Current/Recent Reading List

06 March 2008

Some Tidbits

First of the penis joke variety (got your attention?). Our department head, a woman about my age, was helping one of her students - "a sweet redneck boy" to use her description - work out some details of his senior project. She began to sit in the chair beside him, and ended up half missing the chair, causing her to teeter. She attempted to reach out and grab her student's arm in order to steady herself, but she began falling and her hand caught his leg area instead. Again, to her description: "My thoughts were, 'Oh, I've got his leg... OH!, that's not his leg my hand is on. I really wish I would have just fallen."

Can we say, "Teenager scarred for life?"


The next afternoon, I sauntered into the cafeteria, along with other department members, a few minutes before the scheduled faculty meeting. Another of my female colleagues greeted me and then was about to ask me a literary question, when she interrupted herself to say, "Uh, Mr P., your fly is kind of open there..." Well, there are no easy places to duck behind in the cafeteria, as you can imagine, so the best I could do is turn my back on everyone and act quickly. Too late, though, to avoid the tale being told around the table within a mere minute or so. Can you say, "Me scarred for life?"

Like I've said before, it's tough being a man in the English Department, what with women looking at your fly and all. I'm sure Wyfe agrees with me.


My Lenten reading of late has included (surprise, surprise!) Flannery O'Connor's first short story collection. My biggest belly laugh so far came from the following passage of "The Temple of the Holy Ghost", when two silly teenage Catholic school girls sing in Latin for the guitar-toting evangelical farm boys who live near the house the girls are visiting. Spying on the scene is the precocious child who set up the date in the first place:

The girls dragged out the Amen, and then there was a silence.
"That must be Jew singing," Wendell said and began to tune the guitar.
The girls giggled idiotically but the child stamped her foot on the barrel. "You big dumb ox!" she shouted. "You big dumb Church of God ox!" she roared and fell off the barrel and scrambled up and shot around the corner of the house as they jumped from the banister to see who was shouting.

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