Prof: From Thereby Hangs A Tail
We drove to the college. We had experts for this and that, me and Bernie, Otis DeWayne, for example, for weapons. The professor – he had a long complicated name that I’d never gotten clear but it didn’t matter since Bernie just called him Prof – was our expert for money. Not making money – humans with lots of money have a certain way about them, hard to describe, and Prof didn’t have it – but everything else about money, which was what, exactly? What was important about money except making it? Couldn’t tell you.
The college was close to downtown, but didn’t look like downtown, which was all towers and nobody on the streets. It had old buildings with tile roofs and lots of trees and grass, and humans, most of them young, all over the place, walking, sitting, just lying around or even – hey! – playing Frisbee!
“Wow. See what that dog just did?”
“Chet? Can you give the Frisbee back please?”
“Is that your dog?”
“We’re more of a team.”
“I can’t believe he jumped that high. He should be on TV.”
“Don’t give him ideas. Chet? The Frisbee, please?”
I gave back the Frisbee, except for the tiniest little piece that seemed to have been chewed off. Couldn’t beat our place on Mesquite Road, but if we ever had to live someplace else, me and Bernie, here at the college would be nice. College kids were the greatest.
Prof had a couch in his office. He was lying on it when we came in, his hands folded over his big round stomach. “Hi, guys,” he said. “Just contemplating a little aperçu of Marx’s.”
Prof was brilliant – did I mention that? I caught the “hi guys” part and that was it.
“Which is?” said Bernie.
“’The production of too many useful things results in too many useless people.’”
Prof: impossible to understand, but, big surprise, I came so close to getting that.
“Like it?” Prof said.
“Yes,” said Bernie.
“Wouldn’t it be funny if Marx turned out to be right after all?” Prof went on. “About everything, that is? I’m not saying tomorrow or the next day, but later, say two or three hundred years from now.”
“My sense of humor doesn’t stretch that far,” Bernie said.
Prof laughed. “Working on anything interesting?”
“Kidnapping,” Bernie said.
“Ah,” said Prof, “the life of action.” That I got completely. The life of action: what could be better?
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