Written by Morgan Truce

Thursday, 6 January 2005

image for Professor Nouveau En Route to Paris for Lecture Tour
Professor Art Nouveau

The very distinguished historian and gadget collector Professor Art Nouveau will soon begin his much anticipated three continent lecture tour. Traveling by steamship from his home in Brooklyn, New York, Professor Nouveau and his lovely young assistant Miss Maria Simpson are heading for France aboard the fabulous S/S Queen Camilla.

The professor is carrying with him an assortment of secret Mapquest maps, Egyptian board games, a variety of machines that remove the shells from hard-boiled eggs, and his collection of fake diplomas from Brooklyn College, Oxford, Princeton, and the University of Phoenix.

Professor Art Nouveau was recently given an Honorary Degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University for his work on 14th century mating rituals among the natives on the island of Ricola. At the afternoon tea following the award ceremony, Professor Nouveau was introduced to Miss Simpson, a freshman student of history from nearby Hoboken. The two, discovering their common fascination with billiards and photography, immediately hit it off and soon left to spend a weekend in a secluded cottage comparing notes and small hand operated kitchen gadgets.

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Miss Maria Simpson, perfecting her game.

When word got around town that the Professor and his "assistant" were dancing together naked in the garden, a group of ministers soon came calling and the couple had to make a hasty departure from the cottage. Professor Nouveau then used a borrowed French Express debit card to purchase the steamship tickets from a local travel agency.

Miss Simpson found a phone booth and placed a collect call to her parents---who it turns out were delighted to hear of the news that their little Maria was about to embark on a three continent tour with the famous Professor Art Nouveau. Promising that she would mail them a post card once she reached Paris, tearful Maria said goodbye and joined the Professor who was struggling with their four large steamer trunks. After a harrowing trip on six different steetcars and subway trains, Professor Nouveau, Miss Simpson, and their entire luggage ensemble made it to the docks just in time for the departure of the Queen Camilla.

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The magnificent S/S Queen Camilla

After a tour of the engine room and three deck-side fire drills, the Professor and his lovely assistant had dinner with the Captain of the Camilla in the his private quarters. This proved to be quite embarrassing as the Captain insisted on trying to peek up Miss Simpson's evening gown. Managing to extricate themselves from the situation by slipping something into the Captain's drink, Professor Nouveau and Miss Simpson found their way back to their own compartment in steerage. They spent the night in the small single berth, rocking together as the Queen Camilla rolled over the ocean waves on the long, slow voyage to France and all the adventures that lay beyond.

The French postcard that Miss Simpson mailed home to her parents in Hoboken:
Dear Mother and Father,
Having a wonderful time in Paris.
Professor Nouveau introduced me
to two of his old friends. We picnic
together frequently. The four of us
will be coming to stay with you for a
nice long visit this coming fall. Please
prepare the large upstairs bedroom.

Your loving Daughter,


PS: Please tidy up my old crib as well...

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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Topics: New York, Paris

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