If the word “Kalamazoo” prompts you to imagine a child’s musical toy, skip this post. But if it makes you hyperventilate and run to double-check obscure citations, the cruel wit of Herr Professor Doktor Boethius P. von Korncrake may divert you as May 10 approaches:

Yes, I am complicit in this enterprise, but to my credit I have taken the honorable route of making my presentations unusually unintelligible. My papers, when read out loud, are nothing more than 20 mintues of unadulterated tosh, a fact which saves me incalcuable amounts of time in the writing, and confounds my audience into utter silence in the hearing.

One would imagine that my listeners would rise up as a body and cast me from the academy as a charlatan, but show me a single academic who is brave enough to say, in front of his colleagues, “I don’t understand,” and I’ll send immediate notice to my friend Diogenes to extinguish his lamp.

If Herr Professor waxes too cynical for you, revive your tarnished idealism with an optimistic medieval pick-up line (“Woldstow haue me shyfte thyne voweles?”) from one of my favorite bloggers, Geoffrey Chaucer. (Where have you been lately, Chaucer? I miss your posts).

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