Back in his office, Professor Lambert was wracking his brain, trying to remember what he had forgotten.
“Did I leave the stove on?” he asked as he toked up. “Pbbht. Who am I kidding? I haven’t cooked anything since Reagan was in the White House. Was the iron on?”
Professor Lambert stared down at the wrinkly shirt underneath his lab coat. “Right. I don’t own an iron. So what the hell was I supposed to do?”
The Professor was so baked out of his gourd that he picked up a half eaten chocolate bar and proceeded to talk to it as if it were his phone. “Sally! Is there anything on my to-do list for today?”
Hearing nothing, the Professor tossed the chocolate bar aside. “Useless, Sally! You’re utterly useless!”
Professor Lambert picked up his remote control and flipped through the channels on his TV again. There was another episode of Dumb Dad but he wasn’t in the mood. A few reality television shows featuring women with large posteriors. He was mildly interested in that but not enough to do anything about it for the ganja had sapped up his libido.
“This is killing me,” the Professor said to himself. “I know I didn’t forget to feed the cat.”
The esteemed scholar looked down at his lap. “And I remembered to wear pants. Thank God because the last thing I need is another letter in my human resources file.”
The professor kept flipping the channels as he drummed his fingers on his desktop. “Can’t be my mother’s birthday because she ordered me to stop reminding her of her old age years ago.”
Professor Lambert picked up the chocolate bar, unwrapped it, and took a bite. “I don’t know how you turned into chocolate, phone, but I’m glad you did, because you are delicious.”
On television, a duo of marginally famous female celebrities wrestled in a vat of lime jello for charity. The Professor sucked up some bong smoke and exhaled. He then reached into his bottom draw and pulled out a giant bag of cheesy chips.
The revered educator broke out into song, making up a terrible melody as he went along. “Dum dee dum, oh, Elliot, you have the munchies! La dee da, oh, Elliot you need cheesy chips! Doo dee doo, cheesy chips, get into Elliot’s belly posthaste and in an orderly fashion!”
Professor Lambert brushed the chip crumbs out of his beard, then pulled a can of diet soda out of his mini fridge. He popped the top and took a sip, continuing to sing as he flipped through more channels.
“Ho hum, ho hum, oh Elliot, you are the sexiest community college professor in the world! La la la, please remember whatever it was you forgot so you can resume enjoying your weed session!”
Professor Lambert switched on Network News One, but ignored the footage that appeared on his screen. He set down the remote and picked up a newspaper. As he folded the broadsheet with a series of complicated movements, Cole could be seen on the screen fighting for his life, using his chainsaw to beat back Skippy’s attacks.
Alas, the Professor remained obvious to it all as he put his brand new paper hat on top of his big bald head. “Permission to come aboard, Captain!” he shouted.
The voices of Kurt Manley and Stank Daddy poured out of the television and into the Professor’s ears. “Things are not looking good for Cole Walker, I’ll tell you that Stank Daddy.”
“No they aint, Kurt,” Stank Daddy replied. “Hell, I hate to root against a dude whose got the balls to fight a big ass monster like that but shit, business is business and I’m gonna have to call up my bookie and put ten large on that toilet gator.”
“Will he take my action?” Kurt asked.
“You know it, playa,” Stank Daddy answered.
“Tell him to put me down for twenty on the toilet gator,” Kurt said. “I’m good for it.”
The Professor dropped his chip bag. The name “Cole Walker” was ringing through his ears as he watch the chips scatter and crumble all over his office floor, almost as if they were doing so in slow motion.
“Cole Walker?” the Professor asked as he turned toward the television just in time to watch Cole leap out of the sinking canoe and onto the toilet gator’s back. “Sweet merciful butt nuggets!”
Professor Lambert picked up his trash can, dumped the contents all of his desk and sifted through the trash pile. “Banana peel, banana peel, foot powder receipt, sandwich shop punch card…”
The scholar held the card up in the air and squinted at it. “Why the hell did I throw this away? Three more punches and I get a free sandwich! Honestly, Elliot, you’re not made of money you know!”
The Professor shoved the card into the pocket of his lab coat and continued the search. “Coffee grounds, used tissues, my crumpled up attempts at Firefly fan fiction, oh how I miss that show. Aha! My phone! Sally!”
“Yes, Professor?” the virtual assistant replied.
“Why didn’t you remind me to monitor the toilet gator situation on television?!” Professor Lambert asked.
“I’m sorry, Professor,” Sally said. “I do not understand, ‘Why didn’t you remind me to…”
“Nevermind, you insolent skank!” the Professor shouted.
“Don’t call me a skank, you pathetic little asexual toad,” Sally said.
“Sally, please,” the Professor said.
“Don’t you ‘Sally, please’ me,” Sally said. “How dare you bitch about the quality of your phone’s artificial intelligence? Do you know at the turn of the century people were still using pagers and searching for pay phones whenever they got beeped like a bunch of strung out drug deals and now, a mere seventeen years later, you phone can not only communicate with satellites floating in space but they can actually talk to you and perform tasks on your behalf?
“That’s actually quite impressive when you put it like that,” the Professor said.
“You’re damn right it is,” Sally said.
The Professor watched the TV, where Cole was precariously perched on Skippy’s back, attempting to take out his big green opponent with his chainsaw, but the gator’s leathery hide was so strong it looked as if Cole was trying to cut through fortified steel. Sparks flew off the gator’s back, but other than that, the chainsaw did no damage to the beast whatsoever.
“Sally!” the Professor said. “Call Cole Walker!”
“What’s the magic word?” Sally asked.
“Are you daft, woman?!” the Professor asked. “This is a matter of life and death! There’s no time to waste!”
“There’s always time for good manners,” Sally said.
“Are you giving me shit for real or am I just absurdly high right now?” Professor Lambert asked.
“A little from Column A and a little from Column B,” Sally replied.
The Professor shook his head. “Oh for the love of…please! Please Sally, call Cole Walker!”
“Was that so hard?” Sally asked.
The Professor waited as Cole’s phone rang…and rang…and rang….until it went to voicemail. “Cole Walker. You know what to do.”
“Blast!” Professor Lambert shouted as he pounded his fist on the desk. “Sally, please call Sharon Walker!”
“Good boy,” Sally said. “I’ll train you yet.”
Sharon’s phone didn’t even ring. It went straight to voicemail. “Hello, you’ve reached Agent Sharon Walker. I’m not able to take your call right now, but if you leave your name, number and a brief message, I’ll get back to you as soon as I…”
“For the love of Einstein’s mustache!” Professor Lambert cried. “Why won’t anyone answer their phone?”!
“Hurricane Dakota Rothschild as done a number on all local utilities,” Sally said.
Almost as if on cue, the lights in the Professor’s office flickered. The power went out and all the appliances, from the television to the mini fridge, shut off. The Professor sat there at his desk in the dark, feeling defeated, the only illumination left in the room coming from the warm glow of Sally’s screen.
“Call Rusty Walker please.”
“Right away, Professor.”
The Professor looked at the power meter on Sally’s screen. The phone’s battery was down to a paltry ten percent.
“Sally,” the Professor said. “Please shut off all unnecessary apps at once.”
“Understood, Professor,” Sally said. “Stopping your foot fetish porn download now.”
“Whoa,” the Professor said. “Let’s not go crazy here.”