THE LEGACY

LEVI THE LAWYER:

"Lo and behold," thought Levi Levine, lawyer for the legendary land baron (rivals would say landgrabber) Luther Larabie, "the day has come at last." After laboriously working out all the labyrinthine legal logistics, Levi would finally lay bare the last will and testament of the legator Luther. Boasting properties stretching from Long Island to Lansing to L.A., Luther was a landowner of practically limitless wealth.

Levi knew that in his line of work, the law, you couldn't be lazy and live in la-la land or linger out on the links learning to lag putt like Lee Trevino but you had to do a lot of legwork and know every landmark case (like Leopold-Loeb etc.). In this litigious society with lawsuits flying everywhere, between laudatory referrals and his yellow pages listing, he had a logjam of cases, litigation for which he still had to locate licit loopholes for his clients. Yet today he left all else in limbo.

Upon Levi's desk sat a lockbox bearing the Larabie family logo with the Larabie name emblazoned in large capital letters (never lowercase for Luther!). Looking with longing at it were Luther's lineage, the four sons and only known living heirs.

THE SONS:

BROTHER #1-LYLE:

The eldest, Lyle, lived a most lewd and lascivious lifestyle. A licentious libertine dedicated to a life of leisure, the lecherous lothario could not keep the lust in his loins on a leash. On a lark he'd go from Las Vegas to Lido to let loose his libido. The loutish lowlife would lure leggy lap dancers to his lushly furnished love nest by latching onto their lobes earrings of lapis-lazuli from the most elite lapidaries. They would do the lambada and the limbo with lampshades on their heads saying Lehayim! all night and getting lightheaded on Lambrusco (he deserved only the lees) and light liqueurs. Or he would leer at then pick up luscious ladies of the night sporting gobs of luminous red lipstick and wearing lacy lingerie looking like Linda Lovelace and loitering at the lamppost of say, Lenox and LaGrange. He would eventually lunge at his lovely guests like some lathering lycanthrope to engage in lurid lovemaking on his leather loveseat.

A loathsome lounge lizard not likely in this lifetime to try and earn a living outside of Luther's allowance, he was always lit up like a lush, lubricating himself with liters of lager. He would eat all the livelong day gorging himself on lobster, lasagna, London broil, littleneck clams over linguine with a dash of lime, and the finest liverwurst direct from Leipzig, with a lemon layer cake for dessert. With nary a leftover, it was amazing he didn't have to lumber to the loo for a laxative and that he stayed lean and didn't need liposuction. And he smoked so many Lucky Strikes it was a wonder he didn't yet have lymphoma in his lungs.

A man of luxurious la-di-da tastes, he wore only designer labels like Yves. St. Laurent and Ralph Lauren. Not content with a lowbrow Dodge Lancer or even a Lincoln Continental, he was chauffeured in livery vehicles like stretch limousines. His parties were always lavish large-scale lollapaloozas which lasted till the light of day. And he'd rent only private loges for theater shows, be it Love's Labour Lost, Les Miserables, Lil' Abner, or a lighthearted Lerner and Loewe musical.

It was always a pity when a young lass took a liking to our lover boy. She'd be so lovelorn, practically lactating over him in her state of lethe, dreaming of some idyllic lakefront cottage with a latticed fence and a Labrador retriever he had promised. Yet Lyle would flick her away like a piece of lint. They were all so lovesick they didn't realize this ladies' man was really an evil leviathan unwittingly in league with Lucifer, the Lord Of he Flies. Yes, poor Lyle would one day languish in a lake of lava down in the lowermost level of Hell due to his moral lapses.

BROTHER #2-LENNY:

The second oldest, Lenny, was one laid-back lollygagging lazybones. A lethargic loafer, he was also considered a ludicrous lummox. A listless layabout leery of hard labor, the lackadaisical lunkhead led a lackluster life in a state of perpetual lassitude.

Not particularly literate even as a young lad, he had trouble in school learning his lessons. When the other little kids would laugh at him, he'd get even by lashing back and stealing their lunch money. With the loot from this petty larceny he would buy licorice, lemondrops, and lollipops instead of lunchmeat. As a teenager, luckless in gambling, he'd lose all of Luther's allowance playing the lottery or trying to hit the lotto down at the liquor store. He would then leech off passersby loudly begging them for a few more lousy bucks.

While Luther had his long list of lucrative deals, Lenny merely had a litany of lossmaking ventures on his ledger, so was willing to play the laughable lapdog, yea a lowly lackey, for anyone who would loan him some moolah. He was often on the lam from loansharking linchpins like Louie the Lilac lest the mafioso's lugs lurking in the alleys lunge at him and maybe lop off his head or liquidate him, granting no leeway for repaying late. If he wasn't busy ducking the landlord for violating his lease, he had to be on the lookout for Sheriff Lobo, the lawman who meant to hurl him in the lockup for not clearing up his liens and selling stuff he still had on layaway.

When Luther would grab him by the lapels and lambaste him for lolling around usually in his longjohns watching reruns of Lassie and I Love Lucy, Lenny, not wishing to remain at loggerheads with Luther like Lyle, would at least listen and land a job later. Of course he didn't last long and was quickly let go or laid off for being a lardass, a latecomer, or a lamebrain. Having failed as a locksmith, lifeguard, and lumberjack, he tried the following:

  • As a longshoreman he proved slower than a leatherback turtle lugging anything on the bills of lading
  • At the bakery he made ladyfingers when they told him latkes and used so much leaven that they levitated away anyway!
  • At the luncheonette working as a line cook, he blew his lid at a waitress who loused up an order and threw a ladle full of lentil soup at her then threw vats of lard and lye all over the linoleum for good measure.
  • At the laboratory he was loath to wear the required latex gloves in the sterile environment so the lab animals, lemurs, got lockjaw.
  • At the ski lodge as a luge instructor, he proved clumsy and not at all lissome when he had a lulu of an accident ramming into a larch tree tearing ligaments in his leg and causing some lumbago in his lumbar.
  • At the factory his lamp and lantern parts all came out lopsided on the spinning lathe.
  • As a luggage handler he spilt a load of gooey lacquer all over the Lufthansa landing field at Logan Airport causing long layovers.
  • When he did the same at LaGuardia, this time a load of linseed oil all over the landing field for Lear jets causing another lengthy lull, it was the last straw there as well.
  • As a lineman out in Texas he linked two wrong wires so that from Laredo to Lubbock homes lacked power.
  • As a lighthouse keeper he fell asleep and failing to provide luminescence to the shipping lanes, caused an ocean liner to hit a landmass resulting in losses worse than the Lusitania's.
  • Lastly, as a photographer for Life Magazine, when he forgot to remove his lens cap and missed shots of a lunar eclipse and the Loch Ness monster, the editors were ready to lynch him.

Since we have enough lowlights already to make a Jerry Lewis movie, let's move on...

BROTHER #3-LEO:

The third brother, Leo, was a larger-than-life bon-vivant like T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia) or some Burt Lancaster character. No loner, he was a lively sort, and no loser, he was a born leader, lion-hearted and not some lily-livered limp-wristed laughingstock. Handy with a lariat, he could lasso the lowing longhorns and any other livestock. A bit of a loudmouth like Foghorn Leghorn, his voice boomed as if from a loudspeaker.

A letterman in athletics, he had a flair for lacrosse and at the long jump, leapt farther than anyone. At baseball he hit leadoff in the lineup and would lace screaming liners off both lefties and righties. At hoops he once drove the lane for a lay-up over Bob Lanier. More powerful than a locomotive, he had a leveling left hook a la Joe Louis, Sonny Liston, or Sugar Ray Leonard. After developing his lats he played linebacker and was as famous for his lightning bolt speed as for his livid rages over linesmen's calls. You see, after too many lumps on the head, Leo had become loco, but more on that later.

Following the lead of Luther who had fought with the Flying Leathernecks versus the Luftwaffe, Leo went from longhair to lieutenant of a special platoon. At Fort Laramie he'd yell so loudly at the recruits to remain in lockstep lest he give them latrine duty that no lozenge could soothe his laryngitis. He drilled into them lessons like how to load their rifles, sidestep landmines, man the lifeboats and throw a lifeline, determine the layout of an enemy lair, lob a grenade and knock out their landline phone service, and what to carry in their lanyards. Finally one day they rowed their longboats to the locus of operation, a lagoon in Luzon, and at landfall swarmed the lakeshore, not to have a luau on a lanai wearing leis but for the daring liberation of the locals from longtime oppressors!

Lanky and limber enough to catch a lamprey eel with his bare hands, he could also hunt lion with his longbow and lance. No landlubber, he was equally at ease sailing his laker, doing loops in his Lockheed Lodestar, or speeding in his Land Rover with the liftgate up. On a safari in Liberia once, he was attacked by a leopard, no mere lynx!, but lived through the tussle which would have left a lesser man torn limb from limb. He merely had to apply liniment to some lesions and utilized his trusty lancet to cut his own ligature. His logbooks detailed the latitude and longitude of all the exotic locales he had explored like Libya, Lisbon, Lebanon (where he always had lamejun at lunchtime!) and even the Laplands (where you better remember to pack your leggings, lambskin gear, and leatherwear-not you leisurewear-and lightsticks too if you want to study landforms like glaciers!).

Having luckily left all these localities without losing his life, Leo's latest quest was to locate the lost continent of Lemuria, but Lloyd's of London refused to underwrite saying the potential liability exceeded their limit and that he was a restless lunatic who would probably be lost, like Dr. David Livingstone, I presume.

Anyhow, the incident that really had lots folks thinking Leo had truly lost his marbles or was on LSD was his loony story from when he visited his Uncle Liam MacLaren in Scotland. Taking a layoff since after the Lloyd's rejection, Luther had likewise declined financing for Lemuria (causing an ugly falling-out), he was helping his uncle's laird in leaching the fields when he supposedly saw a legend of lore, a little leprechaun from Ireland complete with green lederhosen and playing a lute while singing a limerick with these lyrics:

The lucent glow of youth will nigh lose its luster
Despite all the lanolin lotions ye muster
So if longevity of life is what ye lust
Ye louse! Find me lost pot laden with gold ye must!

When Leo started speaking of leprechauns while dredging Loch Lomond and digging up the Lowlands (much to the displeasure of the landowners), everyone considered him so loopy that he might need a lobotomy.

BROTHER #4-LAMAR:

The youngest, Lamar, when assessing his lot in life, surveyed the political landscape and decided to become a legislator. He lampooned the incumbents so strongly in the local papers they accused him of libel. Claiming they were lax on crime, affording more leniency to lawbreakers like larcenists and money launderers than to litterbugs, Lamar launched his campaign while vowing to lessen rather than levy more taxes.

With his magnetic personality attracting legions of loyal supporters like a lodestone, he was no longer a political lightweight or a longshot. With more leafleteers than the Latter-Day Saints and with Lamar signs on almost every lawn, he won in a landslide.

Lamar however had employed much lip service, presenting himself as laissez-faire to some, leftist liberal to others, and Libertarian to others still. Having promised favors and cash in lieu of a simple thank-you letter for the votes, he felt at liberty to loot the public treasury with a license to steal. Lorded over by lobbyists, a seedy lot, he lamentably had become just another logrolling lawmaker. Even worse, he used Luther Larabie's money to play the lying landshark more like Lex Luthor, selling the poor lettuce growers in his county large lots of land that he claimed had fertile loamy soil when it was useless and lichenous all along.

BACK TO LEVI'S OFFICE:

Levi Levine the lawyer, after asking Lyle, Lenny, Leo, and Lamar to look up, hit a button which opened some louvered doors to reveal an LG large-screen LCD TV on whose screen was a linkup to an alert Luther lying upon his deathbed.

"Though I beat Lyme disease and lupus, it looks like this leukemia has got me licked," he said. "Though I'm ill, I'm still level-headed formulating limpid thoughts and speaking lucidly, so you can take me literally, word for word. Let me lay it on the line for you four. The lowdown is that I don't even like you. A lech, a laggard, a loonytune, and a liar. Lupine predators on the prowl for filthy lucre with no letup. Your loveless hearts not even lukewarm but filled with lead. Never a gesture to give me a lift and ease my loneliness since the passing of your late loving mother Luisa, just endless money-begging. Your longsuffering mother whom you so callously left out of your lives always implored me never to cut you off. Every Labor Day weekend she'd have your Levi's laundered and ready in case you wanted to rake leaves or gather loganberries with her down at our lakeside log cabin. She'd leave the lamplight burning and the latchkey under the mat but you never showed. In her locket she had miniature lithographs in the likenesses of you four, her beloved litter of puppies. Yet you wound up like lice-infested lowbred stray dogs, leaving her so lonesome even with her Luther that she had to take lithium. No lexicographer has words to convey what a letdown that was. So I'm not lowballing you today but granting you the lilliputian amounts of my fortune you deserve...the motherlode going not to my legitimate sons but...to my love child, your long-lost brother Luke!"

THE SAGA OF THE STRANGER:

Onto the screen loped Luke, looming impressively with his loosefitting lam robe and leonine bearing. A luminary in the liturgical field, his lifework was ably serving the Lord, the Supreme Lawgiver, leading the laity to see the light. His longways glance lashed forth from his steely eyes like a lacerating laser so sharply that the brothers lurched backward in their ladderback chairs!

Though a learned man of letters, a laureate scholar no less!, he was comfortable with either a lowborn layman or a fellow member of the literati set. He was by nature laconic and kept a low profile generally shunning the limelight. Yet once he approached the lectern, he was loquacious without a trace of any lisp in his locution, lecturing sinners not to be lemmings marching over the ledge into Hell.

As a young man he leapfrogged past his peers at the lyceums, light-years ahead of them whether calculating logarithms or linear equations or studying logic or its alternative, lateral thinking. Lionized as an adept linguist, he spoke several languages including Lithuanian, Latvian, and even Lakota Indian! Not one for levity like Jay Leno or David Letterman, he wasn't one to rest on his laurels either, doggedly pursuing his lifelong ambition to establish a mission to the lepers and the lame. It was there he learned to live sparsely like it was always Lent off a diet of legumes like lima beans, maybe some leafy leeks, or lox and bagel, or the occasional loaf of bread, and with no libation stronger than lemonade or limeade. He would become lachrymose chanting his lugubrious lamentations, and wearing only a loincloth while in a lotus position like a lama from Lhasa, prayed for hours.

BACK TO LUTHER:

"Yes, Luke was born of a romantic liaison I had with my French ladylove Lolita long before your mother Luisa and I became lovebirds. Ah Lolita! A ballerina so lovely in her lavender leotard and legwarmers as she lithely practiced her leaps! Though we met in Le Mans where I raced my Lamborghini after the war, she was from Lourdes where at her villa we would lunch on roasted lamb lyonnaise, sip lattes, and dance the lindyhop. But after I realized she was a latent lesbian like Lindsey Lohan, having discovered Lolita and her lover Lisette locking lips in labial bliss along the banks of the Loire, I left her."

"Anyhow, when I let you know I would be leaving you soon, this is the lone son who passed the litmus test by doing his level-best to contact me lickety-split and lend me comfort. In the lockbox on Levi's desk of course is my will on his letterhead written in perfectly legible longhand in his lingo of legalese spelling out everything. It should probably be laminated and hung in the Louvre to teach everyone a lesson. A letterbox format film of this live recording will be available from Levi later on."

"Luke, indeed you get the lion's share but please help Levi with the allotments of my largesse to the less fortunate which you insisted on:

LUTHER'S CHARITABLE REQUESTS:

  • "Plenty of lugnuts and locknuts to make the levees of lower Louisiana more leakproof and loadbearing
  • Looms with all the latest laborsaving features so the ladies of Lesotho can make lovely linens and Estee Lauder and L'Oreal cosmetics so they can look like Sophia Loren. Also laptops complete with logins for the schoolchildren and soymilk in every lunchbox for the lactose-intolerant
  • Llamas for the laborers in Lima to bear their loads in the lofty Andes
  • Long ladders of loblolly pine from my lumberyard for the farmers in the landlocked nation of Laos so they can pick from their lychee trees. Also pesticide lethal to the locust, no mere luna moth, in its larval stage to protect this lifeblood crop
  • A new lavatory for my alma-mater Boston Latin School large enough so both upper- and lowerclassmen can take a leak. Also more literature for the library from Longfellow to Louis L'Amour
  • Lastly, enough lira to provide leverage to the Leaning Tower Of Pisa so that it lists more back leftward"

LUTHER CONCLUDES:

"Well, my soul is ready for liftoff to Shangri-la where it will hopefully find lodging and not be locked out. Unlike you four who would just throw me in a locker and toss me in a landfill in some vacant lot, Luke will place me in a coffin with plenty of legroom and lay me to rest next to Luisa under the linden tree where the linnets chirp and the ladybugs whirr. No laying-on-of-hands or legerdemain or lifesaving elixir can save me now and I won't come back like Lazarus. Already I see lithesome angels and hear them strumming their lyres and singing a lilting lullaby lovelier than anything by Liszt, Liberace, or John Lennon from Liverpool."

Then Luther cried, "Lordy Me!", let out a labored breath and became lifeless. In a scene that looked like the noble Lancelot kneeling before his liege King Arthur, Luke the Learned knelt beside Luther Larabie and administered the last rites.

*Registered with the IP Rights Office Copyright Registration Service Ref: 426148730