Marc Lopez Law April 2019

APRIL 2019 LOPEZ LAW

THE LIFE ANDTIMES OF GEORGE P. BURDELL

FROM THE DESK OF Marc Lopez

Spring is finally here, and long gone are our hopes for a warm month in March. I’m not complaining though. Sometimes I get the sense that April weather was made just for me — not too cold to take a walk, and not so hot that a leisurely stroll leaves me looking like I’ve gone for a swim. Ever since my wife and I were married — and especially since our daughter was born — we have made a special effort to take as many walks as possible in the month of April. In addition to enjoying the milder weather, this is an invaluable opportunity to observe the power of nature. At the beginning of the month, trees and grass are just starting to reassert themselves, and everything has the smell of wet dirt. As the weeks march on, mounds of mulch begin to produce brilliant petals. Every neighborhood stroll becomes a visual parable of nature’s resilience. For my money, there are few sights as rejuvenating as flowers in bloom. As you navigate the spring landscape, take a moment to appreciate the little miracles all around you — the fact that they occur regularly doesn’t actually make them any less miraculous. Slow your roll, open your eyes, and, of course, always plead the fifth.

O ne of the M ost E laborate P ranks in H istory

Whether April Fools’ Day is a time-honored western tradition or a tired, unfunny festival of eyerolls depends on who you ask. Ask the mom who just got blasted with water via the old “rubber band on the sink sprayer” trick, and you’ll probably find the latter. But ask the kid who planted the trap, and you’ll get a hearty, cackling endorsement. Even if you’re sick of watching your back on April Fools’ Day and tired of the corporate cash grabs masquerading as (mostly) bad jokes that pop up like clockwork every year, you still have to give it up for the classics. Even the most bitter among us must admit that some pranks are so clever, elaborate, and inspired that they deserve their place in the annals of history. The name “George P. Burdell” will certainly reverberate through the hall of hoaxes for decades to come. Never make a clerical error with a young student who has too much time on his hands. In 1927, when William Edgar Smith was mistakenly sent a second enrollment form for the Georgia Institute of Technology, he had an idea. Combining the name of his then-principal, George P. Butler, with Burdell, the maiden name of his best friend’s mother, he enrolled the fictitious George P. Burdell in the prestigious university. Next, Smith signed Burdell up for all his same classes and, for the next four years, completed every bit of his schoolwork twice — once under his own name and once under Burdell’s, changing a few details here and there and varying his handwriting slightly so as not to raise suspicion. GEORGE COMES TO LIFE

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