Thursday, September 6, 2007

Stuffed Marty

In the early 1990's, capital markets worldwide took a downturn. With the suit and tie set bearish on the economy, it was only natural that M&A transactions slowed to a near halt during that tragic time. But if there was one good thing to come out of this otherwise dire situation, it was that, with less than a full plate, Marty Lipton was finally able to focus in on some of his other interests that he had left unexplored for all those years when he was defending against LBO's and inventing poison pills and whatnot. It is rumoured that it was during this period that Marty Lipton became a licensed master taxidermist.

As we've mentioned before, Marty Lipton had always been an animal lover. But the problem with animals--especially exotic ones--he found, was that like all other living things, eventually, they die. Mr. Lipton, impervious to death (and conventional weaponry) himself, had little time for such distractions. Between his work as a high powered corporate attorney, his position as a trustee on the NYU School of Law Board of Trustees, and his various humanitarian efforts throughout the world, Lipton was uninterested in getting close to an animal and then watching it suffer tragically and then ultimately perish--as had happened with Kirby, his beloved Mako Shark. When Kirby died, it is said that Lipton swore off pet-ownership altogether, and delved, head first, into salsa dancing.

But in the years that followed, Marty often found that while he didn't miss the pain of losing a beloved pet, he did miss being surrounded by exotic, furry creatures while holed up in his grandiose Manhattan office, devising newer and better ways to protect innocent corporations. So when he found himself with a bit of free time back in 1991, he opted to do something about it, and enrolled in a taxidermy correspondence course.

WLRK minions say that those six months when he was a taxidermy student were some of the happiest of Lipton's life. Every other Tuesday, Lipton would apparently wait near the WLRK mailroom, pacing anxiously until the arrival of his latest taxidermy video and stuffing kit. And for the rest of the day--and in fact, many nights too--it is said that Lipton would barracade himself in his office with nothing but his VCR and his dream of becoming a master taxidermist. Marty being Marty, he finished the course in the record time of four months--two whole months early!--and in the Spring of 92, was accredited as a master taxidermist in a short, nondescript ceremony presided over by none other than a panda-suit donning Joe Flom!

Knowing that the recession would not last forever, Marty took no taxidermy prisoners, and in the months that followed, managed to stuff and mount a polar bear head, a whole antelope, 17 muskrats, 3 hedgehogs, a wild boar, a bison, a deer, and a giraffe--not to mention Kirby, his beloved Mako shark, whom he had previously had frozen in remembrance (rumours that Lipton stuffed and mounted famed corporate raider T. Boone Pickens are highly exagerated, and came about only because of his purported resemblance to one of Lipton's many stuffed marmits).

All of Lipton's taxidermy projects can be seen, on display, in Marty's office (which these days looks less like a zoo and more like a hunting lodge given his new, rich red mahogany cabinets), but only if you are fortunate enough to be a WLRK client, or unlucky enough to be a perilous corporate raider, in town for a negotiation session--for the old days when Marty Lipton would happily show his collection of stuffed mammal heads to any old soul off the street are over, ever since Herb Wachtell (head of WLRK's famed "personal injury practice") claimed that Lipton's office contained too many "attractive nuisances," and put a stop to Marty's impromptu tours.

1 comment:

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