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Pox Week Reaches Fever Pitch at Chicago Law Firm

lawyer asleep with chicken pox, some rights reserved, http://flickr.com/photos/cactusthesaint/10199871/Chicago, IL – Chicken pox season is back with an itchy, red-spotted vengeance and the prestigious Chicago law firm of Biallystock, Biallystock, and Reuben have requested that staff continue coming to work so that all of the lawyers can get the disease at the same time and so be done with it. By letting the highly contagious but relatively short-lived virus make the rounds as quickly as possible, the firm hopes to consolidate all of the time lost due to sick lawyers to one week.

The tactic, long admired by kindergarten teachers the world over, meets with little controversy at the firm. In fact, many of the lawyers consider “Pox Week” to be the most fun they have at work. There is little to no pressure put on the sick litigators to get anything done and the common ground of extreme itchiness and mild feverish delirium provide a unique bonding experience most other firms never have.

“They bring in fold-out beds and extra Laz-E-Boy chairs and a big TV so that [the lawyers] can relax by watching all those great sick-day movies,” said Paul McCarren. “The favorites are always The Princess Bride and, of course, The Firm. Most of us spend the night so it’s totally like this big sleep-over.”

“I was a little weirded out when Linda Caldwell suggested the bathroom sinks be used for oatmeal sponge baths,” added Nancy Gilleweid, “but it turns out that having the hot new guy rub oatmeal all over your spotted, rash-infected body feels really, really good.”

Mal Biallystock, the head of the firm, says he wishes he could take credit for the plan, but the real genius behind the idea is his sister and partner, Mel Biallystock. “I don’t know where she gets this brilliance from sometimes,” says Biallystock. “Certainly not our dumbass parents, who didn’t want us to waste our time on college because they thought it was something you did to old photographs with scissors and glue.” Mal Biallystock speculates that it may have been his sister’s years as an economist that aid her in seeing the most efficient way to handle the situation, but his sister has a different answer.

“Mal forgets sometimes that I have two kids who have already been through elementary school.”

The owners of the firm spend most of the week caring for their staff round the clock, making sure the AC is kept high and that their patients have warm wash-cloths for their skin rash. The hardest part, they say, is keeping the lawyers from scratching at the pox.

“When the employees wake up every morning, we make the rounds with nail-clippers,” says the male Biallystock. “I try to make it clear to them that if they scratch at the pox they will get scars that turn into pock-marks for the rest of their lives, but you know how it is with lawyers; they never really think the future is going to affect them, they just live for today. They’re so innocent. I take great pleasure in watching out for them.”

Every night before tucking the lawyers into bed, the Biallystocks take turns reading to them from the day’s briefs and they often take requests for favorite historical court cases. Storytime is usually ended with a reading of one of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg’s notoriously boring decisions in order to put the lawyers to sleep.

“Even if they’re all sick, I think everyone has a good time during Pox Week,” says Mel Biallystock. “Sure, there a few people who’ve already had the virus, but for the rest of us it’s a time to really connect with our co-workers. It’s no wonder we’re unbeatable in court, with such a tight bond formed during our week of communal illness.”

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