93 Men in a Boat (70) – The Return of the Learned Professor

Just once in a while it is inevitable that one will come across people that you have cruised with before. Normally this is quite a pleasurable experience. Sometimes it is otherwise, but just every so often a nightmare will raise its ugly head.

Such is the case when we had the occasion to meet, once again, the Learned Professor of whom I have written previously (see number 63). Usually I would not revisit such a person in this series, but on this occasion I feel that I need to make an exception – because he’s got worse!

Not only has his enormous ego got bigger and his manners deteriorated, but he’s also learned to patronise and insult the other passengers, and has turned into the Front Seater. Every trip we went on, there he was elbowing his way to the front to get the best seat on the bus, the best view on the boat, the best table in the restaurant…

On his first evening out, he informed a fellow diner who had the temerity to disagree with him that he was “not prepared to enter into debate with someone so narrow minded” which was rather ironic as he is a Professor of History and his target had a degree in same.

Needless to say, he was not discouraged in the slightest. The other speaker was described as “a lightweight who did not belong here” and the guests collectively were apparently “intellectual pygmies“. Such arrogance seemed to know no bounds!

As the paragon of tact that you know me to be, I naturally held my tongue – until he elbowed his way to the front of the priority queue at the airport check-in to try and blag an upgrade. At this point I simply told him to piss off!

At this point the bloke in the queue behind me in the queue said to me “He’s a very important person, you know!” “Really?” I replied. “Yes,” said he, “but only in his own head!”

I gave him a cheery wave and a sweet smile as he walked through our cabin on the aircraft on his way back into steerage…


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