Lawyers have confirmed that the words used in contracts really do have magical powers. ‘You don’t think we’d say stuff like ‘force majeure’ or ’time shall be of the essence’ if we didn’t have to, do you?’ said a leading lawyer. ‘I could turn you into a frog if I wanted. Certain phrases have the power to generate unimaginable wealth. They’re the ones we tend to focus on’.
Sceptics have pointed out that lawyers seem remarkably unmagical, even tedious, apart from the ‘unimaginable wealth’ thing. Some suspect a conspiracy. ‘What if it isn’t really magic?’ said one critic. ‘Have you ever seen a lawyer fly around on a broomstick? Okay, they send their children to private schools, which are a bit like Hogwarts, but what if it’s all a big con?’ He lowers his voice to a whisper. ‘What if the lawyers are really just muggles like you and me? Maybe those words are just there to bamboozle us’.
Not everybody is so sceptical. Andrew Dickinson is a layperson who recently used a lawyer to magic his house conveyancing. ‘I couldn’t have done that in a million years’, he told reporters. ‘The wizard, sorry, solicitor, typed some words on an ancient PC – like, it must have been a hundred years old – and the house was mine. Just like that. I sometimes dream of finding a book of magic spells and incantations in an old second-hand bookshop, like in Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Then I could be a lawyer. Only I’d be a good lawyer, using my powers to help people and refusing payment’.
The Law Society has described Mr Dickinson’s ideas as ’heretical’ and ‘incomprehensible’. ‘Ipso facto’, said a spokesman. ‘Hereinafter forthwith for the avoidance of doubt plaintiff’. Subsequently Mr Dickinson has not been since. Police are anxious to locate him.