Fat Men, Spiders, and Vultures

ACADEME BLOG

Chris Christie and I probably do not have a great deal in common beyond the fact that we are both obese and sometimes unapologetically obnoxious, but when I read that he had “smushed” a spider during a visit to an elementary classroom, I immediately “heard” my wife saying to me, “Please use a paper towel or a kleenex to kill it. Don’t use your bare hand!”

But Governor Christie’s latest brush with public dismay also reminded me of an incident that occurred when I was much earlier in my career.

For reasons that are not worth detailing here, we have always lived about 45 miles from the rural campus at which I teach. In the bad weather, I take an interstate and a four-lane, limited access state highway to the campus. But when the weather is nicer and I am not playing beat the clock, I often take the back…

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