Say “and, duh,” and I will kill you.
You may be president of Lake Land College, administrator, instructor, office worker, advisor, librarian, student, etc.; it does not matter. I am an equal opportunity “and, duh” hater. The urge to – as a mobster might say – “whack,” is overwhelming.
A psychiatrist asked me one time (being a regular customer) if I wanted, like Oedipus, to marry my mother. Of course, that was out of the question; my mother was already married. Psychiatrists ask some really stupid questions, sometimes.
Things were going pretty well, until he asked, “You seem to be making great strides when it comes to not brushing your teeth 16 times a day, and, duh… and, duh, no longer counting the hairs on your hair (by, the way, the current count is 25), and, duh.”
Most of the time, I am a sane human; just a guy living a normal life; taking out the garbage; drinking coffee, attending classes at Lake Land College, and doing all the other things that make 75 a reckless age.
The “and, duh” thing goes back to a European history class at Eastern Illinois University. The professor was, maybe, the smartest guy I ever met. Ravines made their way across his face; he was the definitive bald guy.
He sat behind his desk, hands always clasped, talking history; an immensely interesting man, who, I should add, scorned the movie “Lawrence of Arabia.” That aside, he was pretty fair-minded.
In those prehistoric days, the building lacked air-conditioning; which necessitated open windows and doors. Unfortunately, the classroom across the hall was the domain of the head of the history department.
The esteemed professor wore a bow tie; steel-rimmed glasses blended nicely with his steely hair, which he tamped down with Vaseline. Highly acclaimed, a veritable master of his trade; he was also a disciple of “and, duh.”
Yes, he could not make it through a sentence free of “and, duh.” For the better part of an hour, he inflicted his students. According to rumor, one of his students went quite mad, and jumped out the window in the midst of an “and, duh.”
Day after day, the professor polluted the air with “and, duh.” All of those years teaching; damaging delicate young brains with the cursed phrase, he never paused to reflect on the abhorrent nature of “and, duh.”
Conflicted between listening to my professor bring history to life, and quitting the class to become a vagabond, searching for a place to hide from “and, duh,” I chose, after agonizing contemplation, to endure the unendurable, and remained in the class.
“And, duh” knows no station in life; it plagues the English-speaking world (though, I suspect its equivalent can be found in most languages). Who knows how many people have died at the hands of people driven insane.
During the course of the time I have been taking classes here, few “and, duh” have crossed my path. Lake Land College, I must say, appears to be relatively free of the affliction. It is a selling point.
LLC President Josh Bullock, a man of action, should take the bull by the horns (I know, it is a cliché), and have a legion of “This is a duh-free campus” signs planted firmly in college sod.
The man would be a legend.
Harry Reynolds can be reached at [email protected]