Role Model in Reverse

Back when I was a young, naive lad of 35, I embraced as my role model an author famed for his language-humor columns and books. He was doing what I loved—punning and word-playing—and, amazingly, he was making a living at it. So I was thrilled when I learned he was coming to speak at the university where I taught. I was going to get to hobnob with my ideal self. Before I actually met him, I heard he had asked one of my colleagues, the visit’s sponsor, to launder his underwear for him. This was unsettling. I had associated him with a superhero’s cape—not skivvies. Suddenly, Super Punster seemed more like Captain Underpants. You might say he lost some of my respect—but only briefly. He regained some stature when he offered to speak to individual classes and I was able to schedule him to address my own English 101 students. What a treat this would be. He arrived at my classroom with an armload of his own books and immediately began propping them up against the blackboard at the front of the room. I had expected he would make a presentation both entertaining and educational. But what he actually did … Continue reading Role Model in Reverse