On his way to the washroom Kyle spotted Dr. Phelge sitting at the bar drinking a Heineken. As soon as Kyle had finished with the washroom he sat in a vacant bar stool next to Professor Phelge.
The professor seemed preoccupied. He looked like a man deeply engrossed in some heavy contemplation.
“Hello, sir. I’m Kyle Jackson. I’m taking one of your biology classes this term.”
Dr. Phelge turned around slowly in his seat and broke out of his reverie.
“What did you say your name is, son?” asked the professor.
“Kyle, sir, Kyle Jackson. I’m in slot two of introductory biology.”
I think I recognize you Kyle, but I can’t be sure. There’s one hundred and twenty students taking that course.”
“Of course, sir, I understand. If you don’t mind sir, I need some advice on a research paper I want to work on,” explained Kyle.
“Well, you’re a step ahead of me son. I have just started a one year sabbatical today. As a condition of my continuing to receive a pay cheque during my leave, I need to submit a proposal for a research project of my own, “said Dr. Phelge. Of all the professors in this university why did you pick me? From what I’ve been hearing I haven’t been winning any popularity poles lately.”
“It’s your knowledge, experience and expertise,” Dr. Phelge,” Kyle answered.
“Okay, I’m half way through my second bottle of Heineken and now I’m curious. Do you smoke, Kyle?”
“Yes, I do, sir,” answered Kyle.
“Why don’t we take our drinks and move outside to the court yard tables. I can remember a time when you could smoke practically anywhere. In the good old days we could even smoke in our offices and in the classrooms,” said the professor. “Oh, where did I leave my manners? What can the waiter get you to drink?”
“ A Jack Daniels and a Coke would be great,” said Kyle settling himself into his outdoor chair.
It was a beautiful day with plenty of sunshine and a refreshing breeze blowing.
“Well, Kyle this is my first day of sabbatical leave and here I am still talking shop,” said Lionel.
“If you would like to talk about my research project at a time more convenient for you, that’s not a problem sir,” said Kyle.
“Well, when I first got here my intention was to sit by myself and get completely hammered. But now it’s time for Plan B. I want to hear what you have in mind for your research project, so fire away,” said Dr. Phelge carefully packing his Borkum Riff tobacco into his favorite white Meersham pipe, the one with the king’s head carved on the outside of the bowl.
“I want to do an in depth investigation of Ogopogo, sir,” said Kyle.
“Well, that topic will be a challenge. It’s been quite well researched already. And as you probably already know, or will quickly find out, the scientific community as a whole does not take the study of sea serpents and lake monsters very seriously. What they want to see is a captured live specimen,” said the professor taking a few quick puffs from his pipe.