Friday, October 13, 2006


Salutations Fellow Scholars,

I write to you today simply because I need a break from Nero. There is only so much incoherent bumbling a scholar can take in any given twenty-four hour period.

Over the past few days, I have been tirelessly preparing for our glorious expedition Göttingen. Nero, on the other hand, has been sulking in the corner. It is not that I haven't tried to excite him; I told him how wonderful the University is there, how some of the greatest minds in the history of Western thought have passed through its walls. I told him how, if there was any substance to the theory of intellectual osmosis whatsoever, he should be able to spell better than ever before!

To make matters worse, he didn't become so somber until just recently; yesterday, he was a bundle of exuberant, obnoxious energy. Now, I'm not saying I prefer him that way; his excitement left him completely incapable of properly pressing my undergarments for our travels. However, I certainly don't prefer him this way because now he's not pressing anything! My bags aren't going to pack themselves, you know.

I do not know from whence this cloud of sobriety descended; the only thing that has changed since yesterday was my layout of our itinerary. Nero was losing focus on our goal, our objective to compile our report on the Aarne-Thompson Type 500 fairytale; all he could talk about was visiting castles, driving on the Autobahn, and drinking plenty of the local flavour. For the sake of all things scholarly, he thinks he's a native just because he can say kommen Sie heir, Fraulein! Well, I set him straight: only the library, I told him. The University library shall be our home, our sole stimulus, for three glorious weeks! Nothing to distract us; no castles, no Autobahn, no local flavor! I am so committed to our success in this matter that I didn't even bother reserving a hotel; the library has plenty of semi-sleepable surfaces. How wonderful a vacation this shall be! How could anyone not be thrilled with this magnificent opportunity we have?

Well, apparently Nero can. He's been stuffed up in the corner of my apartment playing some bizarre game on his computer for the past hour, occasionally mumbling the phrase "stop poking me" under his breath. I keep trying to cheer him up, but he continually undermines not only my enthusiasm, but the probable success of our academic mission. To use aeuphemismm, he's just a "stick in the mud."

Well, now I'm also feeling a bit gloomy. I tried to cheer myself up by watching The City of Lost Children, a most fantastic French film I had on my Netflix queue, but all I can seem to find around here is The Last Starfighter. A boy who saves the world by playing a video game? It has an uncanny resemblance to the sort of film I might expect from Nero . . .

And now, I notice it's Friday the 13th. How appropriate, I suppose, that everything should go wrong on a Black Friday. It might almost be enough to develop an acute fear of thirteenth Fridays (a condition medically known as paraskavedekatriaphobia, fellow scholars), were it not for the fact that phobias are for the unenlightened. Hmph.

Brilliantly Sincere,

Professor Happ
Director of Field Dramaturgy
Makeshift Theatre Co.

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