Captain Midnight here, freelance academic and public intellectual.
Himself (or Herr Professor Doktor as he likes to be known these days) and I spent last Thursday morning at Ashridge House with a delightful bunch of ADOC research students, doing stuff about storytelling.
He goes there often and calls it his ‘office’. I think it’s supposed to be a joke but you can never be quite sure with his jejune sense of humour. Here’s a picture of the place in case you’re not familiar with it.
We did our usual double act: me snoozing under the table while he banged on about point of view and narrative arcs and so forth. He’s coming on quite well under my supervision and he needs to find his own voice, so I tend to take a back seat these days and give him a chance to shine. It didn’t go too badly until he laid out his books on the floor to demonstrate his prowess as a writer.
No mention of the deathless prose I contributed to the books, needless to say.
You’d think he’d know better by now, after all it was pretty clear from the welcome we got that it was me the students had been waiting for. They were polite of course, did their best to look interested in what Herr Professor Doktor had to say, but he wasn’t the one who got tickled behind the ears and had his belly rubbed, if you know what I mean.
The students were wonderful, of course: thoughtful, testing questions; great stories; significant inquiries. In short, they put him to the test. Anyway, he got through it without making too much of an idiot of himself, so to celebrate I took him outside and let him off the lead for a bit of ball chucking before bundling him back in the car to go home.
Just another day at the office.