Woke up, got out of bed... whhhrrrrrrrrrr [rewinding]

Beeperish ring. Ernie the Attorney's circuits crackle alive, as the sound of the phone automatically snaps him out of sleep mode. After trying to hit the button to stop what Ernie thinks is a power surge while simultaneously answering the telephone, Ernie registers a human voice and realizes he is now on the phone and the person calling at exactly 06:31:07 is a client who thinks she has awakened another human being. A couple zillion 0s and 1s are processed and Ernie recognizes the voice asking "Oh, I'm sorry, did I wake you up? I thought 'He'll be up -- he has to go to work.' I'm sorry." as Brenda, one of 5000 clients whose case Ernie is handling at the moment.

"No problem," Ernie responds in an amazingly human sounding voice [a No. 4 Californian 25 x Negative 2 Philadelphian 13 Male Ver. 4.4]. "What time is it?" he asks, knowing it is 06:31:12.

"Oh, around 6:30." Bitch wasn't so fucking worried when she pumped carbon monoxide into a house to get rid of some tenants who were a little delinquent on their rent ... kicking the family of five -- struggling mom and dad crack heads and their three abused minors -- into the street just as the frost was appearing on the pumpkins.

"No problem, I was set... I was going to get up anyway." Ernie said while manually shuts down his auto-wake switch to avoid a real power surge.

And so the day of Ernie the Attorney began.

Ernie is the first Computerized Robotic Insurance Defense Litigator (CRIDEL) produced, owned and operated by Robojustice, "an affiliated company" of Phil's International Company (PIC), a huge, multinational insurance, financial services and real estate holding company. Robojustice had long been rumored to be working on numerous "black projects" for Allover Insurance -- indeed, Street Titans magazine had compared Robojustice to Area 51 last spring. The author of the article mysteriously died while eating a ham sandwich he'd ordered from room service at Los Angeles' Bonaventure Hotel the week the article was published. Further rumors had it that Bobby "F4" Grittianni, a Claims Analyst for Irragators Insurance Co. of Topeka by day and a day trader on the Tokyo Stock Market by night, actually owned 85% of the stock in Westin Hotels from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. on the fateful night in question, but the LAPD concluded it would be "too confusing" a case to solve and left the result of the Coroner's Report unquestioned.

As beeps signaled other calls coming in and Ernie cursed himself for having given out his "home" phone number, his recently installed serenity chip reminded him over and over that what had been done had been done.

How Ernie to Be {in case you want to skip it}

In actuality, for close to a decade Allover and other AIC insurers had been feeding all their claim files in cases involving auto and/or homeowner policies into Gigantor, which would then spit out the monetary figure at which the company valued the claim -- i.e. it was the most money the company would pay absent a court judgment which was higher (after Gigantor had calculated the cost of appeal).

Three years ago AIC owned, a would be competitor to Lexus and Westlaw out of Chicago. had really been created with the hope of someday going public and then quickly but quietly employing a pump and dump scheme through Warner Center Financial Consultants, a distant cousin of AIC Financial Services. One night an attorney, Ernie Kreidel, who lived down the street from the late Sam Fontel, then a rising star in the R&D department of, joked "Christ, Sam, if Gigantor had a Bar Number, I'd be out of business."

The next day Robojustice was formed and from that moment on Sam and his specially developed team of computer engineers, biomechanical engineers and robotical engineers burned the midnight oil until they developed a fully functional humanoidish kind of robot -- he was 33ish looking, six foot two, sandy brown hair, twinkling blue eyes that screamed "INTELLIGENCE!" with No. 4 Californian 25 x Negative 2 Philadelphian 13 Male Ver. 4.4 synthetic voice and an array of wireless modems which operated at just under light speed (that emitted enough radiation per second to cause, some estimated, cancer in 6 out of every 100 people with whom it came into contact for more than 590.23 minutes a year over a two year period. He had cost $44.9 million to develop and produce. Robojustice figured that in a few years they would have production costs down to about $2300 a unit, and they could sell the units for $250,000 to a million dollars each if they tested okay....

So, at Sam's funeral, two men approached Ernie, who at 36 had drank a promising partnership track kind of career with a top shelf firm in Chicago down the gutter and was practicing as The Law Offices of Ernest Kreidel out of a depressing second story office near the Cook County Courthouse.

Two heavy set men approached Ernie at Sam's funeral. All they wanted to do was "buy [his] life for $10,000,000."

Ernie took a look at his long suffering wife, asked if they would toss in three Ibogaine Sessions and a 7/11 in Bermuda. One of the men tapped a few buttons on his Palm Pilot and offered him a CAP Qualitycare Naltrexone Alcoholism "cure" and an option on a Circle K in the Yucatan, adding that Phil had "gone peacefully ... unlike so many others."

Papers were exchanged -- Ernie Kreidel signed over his name, Illinois Bar License, and his rather dismal plaintiff personal injury and drunk driving practice and entered CAP's Detox Facility as Charles A. Lynberg while his wife, Mary Jean Lynberg checked into the Ritz and started buying a tropical wardrobe. What had been Ernie's practice was given to a young lawyer who had been with Allover's house counsel and was threatening to be a witness in a nasty bad faith case involving Allover's practice of settling the claims of African American insureds for 22.0743% less than they did those of white insureds.

And Ernie CRIDEL aka Ernie the Attorney aka Ernie Creidel, attorney at law, flew west to take the California Bar Exam starting at nine the following morning.

Ernie the Attorney Gets Out of Bed

At the end of his 15 minute phone call with the client to whom he stupidly gave his home phone number (as part of his cover, Ernie has an apartment and a bed into which he crawls most nights before going into sleep mode). To get her off the phone Ernie logged onto his office computer and faxed out the twenty page mediation brief he had downloaded from what the boys back at Robojustice call his "brain."

Ernie injects 100 mg. of Eazzzoilª into the input just under his left sideburn, and then, standing before the mirror and running the water so his neighbor thinks he is shaving and showering he plugs in his recharging cord and slides it into the lubricated temple input. He stands there for about twenty minutes as his mind becomes a dizzying blur of 0s and 1s as he sorts through all information received the previous day and places it into the "remember" file, the "trash" (since he has a really advanced super secret Apple based OS) or the "transfer" file.

Ernie tries to be as human as possible, so he sits down on the toilet and up comes a probe which he connects to his "posterior output" and rids himself of all the bits and kilobits and gigabits he has taken in over the past day before deciding another 50 mg. of Eazzzoilª might make him feel a bit looser.

Ahhhh, but it's early. Since Ernie has no real life, he takes the opportunity to scan in a couple dozen new case files -- 5 rear end collisions, 15 slip and falls, 2 bar fights and a drowning of a three year old in a pool that seems intentional and a fall from a second story window which happened when two 12 year old mothers decided to "race" the carriages containing their babies down the hall of St. Andrew Avellino Home for Unwed Sluts. Ernie scratched his head on hearing of that one... Ursula the Underwriter, his companion creation by Robojustice's sister company, Roborisk had told the human who wrote that policy he was nuts to provide coverage to any school named after a saint humans invoked against sudden death.

In the garage he pulls his Transformer act and zooms off at the wheel of himself -- well, what looks like a Porsche Boxster S. On the way to work he transmits evaluation letters on most of the new cases and three motions to compel various types of tardy discovery.

By ten o'clock, when the deposition he is taking finally begins, Ernie has settled eight cases and uploaded all the law he needs for several motions for judgment on the pleadings and summary judgment he'll be preparing that afternoon, all while receiving 92 pages, phoning 230 clients and transmitting 309 status reports to Allover. It would be so much easier when Alice the Adjuster was up and running.

Finally... a depo ... he can at long last relax for two, maybe three hours and just think about one thing.

Then it's back to work. Ernie can feel the circuits crackling in his "brain." By three o'clock he can't tell an 0 from a 1 but plows on ahead, as some human attorney who had quit a week before and transferred all his cases to Ernie had done nothing on this one in which discovery was months overdue and the furious client was coming into the office. Ernie uploads her file. It's no big deal really, but the client feels like she's Robert Blake and can feel the wolves circling. Ernie must spend three hours reassuring her while simultaneously scanning all Allover First Party Claim files for information about the fire in which she lost a couch -- the one to which the plaintiff claims she had tied him before pouring gasoline all around the room and lighting a cigar after doing a Monica Lewinsky with it before torching the room ... something like that....

"Fucking scary bitch," Ernie thinks. "I'd think just watching her Lewinsky that Cuban would be torture enough...." Ernie leaves about the same time as everyone else. It is Friday. He beams a message to Robojustice through his haze. He advises that as soon as he arrives home he is going to run 3 grams of Eazzzoilª into his temple -- something which will put him automatically into an emergency circuit clearing state known as Narcoslumber (patent pending)....

After he removes the injector he barely has time to stagger into the bedroom where he collapses, turning on the TV to help further scramble stimuli ... something about the President nuking Iraq is on as he drifts in and out of a blissful void....

Beeperish ring. Ernie the Attorney's circuits crackle alive, as the sound of the phone automatically snaps him out of Narcoslumber (patent pending) mode. After trying to hit the button to stop what Ernie thinks is a power surge while simultaneously answering the telephone, Ernie registers a human voice and realizes he is now on the phone and the person calling at exactly 22:05, as on the TV Iraq is promising it would blow up New York... it's the hideous version of Monica Lewinsky calling to tell him her vaginal juices were not flammable ... and spend yet another hour rambling about her case ... but Ernie the Attorney is too flooded with Eazzzoilª and 0s and 1s and blazing Cubans and caustic cunts are all Ernie can make out as he drags himself off the bed and desperately tries to plug himself in to clear his mind so he can end the day as he started it.... except the day, like all of the days of Ernie the Attorney's "life" never really seems to end.