Dirtbagification (E.D. #123)

I was teaching four of my students how to scrounge in the unclaimed lost and found this week:

“Red-marked bags.  Go for it.”

“Dates of more than a month ago?”

“Yeah, and don’t worry.  You can wash the smell out of that long underwear if you want to.”

So I’m becoming a dirtbag professor.

I push my glasses up on the bridge of my nose and clear my throat.  Pull up the too-large pants I’ve been wearing for the past three weeks straight.

“Ehhemm, class, free food is never rotten.  The idea of rotten food is a fallacy of the establishment.”

A girl in front raises her hand.  “It can’t be rotten?”

“Not if you found it.”

“Okay.”  She jots notes.

A boy in the corner raises his hand.  “Why are we not spending money, even if we have it?”

The class snickers.

I say, “Good question.  Important.  We aren’t spending money on anything we can get for free.”

“But why not?”

I try not to sound snotty.  “Because we’re buying time, Sir.  Time to climb.  Time to read.  Time not working.”


“Plus,” I add, “We like to be dirty.”

“Dirty, Sir?”

“Yes, dirty.  We enjoy being filthy.  Black fingernails.  Unwashed clothes.  Oily hair.  These things make life more enjoyable.  Leaning against a rock.”

He repeats, “Leaning against a rock, all nasty?”

I say, “Precisely.  Any other questions, class?”



One thought on “Dirtbagification (E.D. #123)

  1. Pete, I want to learn to do more of this as it was SO MUCH FUN dumpster diving with you kids in Tucson! But I have to admit that I am a tiny bit more squeamish as I age. Any advice?


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