Backfiring Joke in Corporations Leads to BFFs

–Law School Story from Thomas Walk, Wake Forest University School of Law, Date of event: fall 1979

Our Corporations professor had the annoying habit of ending a lot of his sentences with the phrase “All that jazz.”

Midway through the semester, my classmate who sat immediately to the left came to class with a notepad she bought at the mall. It had musical notes floating around the pages and the “All That Jazz” phrase.  She wandered to the front of the classroom before the prof arrived and put the pad on his rostrum.

The professor walked in, examined the pad with a confused look, and laid it to one side.

Later that day I was walking through the hall and saw the All That Jazz pad lying on a couch. I picked it up.

The next day of class my classmate found in her chair the pad with the following message I printed on the top sheet:

“Ms. Jones (named changed to protect the victim), please see me after class. Professor Telly.”

I let her suffer in fear for a few minutes before I confessed I was the culprit and that she had not been busted by our prof. To paraphrase Humphrey Bogart, that was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

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Andrew Jay McClurg is a law professor whose teaching and research interests include tort law, products liability, legal education, privacy law and firearms policy. He holds the Herbert Herff Chair of Excellence in Law at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.
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