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.”
“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?”