What a great first line.
It certainly caught my attention and made me wonder what the guy (talking on his headset, of course) was referring to. Since I couldn't hear the other end of the conversation I will just have to use my imagination to fill it in.
The reason it makes such a great first line is that something big has obviously happened. A divorce, of course, comes ot mind... although it could just as easily be a marriage or death. It could be something corporate, like wrongful termination; or it could be simply a bad traffic ticket.
One way or another, though, it makes us wonder and that is the main function of a great first line. Keep the reader reading to find out more. Everyone has a favorite first line of a book... and when we hear them they seem so obvious we think they must be easy to create. But, as any writer will agree, they are the most difficult part of the book.
E.B. White's first line of Charlotte's Web - "Where's Papa going with that axe?" said Fern to her mother as they were
setting the table for breakfast. - Apparently was added way at the end of his writing. Prior to that, the beginning was supposedly a much more innocuous description of Fern coming down for breakfast. (see http://www.npr.org/2011/08/19/139790016/weaving-charlottes-web and http://www.bravewriter.com/languagearts/arrow_Charlotte'sWebSample.pdf for more details on Charlotte's Web and that amazing first line)
As a writer I have to wonder... how can I do a better job creating my first lines? Obviously they have to relate to the story (and thus the reason it seems obvious to write them after I am finished with my work); but there is more to it than that. Many experts in literature discuss not just the content of the first line, but even the sounds of the letters in the selected words... the punctuation.... the rhythm. It torments me with the idea that my writing could always get better than its' last form. So do I never publish or do I never try? It is a balancing act that I continue to work on and I imagine always will.
Perhaps the main benchmark for my first lines, however, should be that when my husband reads them he doesn't say...
"You'd better get a lawyer fast!"