"Doing all right?" I asked.
"We're fine," one turned and smiled. "Just getting started. Thanks."
Both sauntered to the back. Seconds later, The Professor powered off the vacuum cleaner.
A week passed. Mandy and I chatted up front, when I noticed, again, that blue blur. We both turned. It was The Professor, bolting from the Classical Room like he'd heard, "Free cigarettes!" Raced to the Listening Center and began dusting.
"Glad someone's excited about housecleaning," Mandy commented.
We returned to our conversation.
I still didn't get it.
After the third time, watching The Professor bound from his sanctum, hurrying to sort Easy Listening, I mentioned this to Missy.
"Did some pretty girl walk in the store?" she asked.
"Uhhh ... " I thought.
"One or two girls, maybe? Wearing short dresses or tight jeans?" she continued.
"Mmmm ... "
"You're in your own little world up there, aren't you?" she teased me.
"Lot of things to do, not a lot of time," I gestured.
"Look, anytime an attractive female enters the store, The Professor sprints out of his room, then stations himself on the floor. Pretends to be cleaning or tidying, then jumps in their way and offers his services."
"Ha ha. In his dreams."
Missy was correct. In fact, the female staff had already noticed this and often made quick guesses on the rejection button.
"She'll say no with a smile."
"Talks with her hands. She'll wave dismissal."
"Bored, in a hurry, and blonde. Buzz off, loser."
"Score! She's trapped."
Civilization offered many refinements to enhance our lives. Watching clowns flame out was popular with proles.
"Hey, Dude, you should have invited that woman to lunch." I spoke with The Professor.
"Ahhhh, she wasn't my type," he answered.
"She was attractive," I argued. "Late thirties, professional, business suit. Clearly interested in you."
"I have standards," he snapped, testily.
I rolled my eyes. "You're allergic to successful women, with money, who might get moist for you?"
"SSShe was too old, and -- and her body wasn't in the best shape."
"What? You think some nineteen year old coed will give you three seconds? You ever stood in front of the mirror, Big Boy? Stone naked, critique the conglomerated package?"
I couldn't believe I'd said that. The Professor, unclothed. Before a looking glass. Two of him. Suddenly, I felt queasy.
"Well -- Well, I can't help the fact that I possess elevated standards, whereas you are, undoubtedly, more tolerant of mediocrity." Then he marched outside to light up.
Nicotine breath only enhanced the presentation.
For awhile, employees considered chipping in and submitting a "personals ad" for The Professor.
Mid forties, overweight, chain smoking, retail wage earning, classical music expert seeks fashion model, built like a snake. Mediocrities need not apply.
Like so many great notions, this came to nothing. Besides, Mediocrities sounded like a Greek hero.
I never offered him bounce advice again. Worse, I mimicked everyone else in the store. Observed The Professor hurl himself upon Beauty's indifferent facade, only to be cast forth upon the rocks of rejection.
Apologies for the puffery.
After awhile I got fairly sharp at predicting the spurning method generally used.