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.