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Showing posts from April 2, 2006

"The Wager," Part 5

(© 1998, 2006, Doug Tarnopol. All rights reserved.)

Parts 1-4 can be accessed here.


Henry came out of his section happy, as usual. He was glad he had talked his committee into letting him TA his second semester. Normally, you had to wait for your second year. Henry loved interacting with the students, and especially enjoyed drawing out the shy ones.

A couple of his students were waiting by the elevator. They asked him if he wanted to go the White Dog for the usual post-section beer. At that moment, a bent figure scurried out of the mail room and spied Henry. Henry groaned inwardly. He begged out of the weekly beer session, blaming work. The elevator carried the students away.

"Hello, Henry. Done with your urchins for the day?"

Randal P. Stoopgoul, professor of Russian Cultural Studies -- not Russian Literature. He insisted on the differentiation.

Stoopgoul had a deformity. His spine was so weak that even the relatively light weight of hi…