FORD PHELEN

Abelard Spado, the head of the philosophy department, introduced Ford to the rest of the staff. “Dr. Toyboat-Toyboat there is our property dualist.” Benedick Toyboat-Toyboat merely grunted. “And next to him is his spouse, Dr. Toyboat-Toyboat, a substance duelist.”

Lolling back in her chair, her legs crossed, her right arm draped casually over the chair beside her, Beatrice Toyboat-Toyboat gave Ford a look that would have ignited any nearby piles of old, oily rags. “And what school do you adhere to … Mr. Phelan?”

At this point it should be noted that Ford Phelan was what one might as well just give up and describe as tall, dark, and handsome; and, moreover, far too virile to ever be pictured shirtless in an Abercrombie & Fitch® store window. His prenatal environment was blessed with an unusually elevated level of testosterone, and as a result he was six-feet-one, a hundred-and-eighty pounds, raven-haired, with brown eyes and an angular chin and cheekbones. Inevitably he was left shadowed by five o’clock.

“Me?” Ford replied. “Oh, I’m just a junior lecturer. I don’t claim to propound one interpretation more than another. I’m here to learn as much as to teach.”

“Hmmph,” grumbled Mr. Toyboat-Toyboat. He seemed to have taken an instant dislike to Ford.