Written by Loren Logsdon
Wednesday, 30 October 2013 00:00
When Bulgy Hypotenuse was returning to Weeder’s Clump late at night, he was flagged down by a desperate young woman named Cordelia Carpenter, whose car had left the road and crashed against a tree at the bottom of a ravine. Bulgy gave Cordelia his jacket and a ride home, but in the course of the trip he developed the hots for her. He dropped her off at the address she had given him, but he failed to make arrangements to see her again, and he dreamed of her all night.
When Bulgy Hypotenuse awoke the next morning, he bathed with Dial, brushed his teeth with Pearly Glitter, used Beast on the Prowl on his underarms, applied Greasy Kid Stuff to his hair, and liberally sprinkled Achilles Foot Powder on his feet. Just as a precaution, he took a wee tincture of Balm of Alacrity because he prided himself on being a regular fellow.
As he was going down the stairs to breakfast humming “Macho Man,” he suddenly remembered that he had the perfect excuse to call on Cordelia, for she had forgotten to give back his jacket when she left his car. Inspired by this unexpected turn of fate, Bulgy hummed “One Way or Another I’m Gonna Getcha, Getcha, Getcha, Getcha” as he drove to Cordelia’s house.
Bulgy got out of the car singing “The Street Where You Live.” He saw a noble dog sniffing a shrub near the house. Feeling generous and confident, Bulgy said to the dog, “Give it your best shot, fella.”
Bulgy rang the bell, believing that he was about to encounter the girl who had dominated his dreams, certain that in the light of day she would see what a magnificent male specimen he was.
After a few minutes, the door opened, and a gray-haired woman asked, “What is wanted?”
Summoning that sullen, underprivileged look of Elvis, Bulgy replied, “Are you Cordelia’s mother?”
“Yes, I am, but there must be some problem,” she said.
“My name is Bulgy Hypotenuse, and I am a senior math major at Heliotrope University. Last night I gave Cordelia a ride home and she forgot to give my jacket back. That jacket is very special to me because it is a Christmas present from the women of Delta Zeta.”
The jacket was actually a ridiculous warm up jacket which featured a drooling, sleazy-looking Sasquatch who was staring at the legs of a lovely young woman in a skimpy bathing suit. To emphasize the lascivious nature of the Sasquatch, the artist had drawn dotted lines from the creature’s bulging eyes to the young woman’s legs. Bulgy had somehow entirely missed the significance of what the women of Delta Zeta were trying to tell him.
The gray-haired woman sighed heavily and said, “I am—or was—Cordelia’s mother, but you must be mistaken about last night. You see, she died in an automobile accident twenty years ago. She was returning home from visiting her best friend at the University of Iowa and her car went off the road and crashed against a tree at the bottom of a ravine. The coroner said she probably died instantly.”
Bulgy shook his head in disbelief, and Mrs. Carpenter invited him to sit down. Then she went into another room and came back with some faded newspaper clippings and a framed photograph. She handed the clippings to Bulgy, who read them carefully.
Sure enough, the news clippings told of the death of Cordelia Carpenter in an automobile accident on the night of October 28, 1985.
Then Mrs. Carpenter handed the photograph to Bulgy. There was no doubt about it. The young woman in the photograph was the same one Bulgy had picked up the night before.
For the first time in his life, Bulgy was speechless.
When Bulgy regained the power of speech, he asked, “What about my jacket?” It suddenly dawned on him that he had a least one detail, one important bit of evidence, to prove that he had not lost his senses.
“I have no idea about your precious jacket. I’m afraid I’m going to ask you to leave and not come back. I would guess that your fraternity brothers are playing a trick on you. College students must have their pranks. They probably think it’s funny, but I don’t. It’s a cruel thing to do to a mother who has lost her only daughter,” Mrs. Carpenter said with tears in her eyes.
Bulgy was completely bewildered as he left the Carpenter home.
To Be Continued
[Professor Logsdon has taught 24 years at Western Illinois University and 27 going on 28 at Eureka College.]
Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 October 2013 14:17