers should not be allowed anywhere near creative writing. Can you image what they would have done to Shakespeare…

William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18
Please note that William Shakespeare esq. accepts no responsibility for subsequent relations or marriage that said sonnet may induce. Your home may be at risk should any divorce proceedings ensue due to recipient realising that you are not as romantic as the said sonnet implied.

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Note that summer’s day is to defined according the meteorological office’s sub section paragraph c between the dates of 22nd June to the 2nd September. Furthermore that no responsibility shall to taken as to whether said day shall be temperate or otherwise.

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
Any subsequent damage to person or property as consequence of said rough winds will be deemed as an Act of God. As defined in article 12.

And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
The agreement to the lease has been prior to agreed; to which ends both parties will provide two weeks notice to the termination of summer.

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
Often shall be defined as no more than three days in any one week and no more than nine times in any one month. Any exceeding of this dimming gold complexion shall be put forward for further judicial review.

And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
Any hedge dispute arising from nature’s changing course untrimm’d shall be regarded a fructus naturales where neither party shall deemed responsible.

But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Possession being nine tenths of the law all ownership must be proven by those without said possession of fair. Furthermore any fair owest shall be subject to an annual APR of 26.2%.

Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
Any subsequent ageing that occurs due to third party influence will require the court to execute habeas corpus or in this case habeas mortis. Without such, any contract that this sonnet promises be deemed null and void.

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.
Such contract as suggested should not be considered ad infinitum (without end) as the client is obviously non compos mentis (without sound mind and understanding) at the time of proposal and merely wishes sexual congresses.

P.S. My lawyers have informed me that drinking a bottle of cough syrup every night does not necessarily equate with addiction. I am therefore bound to print this retraction… Aunty Mabel is not a cough syrup addict.

David Bowen is the author of the Hell on Earth series of novels.

Hell on Earth Review
The Eleventh Plague Review

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