I vividly remember his gray beard.
He was saying something too, but this professor was thinking only about his beard. I’m not sure why. It was just the strangest beard I’d ever seen–or probably will see.
“Are you listening?” he asked, slightly angry, I fear.
I nodded. “Yes, of course.”
“Good.” He rose from his chair. “When you write a paper you… Well, you say a lot, but nothing’s really said. Do you understand what I’m trying to tell you?”
“Well, sir,” I said, “how can one say a lot and say nothing? This sounds like dadblamery to me!”
I shouldn’t have said it. The professor knew it was a mistake the moment it came out of his mouth.
“See here!” Mr. Gray-Beard roared. “Never call anything I say a dadblamery!”
But you see, the professor was quite angry now too, for Mr. Gray-Beard had insulted my paper.
“No,” I returned, “the sea is far from here, sadly. The sea’s definitely not here. So you can’t very well say ‘Sea here.'”
That got him.
He was red in the face–redder than ever.
I think he was looking for a better word, but that’s all he could huff out. Definitely wasn’t the kind that thought well on the spot.
“Of course I’m mean,” I returned. “Don’t you know that I mean everything I write? And if I didn’t mean everything I wrote, then you could complain. But as it is, you, sir, are the dadblamery. I stand corrected. Originally, I had thought what you said was the dadblamery, but now I know the truth!”
“Welly well!” Mr. Gray-Beard said. “I was attempting to be nice in my refusal of your paper. But now, I’ll be as mean as I want. I DON’T WANT YOUR PAPER! NOW GET OUT!”
I stood. “Before I leave, I’d like to know your name.”
“Jack Russell,” he growled.
“Now that you say it, I do see the resemblance.”
And the professor left, with his mind made up:
Mr. Jack Russell (aka. Mr. Gray-Beard) would never have to look over another professorish story again.