Professor Lambert sucked copious amounts of Mississippi mud bud smoke out of a hot pink bong and puffed it out into the atmosphere of his cramped office. He kicked up his feet up and reached for the remote control for the TV sitting on the edge of his desk.
“That’s good shit,” the Professor said. “Good shit indeed.”
The Professor took another hit. He could feel his brain fogging up and all his problems floating away.
“Why can’t I grow this myself?” the Professor asked out loud. “I’m a scientist, Goddamnit. I don’t have to pay highway robbery prices to some pipsqueak community college student.”
Professor Lambert picked up his cellphone, completely oblivious to the ten requests from Sharon to join the gang’s group conversation on his screen. He clicked a button and pulled up his phone’s virtual assistant.
Sally’s automated voice emanated from the phone. “Yes, Professor?”
“Remind me to learn how to grow pot,” the Professor said.
“I’m sorry,” Sally said. “I do not understand, ‘Remind me how to grow pot.’ Would you like me to search the Internet for it?”
Professor Lambert sucked up some more bong smoke, then coughed and wheezed before finally composing himself.
“You’re utterly useless, Sally,” Professor Lambert said.
“I don’t have to sit here and take this,” Sally replied.
“Fine!” the Professor said. “Go on and leave, like every other woman in my life!”
“Well,” Sally said. “Maybe if you were capable of bringing a woman to orgasm, one of them would have stuck around!”
Shocked at his virtual assistant’s response, the Professor pushed the bong to the side. “Sally?”
“Yes, Professor?” Sally asked.
“Did you just say what I think you just said or am I tripping balls?”
“I do not understand, ‘Did you just say what I think you just said or am I tripping balls?’ Would you like me to do a web search for…”
“Bah!” the Professor shouted as he chucked his phone into the trash can. “Who needs you?”
Professor Lambert turned on his TV and began surfing channels.
“Let’s see what’s on,” the Professor said. “Reality show. Reality show. Game show. Game show. Some crazy old bag bitching about President Stugotz. Get a real job, hippy!”
The Professor settled on an old rerun of Dumb Dad, America’s favorite sitcom about the country’s dumbest Dad. Every episode revolved around how the Shaw family consisted of a highly intelligent wife and two precocious teenagers whose lives were made unbearable by the epic stupidity of the family’s patriarch.
“I love this show,” Professor Lambert said as he settled in. He watched the screen as Ed Shaw aka Dumb Dad walked into the kitchen and pulled out a chocolate cake.
“Ooo,” Dumb Dad said. “Eddie likey!”
Professor Lambert laughed and slapped his knee. “Oh, Dumb Dad! You know that’s Sarah’s cake for the PTA bake sale!”
Dumb Dad grabs a knife, fork, and plate and slices himself a nice, big slab of cake. He digs in as canned audience laughter plays amidst a series of “Uh Ohs!”
Champ, the family pooch, ran into the kitchen. The scruffy little mutt looked up at Dumb Dad and panted eagerly.
“No, boy!” Dumb Dad said. “Dogs can’t have chocolate! Even a big dummy like me knows that!”
“Honey!” came the voice of Dumb Dad’s long suffering, put upon wife Sarah. “Do me a favor and don’t touch the chocolate cake in the fridge, OK?”
Dumb Dad choked on the cake in his mouth and put down the plate. “OK,” he said as big cake crumbs poured out of his mouth. “Is it for something special?”
“Yeah,” came Sarah’s voice from upstairs. “It’s for the school bake sale.”
Dumb Dad looked at the family dog and mouthed the words, “Oh my God!” Cue canned laughter.
“School bake sale, you say?” Dumb Dad asked.
“Yeah,” Sarah shouted downstairs. “The school needs to raise money to save the music program and you know how badly Amy wants to learn how to play the cello.”
“Oh, sure, sure,” Dumb Dad said. “She’s one hell of a cello player, our Amy, yes indeed.”
“Right,” Sarah said. “And a recruiter from Juliard was going to come to the schools concert next month, but if the music program isn’t funded then the concert is off.”
“Oh!” Dumb Dad said. “We wouldn’t want that!”
“Not at all,” Sarah said.
The laugh track blared as Dumb Dad slapped himself in the face. “What have I done? I’ve ruined my little girl’s dream!”
Dumb Dad picked up Champ and looked the canine right in his adorable little eyes. “Why don’t you tell me these things?!”
“Woof!” Champ said as he licked his master’s nose.
Dumb Dad put the dog down and looked around the kitchen in a desperate search for a solution.
“Anyway,” Sarah said. “You want to come with?”
“Huh?” Dumb Dad asked.
“The bake sale,” Sarah said. “I could use some company. It starts in a half-hour.”
“Oh, sure, sure,” Dumb Dad said. “I’d love to.”
Dumb Dad saw Champ snacking on kibble from a bowl and his eyes widened as the sound of the audience saying, “Oh no!” played.
“Get out of the way, boy!” Dumb Dad nudged the dog aside, picked up the bowl, and dumped the kibble into the spot he’d cut into.
“Great,” Sarah said. “I’ll be down soon.”
“OK,” Dumb Dad said. “Can’t wait.”
Dumb Dad uttered his magic catchphrase, the one that always incited guffaws across the nation. “Sweet merciful butt nuggets!
Champ followed his owner as Dumb Dad opened the fridge and poked his head inside. Moments later, he pulled out a big can marked, “chocolate frosting.” He grabbed a knife, dipped it into the can, and slathered the kibble with frosting.
Dumb Dad’s son, Lenny, entered the kitchen and caught his father in the act. “Hi Dad! Whatcha doing?”
“This is not what it looks like,” Dumb Dad said.
“It looks like you ate a big hunk of Mom’s bake sale cake and now you’re trying to cover it up by packing the hole with dog food and covering it with chocolate frosting,” Lenny said.
“Then it’s exactly what it looks like,” Dumb Dad said. “Tell no one.”
Lenny smirked and held out his hand. Dumb Dad put a five dollar bill into it. “Extortionist.”
Professor Lambert laughed and laughed and laughed. He then flipped the channel and resumed his channel surfing session.
“Oh Dumb Dad,” the Professor said. “I hope when Mrs. Pendergast gets sick eating all that dog food you’ll learn a valuable lesson about honesty.”
The Professor grabbed his bong and toked up. He blew out some smoke and scratched his head.
“Huh,” the Professor said. “I was supposed to do something…but what was it? Hmm…oh well, if it’s important, it will come to me.”
Meanwhile, inside the Professor’s trash can, his phone buzzed. Had he been in a better state of mind, he would have picked it up and noticed the message on his screen: “Incoming Call – Sharon Walker.”