Bar Jester Chronicles 4: Notes for a Campus Novel

Dr. Forrest Reeper. Biologist. Texan. Republican. Memberships: NRA. Deacon at Starlight Baptist Church. Once brought a shotgun to campus when the student paper (The Flahtsummary) reported that a family of possums had moved into the new athletes’ dormitory—then under construction. Discharged fire-arm. Felony charges were dropped during negotiations between college president and city attorneys. Believes in neither evolution nor ecumenical councils. Narrative purpose: to discharge fire-arms and to refuse to sit in the faculty dining room with homosexuals, Darwinians, and Catholics.

Pastor Chad: Campus pastor. Wears Hawaiian shirts to chapel. Believes in “the dignity of the individual” and “the sanctity of the trees, air and sky.” Begins his prayers, “O God, our Dance Partner!” Replaced all the Bibles in the chapel with radio transcripts of “This I Believe” from 1951-52. Vegan. Has tendency to appoint to his Campus Ministries staff young men from the music and theater departments. Organizes mission trips to San Francisco over spring break. Lisps and has trouble pronouncing his Rs.

[Note to self: don’t make this too realistic. No one will believe it.]

Dr. Morris Better. Economist. Drives a Hummer. Office shelves are bare. Fourth wife (Mandy) teaches Pilates two afternoons a week.

Lacey Bachs: Business major, pom-squad captainette, and member of Phi Rho. Narrative purpose: to receive input from Dr. Better.

Suzy Overfeldt: Econ major, cheerleader, and member of Delta Chi. Narrative purpose: to receive input from Dr. Better.

Sharon Sharalike: Accounting major, dance-team captainette, and member of Delta Chi. Narrative purpose: to receive input from Dr. Better.

Dr. Buckminster “Buck” Hookworm: College President and former chairman of the Studies in Excellence Department. Progressive Fundamentalist. Incapable of running a college. Probably incapable of coaching flag football. Narrative purpose: to blame the dean when things go wrong and to take credit when things go right. Regarded by the CEOs on the Board of Trustees as the next best thing since sliced bread, Kojak’s lollipop, and the cat’s pucker.

Adelaide U. Offen: Hookworm’s shapely gum-chewing secretary. Narrative purpose: to announce to the president phantom visitors—a prearranged scheme for terminating excruciating appointments with faculty members (usually the bloviating ethicist) and trustees. Running line: “Excuse me, Dr. Hookworm. [chew-chew] I hate to interrupt you, but Mr. Lou Zimnau is here to see you for your _____ o’clock appointment.”

Dr. Noah Morrills. Professor of Ethics. Queer as a three-dollar bill. Writes a weekly column on “situational ethics” for the local paper (recent title: “Why is Your Son Raising Gerbils?”). Can’t see students on Tuesdays because they are his “writing days,” which he spends at home watching gymnastics on videotape. Believes in “grounding one’s work ontologically rather that theologically.” Campus rumor: a student (later a Jesuit priest) once asked him his definitions of “ontology” and “theology.” Replied Dr. Morrills: “theology answers the question, ‘what’s up?’ Ontology answers the question, ‘what’s going down?’” Whereupon this waggish future Jesuit replied, “Isn’t ‘what’s going down’ existentially conflated in your world with ‘what’s up’?”

Dr. Waldo Wearizzie: Dean of the Faculty. Into everything. Micromanager incapable of tending a curriculum. Fashionable dresser (for a man half his age). Has Blackberry, iPod, Twitter, and cell phone. [Note to self: find out what these are and use them symbolically.] Narrative purpose: to lie, to screw up, to appear to be the cause of every good thing while actually accomplishing nothing, to hand out favors to those who flatter him, and to say “no” to those who don’t.

Dr. Paige Turner (“who, as a scholar, was nothing of the sort”). Sociologist. Specialty: eighteenth-century graffiti written by left-handed pregnant women with syphilis. Very stupid and dull. Average class size: three. Complains about how difficult it is to balance her teaching load and her research agenda. Was married to the dean long enough to get tenure then divorced “that bedroom cadaver.” Candidate for full professor and temporarily married to her department chairman, Dr. Ben Haddigan.

Dr. Libby Doe: Very sexy young untenured flautist. Known party-goer. Once described by an unmarried member of the political science department as “that horny broad over in music.” Narrative purpose: to get drunk at a reception after one of her own recitals and confess to being “even more skilled at the Fellatio than at the Flute.”

Page 2 of 3 | Previous page | Next page