“I’m so mean. And dirty. Very dirty. Filthy, even.”
“You always say that; I don’t believe it.”
Nick Warren paused for one to three moments, leaned forward a bit, then said, in a low voice I’m sure the big rotten wolf adopts to scare the little piggies, “See that table over there? Join them. Just walk up and sit down.”
Now, this professor must get a few things out-of-the-way. First, the professor is not a little piggy. I could see where you might think that ’cause of the words above and whatnot. If you were thinking it, please cut it out of your brain, the sudden.
Next, the professor and Nick were in a restaurant, and the room Nick had pointed out was a private room within the restaurant.
You know, the rooms that big parties go to just so people won’t go and bother them. The doors were shut, but everyone could see through the glass. Not sure what the net gain was there.
Anyways and some…
“Well?” Nick pressed.
“It’s a private party in there.”
“Full of old women.”
“They’re the meanest.”
“Oh don’t I know.”
“Okay, I’ll do it. Dadblameit.”
“Really?” Nick was surprised.
“Yeah,” I said, “this professor is a filthy warrior, and I’ll prove it.”
So, two short ticks later, the professor was at the door.
Now, here’s the key: When about to do something, always look confident. Confidence is worth five more than you think it is.
I swung the door open.
The ladies looked up. There was about six or so of them.
“Can we help you?” one lady with red hair said.
It was dyed, I’m thinking, mind.
I closed the door and stepped into the room.
“Not at all,” I said, adopting the tone of the big rotten wolf. “I’m just going back and forth throughout the earth is all.”
Another of the women–obviously the leader of the group–said: “This is a private book club. For women. No men are allowed in.”
“That’s something,” the professor said, pulling a chair out and sitting next to her. “How do you suppose I got in, then? Nice earrings, btw.”
She liked that. But the earrings were ugly. I lied. I do that every other day, you know.
“Did Nancy invite you?” a tall skinny woman said. “Did she?! We explicitly told her no men!”
“How explicitly did you tell her?” I asked.
That got her.
“Humph! We’ll see what Nancy says when she gets here! I, for one, don’t believe you! We’ll see what Nancy says!”
“I hope it’s not explicit again,” I said.
And I shouldn’t have. I was being mean. It’s all Nick’s fault, see. Such a bad influence, he is.
Then I did the clincher: “I’m actually her nephew, twice removed from where I should be.”
That got them. I’d won at the point. The professor wasn’t leaving, and they weren’t going to make me.
The red-haired lady took up the conversation:
“So…” she said, searching for something. “What’s your favorite novel?”
“The shortest one on table,” I replied.
And that’s when Nancy walked in. There was an air of disapproval about her. I was terrified, of course.
“We were being entertained by your nephew,” the lady with the ugly earrings said.
“My nephew?” Nancy looked about the room like a naked mole rat.
Then she spotted me. “He’s not mine! I won’t take credit for that!”
“I left the water on!” I shouted. Not the best line, but I was thinking fastly fast.
And I bolted.
“Nah,” Nick said. “You didn’t stay in there long enough.”