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The Professors

DEAN PETER MICHAELSON sits at his university office desk, looking troubled. Enter PROFESSOR MCDERMOTT and PROFESSOR QUIGGAN. MCDERMOTT carries a Rosenberger's iced tea half gallon (open, partly drunk) and is chewing on a Dunkin' Donuts straw. QUIGGAN is also carrying an iced tea. Both are wearing gray sweatpants, white sneakers and have a cigarette behind the ear. 

MCDERMOTT: Yo, Dean Michaelson.

QUIGGAN: Dean Michaelson.

DEAN: Professor McDermott. Professor Quiggan. Please sit down. Would you like a drink?

MCDERMOTT: I'm good, Wawa had a two for one.

DEAN: Professors, I received a complaint about your class today. 



MCDERMOTT and QUIGGAN (rapidly, one after the other): No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

DEAN: A student named Pamela Winters came to my office this morning and said that she tried to enter the lecture hall for your History of Ancient Philosophy class and that you, Professor Quiggan, physically prevented her from entering, while you, Professor McDermott, said to her, quote, "Do you want me to cut a bitch?"

QUIGGAN: Yeah, that happened.

MCDERMOTT: Yeah, I said that.

DEAN: Professors, this is a serious violation of our university code of decorum.

MCDERMOTT: I'm sorry, Dean Michaelson, I don't mean any disrespect, aight? But lemme lay it out for you exactly the way it happened.

QUIGGAN: Listen.

MCDERMOTT: So I'm up there way early cause we're doing Presocratics today, I got my notes, I got my slides, I'm ready. I had my 5 Hour Energy and a egg and cheese.

QUIGGAN: I was working the door.

MCDERMOTT: It was his turn. I don't always do the lecture, we take turns. I don't wanna take all the glory.

QUIGGAN: We're a team.

MCDERMOTT: I'm talking about Thales through Parmenides, the rising levels of trust in pure reason, I'm in the zone, all eyes on me. Five minutes, I'll say it again, FIVE MINUTES, into my lecture this "student" arrives to my class. And she is talking on her cell phone.

QUIGGAN: On her phone.

MCDERMOTT: As she comes in the door.

QUIGGAN: In the door.

DEAN: So that's when you hurled the threat at her. 

MCDERMOTT: It's not a threat. It's a statement of fact. You don't walk late into my lecture hall like some pregnant sophomore from St. Hubert's coming into a Father Judge basketball game during the third quarter cause you been drinking Natty Ice in the parking lot. That's not how it goes in here.

QUIGGAN: Dean Michaelson, it's about respect. We take our work very seriously. We're not gonna allow these kids who been dirtying this earth for what, eighteen years, to piss all over the beautiful ancient intellectual field of Classical Studies.

DEAN: So you physically prevented the student from coming any further into the classroom.

QUIGGAN: That's why I'm at the door. This is class. It ain't no beef and beer.

DEAN: Professor McDermott, Winters claims that you also said to her, quote, "Tell your boyfriend I know what el stop he gets off at." 



MCDERMOTT: I mean we don't really know, it's just to get the point across.

QUIGGAN: Right. She might not have a boyfriend.

DEAN: Professors, you are going to have to issue an official apology.



MCDERMOTT and QUIGGAN (rapidly, one after the other): No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

MCDERMOTT: Dean, do you really want to push us on this?

DEAN: I'm afraid I have no choice.

QUIGGAN: Do you know how much money we bring to this university?

DEAN: A lot.

MCDERMOTT: Let me just run through this for you okay. Guggenheim Fellowship, 2015. Distinguished Professorship Award, four years running. And as of last Saturday... People's Choice!

(MCDERMOTT and QUIGGAN high five)

QUIGGAN: We got articles every month in the nation's top classical studies journals. We got forty million followers on Twitter, new lectures going out every Monday on YouTube. 

MCDERMOTT: Everybody wants us. The president of Harvard just sent me a box of grapefruits. Grapefruits.

QUIGGAN: But we don't wanna leave Penn. This is the top research university around.

MCDERMOTT: Plus you got two Wawas. 

QUIGGAN: Is it just two?

MCDERMOTT: I think it's two.

(They nod)

DEAN: PROFESSORS. We cannot allow this to go public without some sort of disciplinary action.

MCDERMOTT: Dean, if we go down, the whole Classical Studies program goes down. You know the only reason the university still funds this department is because of us.

QUIGGAN: You mess with us, your job is done. And I know Carol ain't gonna be happy if you guys lose the house in Stone Harbor.

MCDERMOTT: And we CERTAINLY are not gonna talk about "apologies" if we haven't even talked about tenure.

DEAN: If you want to talk about tenure, we have to talk about splitting you two up. Teach classes separately.



MCDERMOTT and QUIGGAN (rapidly, one after the other) No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

QUIGGAN: We been workin together since senior year of high school when Mr. Morano got fired for chattin on AIM with the captain of the girls volleyball team. 

MCDERMOTT: None of the other teachers knew Latin so we said, yo, we got this.

(They high five)

DEAN: If you do not cooperate with me on this apology, the mere possibility of tenure is out of the question.

MCDERMOTT: Dean Michaelson. You think that we went through all those years getting our Ph.D, bustin our butts to scrape by, hawkin pretzels on the Boulevard - sellin scrap at the metal yard - 


MCDERMOTT: You think we accepted the Fulbright and did that boat trip doing field research in Cyprus so that you could play with us like this?

QUIGGAN: I got seasick.

MCDERMOTT: You think our dissertation on the Insignificance of the Crossing of the Rubicon, which took two and a half years of blood, sweat, and tears --

QUIGGAN: It gave me a lazy eye. 

MCDERMOTT: --and was published in fifteen countries, translated into ten languages, held up as a model of modern intellectual thought--

QUIGGAN: I skipped Irish Weekend 09 to finish that. 

MCDERMOTT: --was written so we can let some little girl wearing nonprescription frames direct our academic legend? Is that what you're tellin me?  Because I will call up Grapefruit Boy at Harvard. If you don't want these minds these minds can go elsewhere.

QUIGGAN: Elsewhere.

MCDERMOTT: We're not apologizing, we want the Winters chick expelled, and we want tenure. It's your choice, Dean. 

QUIGGAN: Your wife wants that shore house, Dean.

DEAN (hesitating): All right! All right! I'll expel Winters. Dammit!

MCDERMOTT and QUIGGAN high five. DEAN holds his head in his hands.

QUIGGAN: How is Carol? She got Lasik, right?

MCDERMOTT: Yo, is she gonna host the Department social this summer at the shore house?

QUIGGAN (excited) Remember those cookies with the lemon icin'?

MCDERMOTT: I stole like the whole plate dumped it in my backpack.



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