Ok, here we are, in the almost present: The Ottawa story. Go spill your drink on yourself ‘cause this stuff won’t get you wet on its own.
A couple of days after I got back from Chicago, I woke up. After eating a real breakfast for the first time in weeks (I say this every few weeks), I checked my email and there was a message from Ottawa U that said someone there would like to talk with me. I wrote back hurriedly and assured them that they were wrong.
We got into the verbal version of the sidewalk dance where you each try to move the way you think they won’t go and when you go the same way you laugh and smile but say to yourselves, “this frickin’ idiot..”
In the end she won (ladies, take note, it happens) and I agreed to email this so-called interested professor. First I googled him. In fact, I scoured the interweb so well that until I could have probably told his doctor that his left butt cheek mole was of concern. The email itself was pretty straight forward for business conversation: sell your soul to kiss an ass. Worse, like I said, this one had a moley mole. Of concern now in more than one way.
But he wasn’t an actual ass, just had one in need of a smooch. I feel I should clarify that based on my history of offending professors. And based on my history of doing so through this here blog of mine.
The very next day he emailed me back, thus confirming my speculation that he wasn’t a real prof. I opened the email and it was two lines long.
He is a real prof.
We made plans to meet in Ottawa the next week. I immediately went out and didn’t cut my hair and didn’t buy new clothes. Now I was ready. Just a little nervous. So I drank a few…days in a row.
When I got up there I went straight to his office. Nope. Really seemed like his office though. Had numbers on it. Hmm, so where exactly is it then? I’m in the right building, no? No. No Rob, the buildings are all connected…
At some point I’d crossed into another building. They were labeled A to E and all seemed logical until you actually tried to navigate. I smelled engineers.
I finally found it and gave a quick knock on the door while I tried to do up my top button. He opened the door as I was in the process of realizing that the shirt was too small and the button was about three cup sizes away from my needs. (I don’t actually know cup sizes. Only D-cups, cause we use those for hockey.)
He smiled and said something in French that sounded a lot like “Hello” in English. Maybe it was. Or maybe he just didn’t know how to greet an over-sized hippie with shoulder length flow and a pesky top button and he was afraid to guess whether or not I’d satisfied my herbal munchies before smiling at him.
He asked if I had any trouble finding the place. I indulged him with honestly: I told him how many times I’d gotten lost, how many times I’d taken the same off-ramp into the city, and how many doors I’d knocked on before getting it right. I also told him I’d had pizza for breakfast. He seemed more relaxed after that one.
Just after we sat down, one of his students came in and they started speaking to each other in French. This is a recurring theme. I said to myself, “man, how am I gonna work with this girl? I don’t know what the hell they’re saying!” Then he said my name. And she looked at me. And I peed a little.
I spent about three full seconds trying to think of what to say, but she took the lead with, “Hey, how’s it going? Welcome to the lab, sorry if you didn’t understand what we were saying there.” And I peed a little.
This was a good pee, one of joyous relief. Thick boxer-briefs well-saturated; a problem to be dealt with later; safe for now.
After that the meeting went fairly well and he told me about all of the cool things they were doing that weren’t cool and all of the neat things I’d get to do that wouldn’t be neat. So I said, “yeah, let’s do this.”
Happy Thursday morning, folks. Rest well. See ya soon.