Notarizing the Global’s Greatest Malted Milk Ball –


In 1977, the writer of the arena’s biggest malted milk ball had it notarized.

The Boston Globe


I’ve to confess, a few years after the truth, my mother was once unsuitable.

“Get your notary license, it’s a excellent sideline,” she mentioned.  “You’ll by no means be out of labor.  There’s too many cheating other folks on the planet, you’ll’t believe any one anymore.  That’s why notaries won’t ever move out of favor.”

Ha–fats probability.  Closing time I proposed to my long-time, off and on female friend Cynthia DeMasio, she mentioned no approach.  “No longer till you get a actual activity,” she mentioned.  “Being a notary public you simply have delusions of grandeur.”

However what delusions they’re!  Possibly I will be able to’t officiate at marriage ceremony ceremonies, like snooty justices of the peace, however taking acknowledgments on actual property paperwork?  Authenticating signatures on affidavits?  Notaries are nonetheless your perfect wager, and at $2 a signature, you’ll’t beat our on a regular basis low costs!

“Glance out!  They’re gaining on us!”


What my mother had no approach of foreseeing was once the revolution in era that now allows other folks to signal paperwork electronically!  Little need for the face-to-face, “sit-down” final.  Your mark–whether or not it’s a easy “X” or a roccoco “John Hancock” is excellent even if signed miles away.

On the identical time, there was a precipitious decline in notarial ethics; notaries who take acknowledgments over the telephone with a wink that nobody on the different finish of the road can see.  Notaries who “witness” signatures they’ve by no means observed, however have simply heard about, relying at the so-called “rumour” exception.  Discuss bending the principles to the snapping point!

“Can’t keep . . . wakeful.  Weblog publish . . . uninteresting.”


I come to a decision I may as smartly take a snooze for the reason that notary occupation appears to be in this kind of deep melancholy, when my mobile phone buzzes.  I take a look at the display screen, see a bunch I don’t acknowledge, however come to a decision to respond to it any approach.  Within the immortal phrases of Roy Cohn, closeted homosexual Republican attorney and assistant to Senator Joseph McCarthy, “Pick out up the telephone–it could be trade.”

Roy Cohn


“Hullo,” I solution drearily.  How would you solution in case your closing notarial project was once a retail installment gross sales contract–3 months in the past?

“Hi, I’m in search of a notary public–are you to be had?”

Thank God my telephone is a cordless fashion, differently I may have choked myself lunging with pleasure.  “Twenty-five hours an afternoon, 8 days every week!” I say breathlessly.  “What sort of activity is it?”

“A record-breaking piece of sweet.”

I evaluate in my thoughts the entire telephone gags of my formative years: Is your fridge working?  Do you’ve Sir Walter Raleigh in a can?  Nope–not anything registers.

“Smartly, why don’t you let him out?”


“I . . . uh . . . may must price a top rate for such an extraordinary request.”

“That’s k–that is my best shot at getting within the Guiness E-book of Global Information.”

“The place are you?”

“Over on the Whoppers plant, in Canton.”

“I realize it smartly.”  Best too smartly, as I’ve been identified to ingest a complete Whoppers theatre-size field of the the flavorful treats ahead of the previews are over on the Framingham 14 Megaplex, thereby bringing on a near-fatal case of the hiccups.  “I’ll be there in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.”

I seize Dulcie, my puppy lamb, and put her within the entrance seat of my 2006 Pontiac Torrent.  “You’ll shake it as soon as at the pressure, however save the second for once we pull within the driveway.”

“Bah,” she says.  “I used to be hoping to catch Vintage Roadshow this afternoon.”  She’s so wooly-headed–she watches PBS always.

I head out to Path 128, The united states’s Generation Freeway, then south to Canton, hoping to make it ahead of this plum project will get scarfed up by means of any person else within the high-powered stamp-eat-stamp global of notarization.  As a result of my notarial source of revenue has been flat for the previous twenty years, I don’t have get entry to to GPS and will have to in finding my approach by means of sight to the activity, with Dulcie driving “shotgun” as she navigates.

“Would you hurry the fuck up?”


“Flip off right here,” she says sharply as we achieve Path 138.

“Are you certain?”

“You’re asking me?” she asks, rhetorically and incredulous.  “You couldn’t in finding your approach out of a Barnes & Noble bag if there have been directions at the gross sales slip.”

“Ok, possibly I am a bit introverted,” I say.

“Now a left,” Dulcie says, and I see what needs to be the arena’s biggest malted milk ball, sitting within the driveway of a modest split-level.  No longer my tastes, however . . .

“The man’s ready,” Dulcie snaps.  “You’ll’t sit down there woolgathering with an inner monologue!”

I am getting out, seize my notary bag, and manner a person who’s throwing sandbags across the base of the large confection within the obvious hope of stabilizing it.

“Happy it is advisable make it,” he says.  “The entire different notaries have been busy.”

“It’s pupil mortgage utility season,” I say, disposing of my stamp and seal.

“What’s with the sheep?” he asks.

“I want two witnesses, no less than one in every of whom will have to be disinterested.”

“And consider me,” Dulcie says, “no person might be much less to your bloated malted milk ball than me.”

“You’re pondering of ‘bored stiff,’” I say, parsing a advantageous level of notarial jurisprudence for her.  “‘Disinterested’ method you haven’t any prospect of economic acquire out of your provider, ‘bored stiff’ method . . .”

“Would you narrow the palaver?” the person says.  “There might be malted milk ball makers in portions unknown who’re gaining on me.”

“Wonderful,” I say, and ask him to boost his proper hand.  “Do you solemnly swear that this massive malted milk ball is simply the manufactured from your efforts?”

“I do.”

“That it was once made totally of unpolluted, herbal substances like sugar, corn syrup, malted milk, whey . . .”

“Like Little Leave out Muffet, who sat on a tuffet, consuming her curds and whey?” Dulcie interjects.

“At the nosey,” I answer, and go back to the grave and solemn act of authentication.  “Together with 2% or much less of in reality weird-sounding stuff like tapioca dextrin, resinous glaze, sorbitan tristearate and soy lecithin.”

“Soy isn’t so dangerous.”  It’s Dulcie once more.

“Not anything in there I wouldn’t consume myself,” the person says.

“And is that this your unfastened act and deed?” I ask.

“What the hell’s that intended to imply?” the person asks.

“That no person’s making you do that,” Dulcie says.  “It’s a part of the regimen.”

“After all now not,” the person replies.  “Is it respectable now?”

“You didn’t say ‘sure’ but,” I remind him.

“Freaking Mom-Might-I . . . YES!” he just about screams.  “I’m gonna be within the Guiness E-book!”  The man’s ecstatic, and as I go searching on the pathetic existence he’s dwelling–aluminum siding at the area, cracking driveway, child’s “Large Wheels” automotive within the backyard–I will be able to perceive why.

“How a lot do I owe you?” he asks.

“Let’s see,” I say, doing away with my value chart. “There’s generally 18 items in a 1.75 ounce bundle.  That’s, uh, 162 items in a pound, that factor’s were given to weigh 500 kilos . . .”

“Simple,” says Dulcie.

“So, it will be $2 for an ordinary malted milk ball, 2 occasions 500 occasions 162 equals–$162,000.

“What?  That’s freeway theft!”

“Hi there–you need your home in historical past or now not?”

The man stops and thinks a second.  “I were given a greater thought,” he says.

“What?” I ask.  You learn how to be skeptical as an individual whose activity it’s to take sworn statements that may actually imply the variation between recording a apartment smoke detector certificates–or now not.

“I’ll come up with $3 and a unfastened field of malted milk balls.”




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