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The George Golding Professor of Contemporary Thought

Professor Harding pondered the daily problem of finding the end of the toilet roll. Every revolution of the soft pink coloured cylinder revealed nothing to the touch of his arthritic fingers. Quick to anger, he threw it at the wall; it bounced around the room and finally slam dunked its way between his wrinkled thighs and plopped in to the bog’s pool. ‘Not again!’ He removed the sodden and pooey mass using his specially crafted Pooey Mass Remover and dropped it out of the window on to an unfortunate ladybird who happened to be passing by. ‘Not again!’ thought the insect (one presumes). Considering these events he suddenly felt astounded at the remarkable fortuity of having made the grade of Professor. As he took a further unit of Andrex from the packet he felt almost ashamed at the sheer audacity of believing he deserves to spend almost twice as much money in order to use the softest, thickest, and most ornately decorated (repeating flower pattern) bog roll (he’d made a formal complaint). The supply happened to be resting on a pile of the 189 academic papers that he has written over his 40 year career. I think you’ll agree, the simile is straightforward.

Returning to his desk he bathed in the enveloping glow of post defecation (“not to be confused with Deification” – Wikipedia) satisfaction. This was typically the perfect mood in which to begin a new work. The mood yielded one word (‘Recent’) before he returned to staring out of the window. He could see the man who cleans his toilet and a mix of guilt and contempt refocused his mind to the keyboard. He forced out a second word (‘advances’). With his mouth open and all facial muscles completely relaxed he tapped his right index finger 15 times in sync with the grandfather clock to his rear (yes, his finger was over the delete key).

Four hours and no change later his eyes took nine seconds to shut and he fell rearwards in his chair landing gently on his back. ‘Well, now I’m down here’ he thought, without even opening his eyes.

Four hours and no change later he rolled off the chair and moved to a standing position using as little energy as possible. He stared at the grandfather clock for a full ten minutes until the hour hand (‘finally!’) struck five. He went home and had a lovely fish pie that his wife had made. ‘Oh you work so hard dear, you know I thought when they made you professor emeritus you would be home earlier’. ‘I think I made a breakthrough today, and anyway I still have so much teaching to do’. ‘Oh by the way there was a call from the university cleaning services saying they need to talk to you about the proper use of your window’. ‘Oh yes, the handle has been a little stiff lately, any news from the children’. ‘Oh yes, Mary is pregnant again’. ‘Oh my, oh my’.

Four months and no change later his computer screen shows an open word doc with the badly formatted title ‘The Lindon Riots 2011: a verY NINeteenth Century Phenomenon’.

No offence intended,

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A Portrait of a Provincial Nobody

    Words and pictures from Raph Shirley, in humorous weblog form.

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