The Professor can be so serious and earnest and buttoned down on occasion that it brings out the absolute worst in me.
I'm sorry, I just can't help myself... sometimes I have to devil him a little.
We were meeting for coffee and he rushed up, breathless to tell me about an article he'd read.
The Professor: Mr. SponsorPants! Hello! I think you should read this article. Maybe you could even write about it.
Mr. SponsorPants: Hello and what article and okay.
Prof: It's about a study they did on the effects of alcohol on pair bonding in Prairie Voles.
Mr. SP: Wait. What? The effect of who on what?
Prof: They did a study on the effects of alcohol on Prairie Voles.
Mr. SP: Is this the set up for a joke? "Two Prairie Dogs walk into a bar..."
Mr. SP: Voles?
Prof: Yes, Prairie Voles, not Prairie Dogs.
Mr. SP: Prairie Voles. What the hell is a Vole?
Prof: It's a kind of rodent.
Mr. SP: So it's a prairie rat.
Prof: No. Yes. Sort of. That's not the point. They did this study of the effects of alcohol on Prarie Voles.
Mr. SP: Someone got paid to get Prairie Rats drunk?
Prof: Voles! No. Sort of. Look, do you want to hear about the Study or not?
Mr. SP: I don't know if I want to hear about the Study or not. You brought it up, not me.
Prof: Oh my God! You are... what is going on with you today?
Mr. SP: What? Nothing. I just...
Prof: You should have a warning sign some days.
Mr. SP: I think "Warning Label" would be more appropriate. And don't get into my "Best by" date while we're going down this track, because clearly that is long past.
Prof: Aren't you going to ask me what your Warning Sign would say?
Mr. SP: No. Because obviously you want me to.
Prof: It would say, 'Warning! I come equipped with Character Defects and I'm not Afraid to Use Them!'
Mr. SP: How long have you been waiting to use that on someone?
Prof: Couple weeks. Since I saw it on the internet. So anyway, the reason they did a study on Prarie Voles is because they Pair Bond for Life.
Mr. SP: So somewhere out there on the prairie there are... monogamous rats?
Prof: Yes. But they're not technically rats, although they are in the rodent family.
Mr. SP: Tomato, Tomahto, Rodents, Rats... so these Prairie Ra... Voles. They 'Pair Bond' for life. And some scientist came along and got them drunk and tried to break them up? Wow. Did this scientist have a doctorate?
Prof: What? I don't... why?
Mr. SP: 'cause they should call him Dr. Asshole. That is just mean. Mean science. Did they build them a little bar to get drunk in?
Prof: Don't be ridiculous. It was a study.
Mr. SP: They should have built them a little bar. They could have called it... ready?
Mr. SP:... come on.
Prof <sighs>: Ok. What could they have called it?
Mr. SP: The Vole Hole. No! Wait! The Vole in the Wall!
The Professor gamely perseveres.
Prof: So the Study showed...
Mr. SP: Vole Lotta Trouble!
He ignored me.
Prof: The study showed that when you gave alcohol to the Prairie Voles...
Mr. SP: The Vole in One!
Prof: ... the pair bonding started to break down. That some of the bonded voles explored different partners. He concluded that the alcohol interfered with the Pair Bonding and...
Mr. SP: Well, paging Dr. Asshole, that is not the correct result from that study.
Prof: How can you... of course it is! He has all the data...
Mr. SP: That only proves there were no alcoholic voles in the study.
Prof: No alcoholic... what on earth are you talking about?
Mr. SP: Yeah. Because if you gave alcohol to an alcoholic vole, they wouldn't want a different partner.
Mr. SP: No. They'd have wanted more alcohol.
The Professor begins to chuckle just a little.
Prof: ... You are impossible sometimes -- often, in fact -- but I'll give you that one.
He begins to chuckle a little harder.
Mr. SP: Yay! I win! More coffee?
Prof: Why not.