A simulated topical conversation

“I’m kinda surprised we university TAs haven’t been the first to go down with the H1N1, with us being in constant contact with crowds of the small ones.”

“I don’t know about you, buddy, but my TA-contacts don’t involve such bodily-fluidish intimacy as that would require.”

“I did not mean that.”

“My way is much safer, much better. Any of those leprous cretins gets within touching distance, that’s one that has flunked and has to leave unless it wishes to be recorded on the Black List, permanently.”

“What, you mean you have H1N1 patients in your class? You’re tough. And insane.”

“No no… ah, I see where you made a mistake. My use of ‘leprous cretins’ refers to the undergrads as a whole, not to any subset even more mangy than the average.”

“Ah. Yes. But to reiterate, that body-fluid insinuation —”

“Not that there is anything wrong in it, generally speaking.”


“As long as it is merely the spit of your thunderous declarations of the Right Path, and it does not return in the hateful spew of their protesting raspberries. In a correctly run academic environment, the bile flows only downwards.”

“What do you mean ‘bile’? First, that’s not how things should be, and second, it’s metaphorical —”

“I do not believe in metaphors. Acknowledging such things only brings on fuzzy thinking, which I will not have. The inaccuracy of bile-as-spit, yes, but no metaphors, never. I will not acknowledge their existence.”

“And what on earth can that mean? When professor Schmidt says you’ll pass his course when it rains cats and dogs, do you take it to literally mean —”


“What — what did you have in that sack? And come to think of it, isn’t this window right above that of Schmidt’s?”

“After the rain, the passing! Victory!”

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