I promised a post about a drunk asshole, didn't I? Way back in the summer, I mentioned my department was going to be having a speaker who'd interviewed me at last year's APA, and who I'd spent a good chunk of time talking to. His department (like everyone else's) didn't give me a flyout. I was going to have to go out to dinner with the guy and make with the chit-chat, and I was worried it'd be weird or awkward or humiliating or annoying. I know, I know--this sort of thing goes on all the time, and it's no big deal. But still, I'd never actually done it before and I wasn't sure what to expect. It wasn't something I was looking forward to.
I had nothing to worry about. The guy remembered exactly who I was and what I worked on, he was as personable as I remembered, and he very kindly and very discreetly complimented me on my work but explained (what I, of course, already knew) that his department decided they needed someone with a totally different set of AOSs than mine.
Actually, no, I just made that up. Although still, I had nothing to worry about.
I got to the restaurant about fifteen minutes after this guy, who I'll call the Drunk Asshole, and by that time he was already finishing his second drink. He wasn't really interested in talking to anyone at the table besides a cute VAP, who's a good friend of mine, and who's young enough to be the daughter he decided to have relatively late in life. Appetizers came, and before they were done, there were a couple more empty glasses beside DA's plate. And all the while, he couldn't take his eyes off C.VAP. Seriously. There were more than half a dozen people sitting at that table, all asking him questions about his talk, but every slurred syllable that came out of his mouth was spoken to her.
Meanwhile, C.VAP was doing her best not to puke on the table, which would have been a perfectly sane response to DA's bulgy-eyed stare, and she was shooting him these killer "Fuck Off, You Gross, Old Drunk Asshole" looks. (Presumably tenure means being able to say it out loud.) The looks were almost making it through his gin-haze, at least before he had more to drink. So at one point, DA wrenched his eyes off C.VAP long enough to peer at me, wondering why I looked vaguely familiar. "My chance!", I thought, and tried to introduce myself. But I couldn't get my whole name out before his eyes were flickering back to C.VAP, studiously avoiding her killer look by focusing well below her face. He asked what I work on (or at least, I assumed the question was for me, since he was speaking directly to C.VAP's top, which doesn't do philosophy, being, as it is, a shirt), but by the time I got through my AOSs, I gave up. There was just no hope that I'd get through a few sentences about how we'd met before, we talked about blah, blah, blah, and how was that project of his coming along? No hope at all.
Later on that night, after the senior faculty had all gone to bed, C.VAP, the Future Dr. Mrs. Dr., me, and some other people were drinking beer and making jokes at the DA's expense. And what I realized was, I can't really say I'm sorry not to be that guy's colleague.