No Alibis, No Excuses

As I sit waiting for the Big Day - the testing ground for my fears and hopes - I am taken back to a time long long ago.....(bear with me intrepid readers while I pontificate from my pulpit)

Many years ago I owned a black gown, a black leather briefcase, and bulky leather-bound case books neatly brooding in bookshelves behind my desk which was without computer or mouse. Business cards bearing my killer legal credentials purred in the breast pocket of my grey double-breasted suit.

In those greener years, much of my time was spent in corridors between court rooms thumbing through papers, sipping coffee from Styrofoam cups, and waiting. There was lots of waiting. Lawyers and court staff become masters at waiting. Sometimes we would wait while we were waiting. Many inoculated themselves with tobacco and caffeine to ease the waiting. The waiting came in many forms: waiting for interpreters to interpret; waiting for magistrates to ponder; waiting for prosecutors to plunder; waiting for the accused's plan to hatch; waiting for witnesses to perform; waiting for the police to make sense; and waiting for lawyers to give a damn. Some struggled with time management and the concept of waiting. I refined the art and became utterly brilliant at it.

Consider the scene set.

It was in a court room, whilst waiting for the magistrate to pass judgement, that I had a light-bulb moment. 

It was alleged that my client - a character of thin virtue with varying degrees of allegiance to morality - was the ringleader of an organised car syndicate. His defence? Someone else did it. This became known as - The MMD - The Mystery Man Defence. 

At the time, the MMD was so convincing that I genuinely believed my client's innocence. At least for a while. It was only after the magistrate, peering down from the vantage point of his mahogany perch, had shed light on the case that it became apparent that my client was not as truthful as previously believed. As the magistrate concluded his summation and sent my client away for 15 years, the scales fell from my eyelids and it became clear that I had fallen for the oldest trick in the book. 

"It wasn't me. It was somebody else."

The MMD reverberated in my head as I recalled the testimony of the petty con-artist, from the movie The Usual Suspects, and his invention of the legend of Keyser Soze. It was an excuse as old as Noah, and has since reared its gnarled head in many aspects of my life: business, relationships, raising children, from behind service counters, education, sporting endeavours, Government. You name it. It's there.

Even in my triathlon and running races, with all their stress and challenges analogous to real life, I encounter my own version of the MMD. Sometimes it's a muscular niggle, the stomach flu, a pounding headache, or some external factor (traffic, pazzis, misinformation, poor upbringing....) which acts as the precursor to the alibi.

It's the fall guy I use to get rid of the feeling of guilt that twists the stomach because I am too scared to face up to reality that, when my time comes, I will be found lacking.  

So as I contemplate the Big Day that awaits, and a Big Day awaits us all, I need to take a hard look at the mirror and remind myself that there are no alibis, there never was a Mystery Man, and that we, us noble and intrepid few, are the only thing standing in the way of ourselves.

Vamos a la playa,