Ah, a crisp, autumn morning, a cup of French roast, and just a nip of opium. But not too much! I’ve a lecture at the Academy at noon, and need catching up on the latest in electrophysiology for my closing remarks. But it is early yet. Just a pinch in my pipe, and a look at the sunrise first.
The sun. Such a happy fellow. Soon we are warming each other in our respective glows.
Electrophysiology probably hasn’t changed all that much. Perhaps the old notes will do.
Perhaps just another pinch in the pipe…
Usually when the phone rings, it startles me. The harshness of the bell provokes my nerves. Not to mention the rudeness of the interruption. Callers assuming a good time for them to ring must therefore be a good time for me to answer? Nonsense! But my pipe has me floating, and the phone beckons to me today like church bells. It puts me at peace, and suddenly I long to converse. I pirouette round to the wall and swing the earpiece from one hand to the other to my ear.
“Mmyello?” I hum. Sing.
“Dr. Littlejohn!” comes the voice.
“It is!” I cry happily.
“Where on earth are you?”
I recognize the Dean’s snide tone and take quite a marvelous joy at it. His question seems a bit silly, though. Clearly the answer is clear.
“I am here,” I reply, pointing to my feet. “In my kitchen. Arm’s length from the wall upon which hangs the teleo-phone.”
A huff emanates from the speaking cone, and perhaps a whiff of smoke, although that might be the opium talking.
The Dean says, “Have you any idea what time it is?”
“It’s half past sunrise,” I beam, most of it coming from my aura. “That’s not a proper time, per se, but – ”
“Littlejohn, I’ve sent my private car to fetch you. I expect you to be at full trot as it passes so that you can hop in directly, as there will be no time for stopping. Your audience are growing restless!”
“Good heavens!” I chortle, fishing in my vest for my pocket watch. It’s noon thirty! Where did the morning go?
I hear the ahh-ooogaah from the horn of the Dean’s automobile as a voice calls out from the street below: car for Dr. Littlejohn!
I drop the handpiece of the telephone, letting it swing. I don my hat and dash out the door. The auto, indeed, has not stopped — it is rolling on down the lane. I run behind it, slowly gaining ground, and clamber over the rear into the rumble seat. I settle in with the wind in my whiskers, at one with the soothing putter of the motor, and think to myself ah, a crisp, autumn morning, a ride in the Dean’s car, and just one more quick nip of opium. My pipe is still in my pocket, after all.
I tap the driver’s shoulder. “I say, good man! Any chance you might know a bit about the latest in electrophysiology? I’ve a lecture to give in about a half hour ago.”