My imagination has been investigating the case of Maureen O’Connor, the felonious former first female mayor of San Diego, who “donated” two million dollars from a philanthropic foundation to a number of casinos she frequented. Apparently, she misunderstood what the casinos meant when they told her they “worked with” people who have gambling addictions.
Ms. O’Connor’s attorney, Eugene Iredale, had this to say:
This was not, we think, a psychiatric problem or a characterological defect because there is substantial evidence that during this same time, there was a tumor growing in her brain, in the centers of the brain that affect and control, logic, reasoning and, most importantly, judgment.
Due to these extenuating circumstances, Ms. O’Connor will undoubtedly receive a lighter sentence. However, word has leaked out (snuck out by my imagination from the unexplored part of my brain) that her lawyer, Mr. Iredale, is facing charges of his own.
Like his client, Mr. Iredale is being accused of misappropriation. In her case, it involves money and affects a limited number of people; in his case, it involves suffixes and affects all of us.
As an attorney, Mr. Iredale has long lived in a lavish environment of polysyllabic diction (lots of big words) and now feels compelled to include at least one seven-syllable word every time he talks, even if it means stealing suffixes from legitimate, hardworking words. In the article on the CNN website, Mr. Iredale (now incurring ire over dale and hill) sticks a stolen “-ological” onto “character” and comes up with “characterological defect.” His crime may affect millions. Now that he has put that so-called word on the internet, people may start using “characterological,” which will cause other people to want to poke their ears with sharp sticks; and those poked-out ear people will need otolaryngological help, which will only be available if that particular suffix isn’t stolen. Clearly, this man must be punished.
Several local groups have laid claim to the suffix that Mr. Iredale so wantonly pilfered. The local San Diego Archea-……. Center insists he stole it from them. However, the Gastroenterology Department of the San Diego Mercy Hospital contends that the suffix belongs to them. Dr. Gutzman, head of the department and the man leading the probe into what happened to the tail end of their medical word, says he has been unable to treat any gastroenter-…….. problems since Iredale’s “appropriation.” In addition, Morton Liebig, has brought suit against Iredale. “I’ve been a path-……. liar all of my life, and since that article appeared on the CNN website, I have been diagnosed with WCTS (Washington’s Cherry Tree Syndrome) and can no longer tell a lie. I’m a lawyer, too, and now I’m out of work.”
The court, of course, will have to sort through these claims and make the final decision as to whose suffix Mr. Iredale stole.
According to sources in my own living room, Mr. Iredale plans to have an MRI to check the part of his brain that affects and controls “logic, reasoning, and most importantly, judgment.”
Ironic, no? Or as Mr. Iredale might say, “Ironicological, isn’t it?”
Photo: DN-0080053, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago History Museum.