Posted by: stillironic | December 11, 2009

South of the Border University—2

Finishing up the backstory, Gregor hadn’t deliberately chosen South of the Border U as a place to work. He had followed “Visit South of the Border” signs all through North Carolina in anticipation of stopping at the roadside attraction—who knew, maybe his parents worked there.

But near the border with South Carolina, he drove into a violent downpour and missed the exit. An exit later he followed a sign to the university, which led him to a kiosk where he noticed an advertisement for the groundskeeper job. On the spot he decided to apply for it, despite a nagging feeling that he should be looking for work in his field.

* * *

Roland Roscoe: First-Class Suck-Up

When Gregor first arrived at SOB U., the campus buildings looked temporary—having been intended as temporary when built years earlier. Now, in Gregor’s third year at SOB, they stood newly clad in fake brick siding to spruce up the campus for the arrival of Dr. Solomon R. Metzger. Metzger was a global warming specialist, who would be teaching at the university’s ag school, the College of Beyond Belief, which also housed the grounds-keeping facility. The university president, Clarence Izzard, a stocky, sallow-faced alcoholic who reminded Gregor of a basset hound, had come up with what everyone who was the least bit sycophantic called a brilliant idea: to change the university’s name to Iceberg U.

Actually the idea hadn’t come from Izzard himself. It was the brainchild of one of Izzard’s assistants, the moon-faced Roland Roscoe, who liked to refer to himself in the third person. Although the president didn’t exactly like Roscoe or even find him particularly competent, he was a first-class suck-up.


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