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I worked with a guy, at a bookstore in the art supplies department, when I was in grad school. He had been a university art professor for several years in "Nashville, Tennis-shoe". He had stories to tell, lots of them, and I think I heard most of them, multiple times. Mostly, we had a good time working together. He was always telling me that I need to "up my beer ration".


Young art and design students would come in, regularly, and we both got to know them. There were a lot of very pretty female "Viz-Com" students. They'd come looking for some very specific type and brand of whatever - a nib for a pen, lead for a mechanical pencil, a Pink Pearl Eraser.


Bob would ask them "Did you learn anything in college today?", and they'd look at him and smile. "Did you use a motif?" That one would always result in a cute little giggle. Of course, after you heard it ten times... it started to lose its charm. But it wasn't anything serious. He was happily married with a little daughter. It was a pretty boring job, although at least there was contact with students, and in a way, there was some teaching involved. He interacted with them and they trusted him as someone who knew what he was talking about, not just trying to make a sale.


I always wondered whatever happened to him. I'd heard that he "taught out at Kish" (Kishwaukee Community College) for awhile, part-time. Maybe he told me that. He always wanted to teach at the university, but that just never happened. I Googled him and found out that he died a few years ago, had a heart attack. Way too young.


I think about him, and it usually brings a smile to my face - "Did you use a motif?"

What a pickup line! Wish I could get my hands on some Blatz!