Genius popped in for a short interlude this afternoon. He needed some vital accessories that he had left behind. Such as dress shoes for a banquet with the chancellor, and Calculus notes for a study aid.
I did not tell Hick that he was coming. I wanted the visit to be a surprise, what with Hick moping around here sadder than Gizmo under the Christmas tree, stopped from tooting his trumpet and waving his candy cane, right after Stripe spat on him.
The surprise was on me. Genius arrived, but Hick was nowhere to be found. I had sent The Pony looking for him ten minutes earlier. He reported that Hick drove down the gravel road in front of the house on his Gator, with all three dogs barking and running alongside. I figured he would either stop at the BARn, or continue down the road to the mailbox area by the creek. Perhaps see a red Ford Ranger, and say, "That looks like Genius's truck. Wait a minute. It IS Genius!"
That didn't happen. I tried to call him, but was shunted to voice mail. Genius came through the door just like he belongs here. We chatted a few minutes, then he went into his room to pack up his stuff. He was not planning to stay tonight. He'll be back next weekend. "Hey! My bed is made!"
"Oh, that must have been your dad. He goes in there a lot. He really misses you."
I heard the Gator before I saw Hick drive across the front yard. He almost twisted his neck off looking at Genius's truck in the driveway, then at the window to his room. I heard the kitchen door slam. "Genius is home?" He made a beeline for the bedroom. "Are you staying tonight?"
"No. I have some work to do. I needed my Calculus notes. You brought me an empty folder instead of the composition book I asked for."
"Oh. I knew it was empty. But it said 'Calculus' on the front. I figured you wanted it for your notes."
"No. I've been looking online all week for help. So I came to get my notes."
They came out to the living room. "Did you know he was coming?"
"Yeah. I wanted it to be a surprise, and then you disappeared."
"I was taking a nap down in my cabin."
"That must have been a short nap. Just ten minutes before, you were riding your Gator from the direction of Buddy's house."
"Oh. Well, I went up to look around at the house where they found the head in the septic tank."
Genius turned to look at me. "He went to look at the head in the septic tank." A look that said, Same ol' Dad.
"I know the head isn't there anymore. I just went to look."
Something about this alibi stinks more than a head in a septic tank. Nobody takes a nap in a cabin without electricity when the temperature is 95 degrees. Even a ten-minute nap. Still, Hick suffered punishment enough, what with missing out on ten minutes more with his boy home from college.
We heard tales of survival concerning mysterious laundry spots, dining hall rip-offs, an overabundance of mini-fridges, the upcoming honors banquet, and next weekend's electrical engineering ersatz Easter-egg hunt with radio transmitters instead of eggs. Hick grilled some burgers and hot dogs on Gassy-G, I carved up some strawberries suitable for sugar-dipping, and we sent Genius off with $40 gas money and stray quarters for laundry.
He looked great. He sounded great. I think college life is agreeing with him.