ask Knox: lust letters and puppets
I am a low-level member of the faculty at a well-respected university. Sometime in the recent past I spent over an hour counseling a student on his career path during specially arranged office hours. After this meeting, the student dropped my class. I’ll be perfectly frank, I was a little hurt and felt slightly misused, as so few of my academic peers would have taken the time and effort to listen to any student, especially one who approached them with questions about puppets (not the subject of my class). To his credit, the student sent a brief but kind apology with a vague explanation, referring to his plans to graduate at the end of the quarter.
Now, several months later, I received from my former pupil a video of himself fucking and ejaculating on the face and breasts of a Jim Henson style puppet. While his brief introduction to the clip said otherwise, this strange gift to my inbox was obviously some kind of a flirtation. Legal issues aside, I’m at a loss as to how to respond to this situation. Do I ignore him? Do I report him to the authorities? Do I invite him back to my office for especially special office hours? Please consider the following pieces of information in your answer:
1. I did not and do not find the incorporation of puppets into the sexual idiom in any way arousing. However, I did not find it so comic as to remove the charge of other sexual content.
2. I found the nude and erect version of my student to be not unattractive and not at all lacking in desirable assets.
3. This young man, in his previous incarnation as my student, was exceptionally clever and an excellent writer. I don’t know if you, Mr. Dupree, have ever had to grade so many hundreds of papers written by lazy morons that you considered ending your life prematurely because the future of world in the hands of this next generation was most certainly doomed anyway. But as someone who has been in such a mental state too many times, when I get a paper that is eloquent and thoughtful and lucid, I am so relieved and grateful that I have been known to exclaim aloud (in the privacy of my office, of course), “Thank you God! I could fuck whoever wrote this paper!”
As per your request, here are a few of my thoughts concerning your inquiry. First, I think that a video such as the one you received in your inbox is a far more thoughtful and flattering gift than you might realize. It sure beats the shit out of a Hallmark e-card, a teddy bear, a cheap bouquet of flowers, or a rancid box of chocolates. I am afraid that you cannot, in good conscience, ignore it. Furthermore, notifying the authorities would be rash and ultimately inadvisable. If I were you I would opt for the especially special office hours. For starters, you would not have written me to begin with unless you were leaning toward this sensual option. In reviewing the content of your letter it is evident that the young man in question is creative, clever, presumably well-equipped, and, to top it all off, an excellent writer. In other words, he embodies all of the salient characteristics of a stud. I would be shocked if you told me that his audacious and assiduous advance wasn’t remarkably arousing. To turn him away from your verdant pasture would be an unspeakable disservice to both him, and, more importantly, you. Having had my own fair share of trysts, romps, flings, and meaningless casual encounters with students while I was a college professor, I can attest firsthand that the bodies and minds of our brightest young people will, without our careful consideration and tender instruction, go to waste. With that said I wish you all the best in your imminent afternoon of blissful transgression.
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