Stop–I Got Enough

This just in: Michael Jackson is dead. He’s been dead for more than a week. And guess what? He’s still dead.

Dead. Dead. Dead.  Dead as a door knob. Dead like disco.

I’ve wanted to yell this breaking news at my boss every day for the past week.

But my boss is a judge and, apparently, a huge Michael Jackson fan who refuses to let him rest in peace.

This fact did not come up in the interview when I applied for the clerkship. When he shook my hand, I don’t think I saw a sequined glove. He didn’t excused himself after the interview by moonwalking out of the room or saying, “It was nice to meeting you, Dirty Diana.” And at no time in this clerkship has he told me to “beat it” or “shamon.”

But since MJ left this mortal Earth, it seems his best work will soon join him because the judge has been playing the pop king’s music to death.

Twice I felt like I almost had to stop my judge from quoting MJ in a ruling.

Three times it felt as if he was about to gyrate and grab his crotch while wearing his robe.

Once, His Honor asked if it would be too much to set his ringtone to Thriller.  I panicked and relented from actually saying it would indeed be too much and begged the insanity to end. 

I’ve caught him humming Bad. He has researched authentic Jackson memorabilia on eBay. And yesterday [Thursday, July 2] at lunch, he referred to one of the defendants on trial before him as a “smooth criminal.” Then he repeated that awful, dreadful, horrible line again and again until we laughed, pretending that it had taken us a few minutes to catch the reference.

Good one, your honor!

Is there an end in sight? Doesn’t look like it.  The news is non-stop Michael all the time. CNN is actually playing his songs like they’re a Top-40 station. And there’s all this talk of what really killed him and the possibility of a nasty estate squabble. I could care less, but my judge will surely be glued to this stuff for as long as it keeps going.

Normally, I would think an old guy obsessed with pop music is too hilarious for words, but at this point, his unexpected infatuation has become totally expected, and it’s draining.  Mainly because it requires me to pretend like he’s darling and witty all day since he now relies on me being amused.  He even waits and looks for me to deliver a fawning, fully entertained reaction.  And how can I really not play along???

He thinks it makes him adorable.  But I wish he would stop pressuring me because it makes me want to scream.

Wait, that’s actually the one song I haven’t heard him sing yet.

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25 Comments

  1. Cgunz

    July 6, 2009 at 2:47 am

    Hopefully someone is going to say this, so I might as well be the first.  To the author of the post: if you “could care less,” that means you actually care–you could care less than you currently do.  You meant to say “I couldn’t care less,” meaning you do not care at all about the topic.

  2. BL1Y

    July 6, 2009 at 3:09 am

    If the worst thing you have to complain about at your job is your boss likes to listen to Michael Jackson, get over it!  It’ll last maybe a couple weeks.  Big deal.  It’s not like he’s asking you to learn the Thriller dance and perform it during a recess.  And to Cgunz: With the proper intonation “I could care less” actually does mean you don’t care, just as “I should be so lucky” means “I’ll never be so lucky” and “Tell me about it” means “Don’t tell me about it.” Most people who say “I could care less” are ignorant of the this subtlety, but they’re still right about the phrase’s (non-literal) meaning.  Did you know not everything in English is meant to be understood literally?  What a language!

  3. Alma Federer

    July 6, 2009 at 3:29 am

    I wonder what judge this is.  I remember when Anita Hill was clerking for that guy at the EEOC of all places, talking about pubic hair on his Coka Cola, and then he became a supreme court judge.  Women have so much problems that I really don’t care about a judge just humming along with Michael Jackson.  He was a very gentle man.

  4. Judge MJ

    July 6, 2009 at 5:40 am

    Case dismissed… EEEEE-HEEEEE!

  5. Anonymous

    July 6, 2009 at 5:50 am

    while i am also sick of the Michael Jackson coverage, i say be glad you have a job and sing along with your judge. Or have the whole jury learn the moves to thriller. Might make work a little more fun.
    FYI to the news media…he may have been a good entertainer…but he was not a great man. Get your priorities.

  6. Anonymous

    July 6, 2009 at 5:58 am

    check out the big brain on BL1Y.

  7. Lawyer Bob

    July 6, 2009 at 6:26 am

    This MJ nonsense will go on for a long, long time. I think we are looking at the very early stages of abuse, people. My advice to this lady is to *beat it* ASAP.

  8. Maid Marian

    July 6, 2009 at 7:22 am

    Make lemonade.  Have you read the unemployment news lately?

  9. blogenfreude

    July 6, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Sarah Palin is a theocratic loon, but I laud her for reducing the MJ coverage by about a third. Thank you.

  10. Idiom Police

    July 6, 2009 at 11:14 am

    “With the proper intonation ‘I could care less’ actually does mean you don’t care, just as ‘I should be so lucky’ means ‘I’ll never be so lucky’ and “Tell me about it” means ‘Don’t tell me about it.’”
    Fail.
    “I should be so lucky” does NOT mean the opposite of its literal meaning.  It is invoked to stress the irony ina potentially damaging situation. 
    Example:
    Person A: “I might get fired.” Person B: “You should be so lucky.” (This indicates to Person A that Person B thinks that Person A’s job sucks.)
    “Tell me about it” does NOT mean “don’t tell me about it.” It is used to indicate empathy.
    Example:
    Person A: “I wish people would stop posting misinformation on blogs.” Person B: “Tell me about it.  There was one today where a poster completely misdescribed the meanings of several idioms.”
    The same goes with “I could care less.” It doesn’t make sense, and it’s popularity only results because of widespread ignorance. 
    I could care less whether the statue of limitation has run on my French benefits at work.

  11. BL1Y

    July 6, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Idiom Police: When Person B(1) says “You should be so lucky” he does not actually think Person A(1) would be lucky to get fired.  While he would think the job sucks, he also probably thinks being fired is worse than staying.  Person B(2) does not want Person A(2) to tell him about people posting misinformation.  Otherwise, when he said “Tell me about it,” he’d wait for a response instead of going off on his own story.  When you say “I should be so lucky” you normally don’t honestly wish for the thing to happen.  When you say “Tell me about it” you don’t want the person to literally tell you about it.  For “I could care less” the emphases should be placed on “could” not on “less.” Thus, “I could care less” indicates an intention or desire to not care, just as “I could eat” indicates an intention or desire to get some food.

  12. Idiom Police

    July 6, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    BL1Y,
    I agree with your first point—in fact, that’s what I wrote.  You wrote, on the other hand, that “I should be so lucky” means “I’ll never be so lucky”, which, as we’ve agreed upon is wrong. (Comment #10) The phrase is not sarcasm. 
    And I agree that when a person says “tell me about it” they probably don’t want you to tell them about it, they want to share an experience.  In fact, that’s what I wrote.  You, on the other hand, said that when a person says “tell me about it” they are affirmatively telling you NOT to tell them about it.  Comment #10.  You phrased it as sarcasm, and is not the intended meaning of this phrase. 
    As for “I could care less” being the equivalent of “I could eat food”…In the latter, the “could” operates to mean that the person is open to the idea.  In the former, the phrase is intended to mean that the person has no caring whatsoever.  Hardly the same thing.

  13. Anonymous

    July 6, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Looks like there’s a new sheriff in town. Move over annoying BL1Y, the Idiom Police is here.

  14. HA

    July 7, 2009 at 4:06 am

    It makes me laugh people say, “I COULD care less”.  The correct saying is, “I couldN’T care less”.  Get it?  Could NOT care less.  THAT is the insult, not that you COULD care less.  What the hell does that even mean?  You say it to insult someone, not to say, well, you COULD be less interested.  You say it to tell someone you could NOT be any less interested or care any less than what the person just said or did – THAT is the insult.  Then there are people like BL1Y who actually defends ‘could care’.  Christ….

  15. BL1Y

    July 7, 2009 at 6:16 am

    English is powered by rough consensus, not strict rules (this ain’t French).  If when you say “I could care less” you mean “I don’t care at all” and most people would understand that you mean “I don’t care at all” then the phrase means “I don’t care at all.” PS: There’s actually quite a bit of scholarly articles discussing the origin of the phrase (and the split with the British “I couldn’t care less”) explaining how it evolved, the proper intonation, and why it actually does mean that you don’t care at all.  Sometimes phrases really do evolve to mean something contrary to their literal meanings.  See also: Sarcasm.

  16. HA

    July 7, 2009 at 6:45 am

    Nice try, but no. “I couldN’T care less” is meant as an insult to show someone you can not care ANY less for something; in other words, saying it means so little to you, NOTHING would make you even want to care.  However, when you say, “I could care less”, you are saying, ‘well, although what you said / did means little, I actually care a little”.  So, in summary, it is not an insult so why even say it.  Saying, ‘I COULD care less’ just illustrates poor understanding.  The two sayings means different things, but in today’s world, where people are idiots, we continue to propagate bad sayings without even knowing what they mean simply because, ‘it’s what every one else says’.

  17. BL1Y

    July 7, 2009 at 7:22 am

    HA: The phrase originally developed as a sarcastic remark, with the speaker meaning the opposite, so while it literally says the person cares, when viewed as sarcasm, it means the person doesn’t care.  I agree that most people do not understand how the phrase works or its origins and are just saying it because that’s what they’ve learned and have never really thought about it.  But, someone familiar with the origin of the phrase and the proper intonation could use it to mean they don’t care.  Alternatively, the ignorant masses can use it correctly because the ignorant masses get such a huge say in what words mean.  Rough consensus rules the day.  Don’t like it?  Move to France.

  18. HA

    July 7, 2009 at 7:57 am

    No, I prefer to have people just use English correctly rather than move to France, but thanks for the suggestion.  Keep up the good work of allowing laziness in our language, though….

  19. BL1Y

    July 7, 2009 at 9:18 am

    Unless you believe in the Platonic Forms, then words and phrases only have the meanings we give them.  Rough consensus, baby, rough consensus.

  20. HA

    July 7, 2009 at 11:11 am

    I believe ‘words mean what they mean’, not “words mean what they really don’t say”.  I don’t believe in ‘doublespeak’.  But, whatever floats your boat.

  21. BL1Y

    July 7, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    I also believe they mean what they mean.  The issue is how they get their meaning.  In English words get their meaning through rough consensus.  There is definitely a consensus that the phrase “I could care less” means “I don’t care” even though there’s also a consensus that the words don’t actually mean that.  If you want top-down imposed static definitions, switch to French.

  22. HA

    July 8, 2009 at 4:11 am

    That consensus of which you speak re: ‘I could care less” only appears in the less educated sections of society.

  23. Shut up

    July 10, 2009 at 1:34 am

    Seriously. You have nothing better to do than challenge the ignorant masses on a forum for lawyers. Grow up. No one gives a damn about you or your holier-than-thou typo-spotting. Go do something useful, like move out of your parents’ basement or have sex or something.

  24. Shutta Upa You Self

    July 13, 2009 at 4:18 am

    Nice going, ‘shut up’. It was quiet for two days, then you had to open up your big fat mouth. Always feel the need to revive dormant threads? Needing sex yourself? A life? We can help you, please visit, “I am so lonely I need to revise old threads for validation” club. It can be found at your neighborhood psych ward.

  25. Mocha

    July 13, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    When you’re in a hole, BL1Y, stop digging.

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