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The Unwilling Professor by Arthur Porges

The "Professor" had braved great perils to reach Earth, and believed he knew what he was up against. But he hadn't counted on the menace of Fatty Schultz and Irv Lece.


by Arthur Porges

(_illustrated by Milton Luros_)

On that fateful afternoon Fatty Schultz and Irv Lece had cut their last classes, and were taking a gloomy walk together, scrambling through the scrubby brush well behind the athletic field.

There were good reasons for their unhappiness. Fatty was failing in Calculus II with a velocity that varied directly as the square of the number of lectures attended. Irv's math instructor had informed _him_, with a kind of loathing respect, that his only salvation lay in recommencing the study of arithmetic--taking five or ten years in the process--and then retiring to a cave for perhaps another fifteen in the vain hope of digesting, through meditation and prayer, the multiplication table. After that, Irv might be ready for elementary algebra, but not, the professor hoped to a merciful God, in this unfortunate institution of higher learning.

As a matter of fact, the whole of their fraternity, Omega Pi Upsilon (usually referred to on campus as "Oh, P-Yu") was in the same boat regarding almost every subject offered at Bateman College. Bateman had courses that ranged from Aardvark Breeding to Zythum Brewing, but no field of knowledge troubled them more than mathematics.

Hence the long face on Irv Lece. Fatty's visage also strove to elongate, but simply wasn't built for such an accomplishment. Instead, his piggy little eyes, ordinarily glowing with a kind of coarse good-humor, were now smouldering with resentment.

They had just seated themselves in a small clearing, where Fatty, after setting his calculus text on a grassy mound, began to heave rocks at it, when there was a whistling scream, a jarring _whump_, and before their bulging eyes a small disc lay crumpled, barely ten yards away.

A shrill creaking came from this odd craft, which looked like a manhole-cover some eight feet in diameter and twenty inches thick. Then, as they stared in wonder, a badly-sprung port opened crazily, and a small rabbit flopped out. It may be stated here that the creature was not actually a rabbit, but that any difference between the disc's pilot and an ordinary cottontail was imperceptible to the naked eye.

For a moment the rabbit swayed drunkenly, its big eyes cloudy, then it hopped towards Fatty, preferring, perhaps, his larger gravitational field over Irv's. Extending one snowy paw, it squeaked: "Good afternoon, gentlemen. Permit me to introduce myself. I am a good-will ambassador from Venus, and by your conventions should be addressed as 'Professor.' My name," he added a trifle pompously, "is Iglowt P. Slakmak, and I hold degrees comparable to your PhD, LLD, and M. D." All this in a very British accent.

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