How Mike Fink gets Remanded

August 19, 2004 | 7 comments

Orson Scott Card has Mike Fink and Joseph “Alvin Maker” Smith scrap. I have my friend who loves the old river boatmen and their boasts and Joseph Smith and his. I work in a judge’s chambers with a fine view of the river. And, as Nate O. can tell you, life as a law clerk is just like life on the old Mississippi. Hence this, this, this . . . you decide.

How will you feel when you’re poling down the river, the Willamette as it may be, and you foul a boatmen’s poles, and he says, I am Mike Fink or Augustus Barnes, as it may be, I’m half alligator, half grizzly bear, and all otter, when God made this river I was there, I can oughtfight a dozen men, outlive a dozen youths, and outlove any lover, I’m the top, and then he looks at you expectantly and you have nothing to reply, how will you feel? Pretty silly, I should think. At a loss.
Me, I hitch my thumbs underneath my armpits, smile affably, and reply, “I’m the bantam rooster of the law, I’m the Ninth Circuit nabob and never you forget. I carry the Supreme Court on my right hand and all the others on my pinky, all before breakfast. I sup on statutes, dine on decisions, prandialize precedents, I’m hopped up on Holmes, I’m the bantam rooster of the law.” Then we’d brawl.

7 Responses to How Mike Fink gets Remanded

  1. Kaimi on August 19, 2004 at 11:39 am

    Well, Adam,

    1. I respect Holmes as much as the next guy, but my money’s on Mike Fink.

    2. Okay, fess up. Who’s the lucky* judge?

    *Note: I’ll leave unspecified exactly what kind of luck said judge has experienced. :)

  2. Nate Oman on August 19, 2004 at 11:58 am

    Holmes was a Civil War vet whose unit had one of the highest casualty rates in the entire Union army. He was wounded two or three times in combat, and fought in such bloodbaths as Balls Bluff and Antitam. For the rest of his life he kept his blood stained uniform carefully tucked away in his closet.

    In other words, Holmes had a tough, bloody-minded streak, and more than his share of experience with extreme violence. I wouldn’t write him off too quickly.

  3. Kaimi on August 19, 2004 at 3:54 pm

    Also, a problem with styling oneself a nabob is the inevitable connection to the most famous instance of that seldom-used word. Styling oneself the “nabob of the Ninth” is all well and good, but listeners are as likely as not to hear, “nattering nabob of the Ninth.”

  4. Ethesis (Stephen M) on August 19, 2004 at 8:22 pm

    Holmes jurisprudence was informed by his military service. If a government has the power to draft men and send them into such slaughter, then what power over men and their property does it not have?

    Not that he was without limits, but he commented on governmental power in those terms.

  5. Adam Greenwood on August 20, 2004 at 10:05 am

    Mike Fink is a gentleman, Kaimi. I’m sure he’ll make up your gambling losses from his personal injury award.

    I’m Adam Greenwood, and my judge is O’Scannlain. If that’s how the line goes.

  6. Kaimi on August 20, 2004 at 12:48 pm

    That sounds like a good fit. I was wondering who your judge was, and O’Scannlain was the first possibility that came to mind.

    Also, given your judge’s well publicized views in favor of dividing the Ninth Circuit, shouldn’t you include something along the lines of:

    “I’ll slice you in half, just like the Ninth Circuit ought to be!”

  7. Adam Greenwood on August 20, 2004 at 5:38 pm

    Consider it done.


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