"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Booth is a verb--a love story, chapter 2

Chapter 2

And on the second day, after enduring students who couldn’t spell, fuming about students who thought assignments were optional, and ruminating about students who thought average work was excellent, the duo gathered in the afternoon near the hive of the Queen bee to recuperate. They dropped into their chairs, with greatest of sighs and moans, seeking to wash away the greasy taste of the lunch and mediocre students with the bitter dregs of that morning’s coffee.

Alas, even after much commiserating, and exchanging understanding jocularity with the Queen, still persisted the sourness in their mouths. Whereupon, the Clark, because as chair he was supposed to have great ideas, suggested another trip to the booth, even though he knew he would probably again lose the battle of the cribbage board, but he knew the frivolity and ferment of the drinks would offset it. Up perked the ears of other equally frustrated faculty members—especially the German complainer, the public relations princess, and Friar John, the photographic monk--who happened to come into the office to kill time and postpone grading papers or avoid attending meaningless committee meetings.

“Booth?” they asked—because they had already heard intimations of immortality from the Illidge’s boasting, and the Queen’s complicity--and when once explained and located, they affirmed that such an pedagogical concept had transformational possibilities, because, lo, all were as thirsty as the Ancient Mariner for more than the dregs of everyday life. Whereas, it was only 3 p.m., and early perhaps for liquid refreshment, the Clark, because he was chair and was experienced in scheduling meetings and wished atonement for his sins, proposed a 4 p.m. rendezvous with reality, and the bosomy bartender. The frustrated trio immediately departed the hive, heading to their offices to finish grading, turn off computers, clear desks, or otherwise waste time.

Then it was that the Illidge said, in his great and superior wisdom, “It’s five o’clock somewhere. Let’s go.” And with much insult, he did challenge the Clark to another embarrassing loss on the higher ed metaphorical circular cribbage board. And lo, forth they did sally to the booth, and the evening’s debauchery began.

To be continued…

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