Residence: Oakland, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: March 17, 2015
Primary Language: English
Informant: So, a man runs into his buddy, and he sees that his friend’s car is totaled. Just—[makes face to indicate car is not in great shape] leaves and dirt and branches all over the front. The windshield is shattered. There’s some blood.
And so he asks his friend, “What on earth happened to your car?”
“Well,” the friend says, “I ran over a lawyer.”
“A lawyer?” [informant alternates tone to indicate change in speaker]
“A lawyer.” [solemn nod of head]
“I guess that explains all the blood,” the man says. “But, I mean, what about the leaves and dirt and branches?”
And his friend goes, “Well, I had to chase him through the park.”
The informant (my dad) is a particularly self-deprecating lawyer. While he does take pride in his work, he often admits that he only went to law school because his father had been a lawyer, and the informant had “no idea what to do with [his] life” after he graduated from college. The informant currently works at a law firm in San Francisco (he recently changed firms, after his former firm became too large and very corrupt. I suspect the series of lawyer jokes he told me were told with some of his old colleagues in mind.) This joke was told to my family over the dinner table, and was very much enjoyed by my mom (also an attorney).
This joke, which the informant picked up from another lawyer, plays on the idea that every hates—or at least distrusts—attorneys, enough to get a laugh out of the idea that someone would go to such an extent to run one down with his car.