The adventures of a New Jersey college professor with very strange friends, colleagues, and family members.

Friday, June 23, 2006

And This Man Has Tenure, People...

There’s a Department Chair here at Very Serious University named Roger. Roger is an interesting guy.

Roger is approximately sixty years old, balding, short, scrawny, and has a pointy nose and vacant grey eyes. Heretofore, my dealings with him have always been formal, and I’ve just recently experienced the questionable joy of dealing with Roger up-close and in-person.

Roger’s sexual history is complicated. While he was married to his first wife, Phyllis, he had an affair with a woman named Linda. Eventually, Roger left Phyllis and married Linda, with whom he had three children. For the last six years, Roger has been carrying on an affair with a girl not much older than I am: his assistant, named Cathy. Cathy has stuck with Roger this long because she’s convinced that one day he is going to leave Linda for her…after all, he divorced his first wife in order to marry a mistress.

A few months ago, Roger got in trouble with the Dean of Faculty for having sex in his office with Cathy. He actually has a sofa-bed in there. The Dean told him that he had to get rid of the sofa-bed immediately, and that he had to be off-campus by a certain time. This caused much trauma, especially to Cathy, because they now had no place to have sex; she still lives with her parents.

A while ago, before I knew all of this, Roger “noticed” me. He asked me to go for Chinese food with him. Foolishly, I thought this was harmless.

At the restaurant, Roger suddenly leaned toward me, gave me a salacious grin, and said; “So…what kind of men do you like? Do you like older men?”

“Older than what?” I asked, stupidly. “Older than God? Older than dirt? Older than my father?”

Roger laughed and said to never mind, he had his answer. Whatever.

What followed was a series of increasingly more complicated and convoluted meetings, most of which involved Roger, Cathy, and me doing something social like going out for pizza or strolling through the park. It all seemed very innocuous, until one night when Roger approached me in my own office. I believe there was a thunderstorm in the background--it was sort of like in Frankenstein.

He made himself at home in my guest chair and leaned in, lecherously. “I have a proposition,” he said, with an evil smile.

“What’s that?” I asked, wondering if I would get some more Chinese food out of him.

“Cathy and I have been discussing the possibility of bringing in…another person,” he said.

I didn’t get it. “What are you talking about?” I asked.

“Do you write erotica?” Roger asked, as a complete non-sequitor.

“No,” I said, getting concerned.

“Do you think you could write a…scenario…about you, me, and Cathy?”

I told him that I absolutely would not. I had more important (and less gross) work to do. But he was not to be dissuaded:

“I want you to seduce my girlfriend,” he said. “I think we could do it as a drinking game.”

I was completely appalled. I tried to explain to Roger that not only was I not bisexual, I didn’t find him attractive at all (even if I did like “older men”) and refused to have anything to do with him or Cathy.

He meekly went away, and I was safe until the following morning, when I found an erotic paperback titled Caterina In Charge in my mailbox, with a post-it note saying: “Perhaps you’ll find this stimulating and it will inspire you.”

I tracked Roger down and told him in no uncertain terms that if he kept this up, I was going to report him to the Dean of Faculty, who already was out for his head for having sex in his office. Fortunately, this seemed to shut him up, at least for the time being.

The worst thing is that Roger and I share several students, who weirdly speak very highly of him as a professor. I keep wanting to tell them how creepy and scary he is, but that wouldn't get me anywhere.

At least he isn't allowed on campus until after dark.


  • At 1:54 PM, Blogger Rhiannon said…

    OMG. That is so appalling and gross and fascinating all at the same time.

  • At 3:21 PM, Blogger lostdwarf said…

    Hmmm, I think I'll just stick with appalling and gross. You should have reported him anyway. Who knows what he's doing to his students?

  • At 1:45 PM, Blogger Elizabeth Sanford-Anson said…

    I agree with lostdwarf that he should be reported. He continued to sexually harass you after you apparently made it clear you weren't interested. That's totally inappropriate, and I doubt you'd be the first or last person he treated that way.

    I'm curious, how did you know his past sexual/romantic history? Does he tell all his prospective girlfriend-seducers or did you find out through gossip or some other manner?

    I've got to state once more that you really do seem to be surrounded by more than anyone's share of lunatics, sexual deviants, morons and celebrities. I'd say you should have your own reality show, but I guess it would be more like an "alternate reality" show.


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