This is a Short Story published and under copywrite in 2020 in “LAWYER SHORT STORIES” and given here for your enjoyment.

“Hello, Ms. Hecker! I’m Gene Hardy, and it’s a pleasure to meet you. What can I do to help you?” he says to the old lady with a cane and offers her a chair.

Ms. Becker chides, “You the lawyer? Well, you don’t look like you are old enough to be no lawyer. How long you been a lawyer? Are you sure you are the Mr. Hardy, the lawyer, my nephew told me about?”

Laughing, Gene Hardy says, “Well, thank you, Ms. Hecker, for telling me I look very young. But, yes ma’am I am a lawyer and I am Gene Hardy. Step over here by the side of my desk and look up at the wall to see my law license.”

Pushing up with her cane, she rises from the chair and walks to see his framed law license on the wall. She says, “But that don’t have your picture on it. So, how do I know you are the one and only Mr. Hardy, the lawyer? You got any proof?”

Gene Hardy has been license for ten years but this is the first time anyone has accused him of a false identity. Thinking quickly, he removes his drivers license from his wallet, but before handing it to Ms. Becker, he decides she should also see his bar card with his name and picture on it as further proof of his identity.

Ms. Becker carefully examines both cards, compares the pictures to the lawyer’s face, and says, “Well, I guess you are who you say you are. I see a slight resemblance, but you could’ve fooled me. Yes, you certainly could. I must be getting old.”

Smiling, now that the problem has been solved, the lawyer thinks he must first establish some charisma with this elderly lady. He says, “Yes, I know your nephew, Jon, and he is a fine young man, Ms. Becker. No doubt you are extremely proud that he has finished high school and is enrolled in the Community College.”

Since his compliments are met with a humph from Ms. Becker, the lawyer gets right to the point. “Yes, Now, your nephew said you were having trouble with your neighbor, is that right, Ms. Becker? Want to tell me about it?”

“Of course, I want to tell you about it! Why would I come to town to see some stranger if I didn’t want to tell you about it? What in the world are you thinking, sir?” she responds to the stunned lawyer.

“My neighbor is trying to poison my brain with his electric wires. And I want you to get a court order to stop him! I’ve told him to cease and desist, as you lawyers say, but he just laughs at me and every week or so, he continues it with that nefarious poison.!”

After a full discussion, Gene Hardy concludes that the neighbor has on his roof a television antenna. No matter how often he tries to explain to Ms. Becker what is really happening, she insists her neighbor, Mr. Irving, is poisoning her brain with electricity.

If Gene Hardy sought an injunction against the neighbor, he’d be fined by the judge for filing a frivolous lawsuit. And he’d face a grievance complaint, too, for harassing the defendant in the suit.

Plus, he might be the butt of the night time television jokesters, which might be a fate worse than everything else. Gene pictures the laughs from Stephan Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Trevor Noah, Jimmy Fallon, Bill Maher, and John Oliver, to name a few, about the lawsuit to stop those poisonous electric lines.

A lawsuit is not the answer.

He decides he must dissuade Ms. Becker in some way. Finally, the idea hits him.

“Ms. Becker, I know you don’t have a lot of money and if we file a lawsuit for an injunction, then you must put up a bond to cover any costs or attorney’s fees or damages that Mr. Irving might sustain.”

That gets her attention.

“Well, lawyer Hardy, I don’t have that kind of money. No, sir. What do you suggest? i need relief. I need Justice, sir! Well?”

“Yes, you certainly do. I suggest I write Mr. Irving a very threatening letter asking him to voluntarily cease and desist and to make sure that electricity no longer enters your house.”

The lawyer stares at Ms. Becker and is sure she has been convinced, especially by use of he legal phrase, cease and desist.

“What if he won’t, Lawyer Hardy?”

“Well, all I can say is he’d better or he’ll be one sorry person in this world because he’ll suffer a world of hurt!”

“Oh, Mr. Hardy! I don’t want to hurt nobody! That wouldn’t be Christian. No, sir, we can’t do that! Jesus wouldn’t do that, Lawyer Hardy! That wouldn’t be right, not within the borders of the Good Book!”

Smiling a laugh, the lawyer responds, “Well, that’s right. When I said “a world of hurt,” I didn’t mean we would actually harm or injury your neighbor. That was a figure of speech, Ms. Becker. What I meant to say is that the Law will come down hard on him if he doesn’t stop sending that electricity into your home.”

“All right, then; you send him that letter and I want a copy of it.”

Amazed that Ms. Becker is satisfied with a letter, he thinks he will simply visit the neighbor, explain the situation, and ask him to slightly turn his tv antenna. He’s bound to agree to be rid of Ms. Becker’s antagonism. No doubt, he considers her a pest.

He says, “You know what, Ms. Becker? I’m not going to mail him the letter.”

Before Ms. Becker can say a word, although she raises her eyebrows and wrinkles her forehead, he adds, “I’m going to personally deliver the letter. And I’ll drop off a copy at your house. What do you think about that, Ms. Becker?”

Nodding, Ms. Becker says, “Well, you’d better wear rubber-soled shoes, Lawyer Hardy, so you don’t get electrocuted. And wear rubber gloves, too, if you touch anything. And, don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

“Yes, ma’am, I certainly will. And thanks for your advice. And, by the way, since I own your nephew, Jon, a big favor, there’s no charge for my services.”

Gene Hardy smiles with his mouth and his eyes after finishing the sentence, expecting Ms. Becker’s gratitude.

“Poppycock! Here’s five dollars for your services, Lawyer Hardy. No, I don’t want no free lawyer services since that means they’re worthless. Lawyer Hardy, I am an honest woman. I pay my debts.”

Gene Hardy crunches his nose, stifles a giggle, and muses that free lawyer services are worth nothing. Hard to believe, he muses, but that makes sense.”

“I pay what things are worth. Here’s five dollars, Lawyer Hardy!”

Smiling and thanking the elderly lady, Gene Hardy responds, “Fine, Ms. Becker. That’s more than fair.”

He’s thinking of framing that five dollar bill which will make a mighty good story about those poisonous electric lines.

Ms. Becker says, “It’s probably an overpayment, but since you’re so young, I figure you can use a boost. I’m glad to help a youngster get a good start. No, Lawyer Hardy, no need to thank me.”

Gene Hardy is speechless.

“But I want a written receipt to prove I paid. I sure wouldn’t appreciate it if your secretary sent me a dun for my five dollars, Lawyer Hardy. You understand me? I’ll wait while you get my receipt, Lawyer Hardy.”

Smiling, Gene Hardy hands the elderly woman a quickly written receipt for five dollars and says, “Here you are Ms. Becker.”

“No, Lawyer Hardy, that won’t do. I want one with your printed letterhead on it and your signature, too.”

Grabbing a page of stationary, Gene Hardy complies and hands it to the waiting client.

“Here you are, Ms. Becker. Please tell your nephew hello for me, Ms. Becker.”

“Yes, I will. Now you have a good day, young man.”

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