Rats: Legally Blind Mice, a book from Attorney and Author Erlinda Dominguez, is a biting, extremely sharp legal satire. In this novella, Author Dominguez lays bare the misdeeds of the Trio, or Triumvirate as they prefer to be called, three Rodents who are practicing attorneys in the field of personal injury. In the style of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, Ms. Dominguez creates a fantasy world which parodies the realities of life in the Justice System, as the three charlatan attorneys, Mr. Doe, Mr. User and Mr. Mad, later joined by a notorious lady Rat, Judge Bull, struggle to live lifestyles of the rich and famous and fail miserably. Rats is a hilarious but ultimately incisive exposé of the shenanigans carried out by an egotistical, scheming, money-mad and incompetent threesome of the genusRattus. The humorous illustrations add to the clever portrayal of a ‘brave new world,’ the world of Rats. Any resemblance to Rats living or dead is purely coincidental.
During my law practice in Hawaii, I would sometimes write short stories to break the monotony of courtrooms and legal problems. My friends enjoyed reading them. That was before my personal legal battles as I chronicled in my book, Twice Upon a Court. My readers asked for more books that I would author. I then remembered my short stories. I picked one, the Rats Fairytale, to publish. This book has a melancholy tone which is a necessary background, but most parts will make the reader laugh. Any resemblance to events or humans is coincidental, in fact, irrelevant. There is simply no question, humans are humans and rats are rats.
In size and mind, the rodents competed with the hippopotamus called Hippo for short. They shared a common hobby of wallowing in the mud at sunset.
At summer time, the Tasmanian kangaroos taught them to leap. This made the rodents skilled in jumping from one spot to another without knowing why.
Their bible attests to two tablets of commandments in brick physically thrown by the gods onto the face of an elite rodent.
He was camping with his mistresses on the highest island mountain overlooking his mansion.
Needless to say, that ancient rodent was canonized as a saint while his face was still inflamed.
Of course, only after miracles for his sainthood occurred in rapid succession.
The miracles were abundant. The saint got richer and richer without scientific explanation. And he invented public offices, so effective, the first miracle kept growing.
Sadly, no relic of that saint could be found. His remains turned to nothing but dirt mixed with those of ancient worms and roaches. An impossible DNA analysis.
So stinking was the odor, scientists couldn’t stand it and gave up.
Anyone snooping into the elites’ affairs would lose his life and property.
There was one mitigating circumstance. The violator must kiss an elite authority without throwing up and his life would be spared, not his properties.
When death was preferred over puke, the violator would be displayed, beaten, then boiled in public—a lesson to be learned.
“Sirs, the restaurant does not need your business. Those male rodents in police uniform are at the door till you leave. See their batons and handcuffs?”
The trio almost barked, a sound they learned from the hippos: “God darn it… Sons of a B..... You’re all envious…your manager must have been listening and stole our smart ideas!”
They pointed to the face of the cleaner. “You’re just a stupid puppet doing your boss’s commands. You don’t even understand what comes out of your big mouth!”
And on their way, they yelled, “Go lick your boss’s big a.. that’s how you get promoted.”
The three rodents put their plans in gear, completed the crash course, then took the Bar Exams.
They flunked and flunked and flunked but managed to pass on their fifth try.
“It’s not a curse to flunk and flunk,” they said. “We heard that would make us legal experts in courts for going through the law books five times!!”
“Logical deduction,” they said and continued to prattle in pomp and circumstance.
“Thank our rodent gods,we’ve finally taken the Hippocratic oath.”
“That’s for medicine doctors, dummy.”
“My mistake, so confusing…should be the hypocritical oath, isn’t it?”
“Who cares what it’s called. Our vow is to be moral and skilled while our pockets are filled to the brim,” exclaimed the first.
“Legal rodents remember their pockets and forget the rest,” said the second.
“So true, but we’re not one of them, I think. Besides, you can’t fault them for bad memory,” added the third.
“I like my name so much. Each time I fall, that’s what I yell—‘Wow-Wow,’” explained the client.
“We’re interested in your fall yesterday,” said the three lawyers. “Where does it hurt…your neck? Your back?”
“Asymptomatic, eh? Lucky you—the doctor next door can locate your pain. Or predict when it happens. That’s what doctors are for.”
“I don’t even have a headache.”
“A layperson like you wouldn’t know. The doctor calls it medical diagnosis and prognosis.”
“You have signs of cervical and lumbar strains on top of herniated discs. At least, a severe whiplash!”
The client got alarmed. “Will I die?”
“Depends on legal goals.”
“Is that what’s called technicalities?”
“Yes, yes—the expertise of personal injury lawyers like us…for the client’s best interests.”
“I came to the right place, thank my rodent angel.”
“I fell because I wanted to fall,” explained the client, “and don’t call me Madam. Call me Miss…I am available if you know what I mean.”
“You planned and caused your fall?” exclaimed the trio. “Why do that?”
“When I stand in that stupid order line, my weight goes down. My chiropractor taught me to relieve the pressure by violently falling on my back with a splat.”
“You must be joking!”
“I don’t joke in business. The relief is so good, I yell my name, ‘Wow-Wow.’”
The lawyers looked at the client in disbelief. “Take the third…fourth …oh, we mean the fifth…your right to be silent.”
“I may be slow but you three are crazier than me!”
“Poor lady, your brain damage from the fall is talking.”
“Oh, please help me out of this chair,” she moaned. “My cramps are coming back from this tight chair and I need another splat right now.”
The client was handed the questionnaire, and she asked for more blank sheets.
The lawyers patiently waited.
“I need some privacy, stop watching me. You three are scary,” exclaimed the client.
After a couple of hours, she finally said, “I’m done, here’s my history.”
The lawyers’ eyes widened. “Hmm…you have thirty alias names and in all your forty years of life, you never worked. Why?”
“Just read the other sheets,” was her response. “As for the aliases, this was upon the advice of my previous attorneys who said they were working in my best interests.”
Looking at the sheets, the rodents stared at the lady in fright.
“My, my, this is your fourth fall at Burger King, and you had previous falls—three at Jack in the Box, five at Popeye’s, seven at Carl’s Jr., and the list goes on!”
“Well, that’s the honest truth. You don’t want me to lie, do you? I heard gossip that lawyers are experts in lying.”
A terrible car accident! The drunk driver snored, veered off, flipped over the freeway guardrail, zigzagged a mile, then split the electric post in a peaceful valley.
The trio concluded the city post was an obstruction to traffic. It was just an eye-sore carrying wires and cables.
They would attack the constitutionality of the post, and sue the city. Their theory of the case would be “arbitrary, harassing and ugly electric post.”
One more time, the trio patted each other’s shoulders and said, “Our legal theory will be in YouTube and go viral. We’re really talented and innovative.”
Their eyes squinted and they murmured, “Our dead ancestors must be proud of us and at peace, aren’t they? They must not be turning in their graves, are they?”
“That’s corruption, Sirs…taking advantage of flaws in our system.”
“Watch your tongue,” yelled the three lawyers. “Our system is perfect. We are lawyers, we ought to know…”
“Sirs, at least I, an ordinary citizen, warned you.”
“You dare teach us the law? We’ll summon and subpoena our three bodies for habeas corpus writ and show judge and jury prima facie the corpus delicti….”
The three rodents were still screaming while the investigator had long vanished.
“We wasted our technical words. But honestly, we don’t even understand what they mean,” they said in frustration.
“That’s okay. We’re a dream team to the rodent public. Huge cases are baited by high sounding speech.”
But everything considered, the trio would now forget and bury the whole case, and would never mention it again.
Never ever again!
Hopefully, the hospital and doctors would also bury the client—very soon. “Today, if possible,” they said.
The three lawyers reflected, “We should fall on our knees and pray. We are probably punished for the distress of our wives and mistresses.”