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Dale woke up with Peggy jabbing him in the ribs.
"WHAT! What?" He looked around, "Oh, ... geee ... Go Away."
Kremin was sitting on the other bed, he held up a sign, 6.9.
"Six Nine." Kremin said, "how about the other judges? Yes, Seven two, and a seven five. Not good enough for the gold, but a shoe in for the silver make-out medal."
Dale threw his pillow at Kremin but it hit his roommate in the face.
Peggy sat up. "What's going on?"
"Loverboy didn't come home last night. His mother and I were worried about him." Kremin put his arm around Jimbo and smiled. "Where did you spend the night Casanova?"
"In the library." Dale said flatly.
"Yeah. Right. What did you study. Anatomy and Physiology?" Jimbo said with a sour face.
"No smarty, we studied 'Sex in the Microfilm Room' a play by Leo VanStreet. Maybe you've seen it." Peggy said sharply.
"Bull." Dale's room mate spoke up, "Peggy your roommate called, she wanted to know were you were."
"I was at the library."
Dale then did something he couldn't believe he did. Neither could anybody else in the room, including Peggy. He pulled her over on him and tried to kiss her lipstick off.
Dr. Wilson stepped over an empty beer keg on his way to the front door, he was readying his speech.
"Hey Doc Wilson. Welcome Aboard. Have a beer."
"Thanks Hairy." He looked in the door. "You guys know the drill, Turn it down, bring in the wandering drunk over there." He listened for a minute. "What's all the racket?"
Hairy listened for a second. "Oh, that's just Jack, he wants to kill Bud and Steve."
"Oh." The advisor took a long drink as a bracer and walked into the house. He hated being the hard guy, but it was part of the job. He knew he would do it, the house knew he would do it, he had even shut them down cold once before.
He started his tour, the music subsided a little, he ignored the topless girl dancing on the dinner table. But he did take a deep breath before he continued on.
He broke the kiss and looked around the room. The room was empty. They were both breathless. Peggy sighed.
"Whew," She said in a minute." I've never been kissed like that." She looked over at the other bed. "Where did everybody go?"
She was looking at his alarm clock. "It's after three, we missed all our classes today."
"I've never just missed a class. Will we need a note from home or something? Will we get detentions, or what do they do to you in college?"
Peggy smiled at Dale. "I'm not sure. Do you have a cold drink?"
They walked down to Kremin's room. Dale's room was dry. They had the little refrigerator, but it was empty.
"Hi guys," Kremin said as they walked in without knocking. Kremin was the only person in the room. Dale had never seen that before. "Come on in, Peggy, make yourself to home." Kremin closed the book he had been reading.
"Ahhh, Krem, Peggy wants a drink. Do you have anything?"
Kremin got up and walked to the stack of mini refrigerators. "Sure do. What kind? We got root beer, cola, lemon lime." Peggy shook her head, he opened the next one down. "Red or white wine, natural, sparkling, lo-cal, lo-al, import?" He looked at her. She shrugged. "Here, this is my favorite." He said handing her the bottle.
Dale got a beer from the other larger refrigerator in one closet. "We're of age." He said smiling.
"Not for drinking you're not." Kremin said smiling and sat back down to answer his never-ending stream on Email.
Mary was coming out of the bathroom when she ran into Dr. Wilson coming up the stairs. "Hello, sir."
"Well, well. Mary. How's it going? You a senior now?"
"Junior standing, I got a couple of credits behind."
The prof sipped his beer. "You still studying advertising?"
"Business management, advertising minor, business law concentration." She said without a trace of a smile.
"Sounds like you're going to make some money."
"Well, yeah, if I ever get a job. I don't have any experience."
"So I've heard." He mumbled to himself.
"Pardon me Dr. Wilson."
"I was just wondering how you would get experience."
She huffed, "That's what I thought." She turned and walked away.
"What'd I say? What'd I do?" He said to himself walking back down the stairs.
"Who can figure women?" A voice asked him from over the rail.
Dr. Wilson looked over the banister. "Jack."
Jack waved a bottle at him. "What you say we have a toast. Mary got them to spend three hundred dollars on booze. Of MY money!"
Dr. Wilson stared at the bottle, the fifth was almost half gone.
Jack raised the bourbon. "To women. Almost more trouble than they're worth... Almost." He swigged from the bottle.
"Jack. I thought the soccer team was in Tennessee."
"Hell... I wanna drink."
"I think you've had plenty." The prof took the bottle and lead Jack outside into the fresh air.
Dale walked into the Greek math class the next day. He had stayed in Kremin's room with Peggy until it had gotten late, playing a board game and watching the guys make fun of the newscast.
She had kissed him lightly on the cheek and thanked Kremin for the nice time, then they went their separate ways.
As he entered the classroom he got a standing ovation.
"Congrats Mister Dale. I hope you had a nice night in the library." Mr. Blumn said loudly.
Dale stopped cold. How did they know?
"How could you have known?" Dale asked.
The fat man, Dr. Canney spoke up, "Snooper. The infra-red remote observation system Blumn and I built last semester and installed in several places around campus."
"We were very pleased we could identify you and young Peggy from the information sent to the coding computer." Blumn explained.
Dale still had not moved.
"Usually the system just keeps track of populations of mice and other trespassers. Since you did not trigger an outside alarm, the system assumed you were oversized rats." Canney added.
Varscroft smiled at him. "She is very pretty, I hope you two got along well."
"Hell's cookies. I want to know if he got any." The man who seemed to only shave on religious holidays and was now wearing a faded and torn T-shirt with some sort of beer ad on it.
Dale looked at the gruff man.
"Well boy. Did you nail it?" Ralph Cook asked pointedly.
Dale turned and walked out of the room.
Jack was fairly drunk, but he was still coherent enough to enjoy it. Dr. Wilson sipped the whisky from Jack's bottle.
"Cheeerist Jack! What is that?" He said when he could breath again. Jack shrugged, he looked at the label. "Pinelands Sour Mash. Made in New Jersey. What do they know about making whisky in New Jersey?" He sipped it again. It tasted just as awful the second time.
"Not much." Jack said taking the bottle back.
"So are you and Mary an item or is it all just hype?"
Jack looked at the prof. "I have no idea."
The professor took the bottle before Jack got a sip and sat it on the step next to him. They were quiet for awhile then went inside, a John Wayne movie was on. Jack plopped onto the couch and stared at the huge TV in the main room.
The house had been wired by a couple of electronics whizzes. Intercom, cable, phones and everything else was nearly state of the art. You could surf the Web in the bathroom or watch a live broadcast of Sumo in the kitchen. Most of the TV's were slaved into the master box. The John Wayne movie was on everything from a micro TV with a three and a half-inch tube to the big screen in the main room. Almost twenty different sets, and the sound was on the stereo so you felt the hoof beats of the Duke's horse and the gunshots sounded like a small war.
Mary looked at Jack and felt sorry for the poor slob. She went outside.
"A good horse is better than a great woman." Jack mumbled.
"A horse you could trust, it wouldn't lie to you." Hairy added.
"Maybe you should go out with your horse." Steve told Jack.
"I don't have a horse."
"Start dating horses." Hairy said, "Or bubbles."
"Bubbles." Jack said quietly.
Mary was sitting in the kitchen, but she could still hear the conversation. She smiled at them and sipped her wine, she was talking to Hairy's cousin, Connie, who seemed to live in the house.
He was waiting for the elevator when Varscroft caught up to him.
"Dale wait. You don't understand. They get carried away with their toys sometimes."
"But Mr. Cook."
"No Dale. Mr. Cook is Ralph. ... Just Ralph. He's crude, lazy, and Christ son, last semester he threw up in the sterile lab after a Polish Sausage and beer breakfast. Don't pay attention to him."
"But you've said he's brilliant. How can he be like that when..." Dale wasn't sure what he was asking.
Varscroft was. "If I knew that I would have been nominated for a Nobel Prize instead of him." He put his arm around the freshman. "Dale, let me tell you a few things about scientists, not all, just a few."
They walked to the office area of the associate professors. Some of the class shared the area with a few others. Instead of the Super Hi Tech stuff he expected, he found an arcade video game, girlie magazines, comic books, old pizza boxes, model cars, and all sorts of junk.
Varscroft let him look around. "Scientists are no different than other people, in fact, they're worse." He pointed to several shoeboxes crammed full of space hero play figurines and small toy cars.
Dale stared at a computer that had been taken apart, and left all over a desk, and the floor. Several parts were obviously missing. "... wow ..."
The party didn't break up until nearly noon on Saturday. Most of the survivors walked a couple of blocks to AL's Tap where the Italian beef sandwiches came complete with sauce with no grease and fries with extra grease, and a pickle too dill to eat.
Dr. Wilson ordered the Italian beef, Jack stuck with eggs and toast. Neither of them had been to sleep, and this was their breakfast.
They ate in more or less silence, Mary came in, sometime in the last several hours she had slept, and changed, and came back looking for Jack. She did feel guilty about spending so much of his money.
Dr. Wilson waved her over to their table. She ordered an iced tea and sat down. Jack ate and ignored her.
Jack was at the bottom of his luck, and he thought she was responsible for all of it. His being grounded for the Kentucky game was going to hurt his chances to be a starter on the soccer team for the rest of the year. He knew he wasn't as good as some of the others, but he had speed, and the team needed speed in front. He was sure he could beat out that pimply Madderson kid if the coach made any changes. His car, the Toy, was dying a slow painful death. Now a three hundred liquor bill.
He sat and brooded, Dr. Wilson left, leaving him with the bill for his Italian beef.
Back in his room Dale was doing busywork for American Government. "Worksheets!" He said, "Worksheets in college, I just don't believe it."
"Sounds like you've got Professor Hodges."
"Oh, Hi Kremin. Yeah. What's up?"
"Well, I got some news for you, but I don't know how to tell you."
Dale looked at him intently. "Your fancy toilet paper is missing?"
Kremin was almost standing at attention. "No... I've been invited to move into the Roach Palace."
Mary was watching Jack pick bits of onion off his omelet and eat them. "Sorry about the three hundred dollar bill. I didn't know they'd do that."
He looked at her. "You know that bunch. Those guys don't even need and excuse to go out and buy a truckload of beer. When you called, they went apeshit.... ON MY TAB."
"Jack, I'll help pay for it."
He looked hard at her for a minute. "You really want to make it up to me? This whole lousy week?"
She thought about what all that might mean. "Yes I do."
"Let me borrow your car, I'll meet you back at the house tonight."
She handed him her keys and told him where it was parked without really thinking about it.
He took the keys and ran out the door. Leaving her with the bill for the meals.
"The what?" Dale asked again.
"The Rozbilski Memorial Trust House for Exceptional Students. I think that's the real name of it."
Dale's roommate nodded. "I've heard of it. That's all."
"Its that big mansion over on 14th with the duckpond full of skum." Kremin smiled. "It's like a combination between a think tank and a fratority."
Dale raised his eyebrows, "What?"
"A fratority, a co-ed house."
"Neat." Dale said.
"It is something, with butlers and maids, a full library, a bar, and twenty of the smartest and strangest people on campus. A friend of yours lives there, Dr. Harrison."
"So, do you want to move in?" Kremin said with a straight face.
"ME? I thought you were invited."
"I don't want to move." Kremin walked around the room while he talked. "Hell, I'm supposed to be graduating next semester. I've been in my room for nearly five years, I got socks under my bed I haven't seen for six. They said I could send a friend." He stopped and looked at Dale. "You."
Mary walked back to the dorm, she had no idea what Jack was doing with her car. And she wasn't sure she wanted to know.
"Oh. Hi Cin. What's up?"
"Bills. Some more of Carol's mail. I can't believe Morgus Credit and Debit won't believe she's dead. They want a forwarding address."
Mary smiled, "Why don't you give them one?"
"I've thought about it a few times. What are you up too?"
"Jack stole my car."
Cindy stopped sorting through the mail. "Really?"
"Well. He sort of had my permission. I'm supposed to meet him back at the house later. I don't know where he went, or even for sure when he'll be back." Mary looked off into the distance. "Cindy, I'm worried about him."
"But I have been so careful." Ellen insisted to the nurse.
"These things happen, even with precautions."
She nodded while looking at the floor. "So what can I do about chlamydia?"
The nurse ran down the treatment, which didn't seem all that traumatic.
"And we should have the name of your sexual partner."
Ellen's face fell.
"He needs to be checked too."
"If there has been more than one, that's OK, I can bring them in and not tell them about the other one."
Ellen's face spoke volumes.
"Just how many guys are we talking about?" The nurse asked.
She thought about saying, 'everybody but Dale Hinerick.' But she said, "A few, well, more than a few."
"Just in the last, say, month."
She decided to be blunt, "There was those fraternity brothers."
"Which frat do they belong to?"
"No, you don't understand. They all..."
It was the nurse's turn to have her face go through the whole range of emotions.
Cindy followed her gaze to the bell tower on Ol' Abe, then smiled at her friend. "Are you sure all he stole was your car?"
Mary looked her dead in the face. "That is the corniest thing I've ever heard anybody say. You've been reading those romances again."
Cindy smiled again. "Well. True or not?"
Mary had to think about it.
Dale was busy thinking again. Something that made his ears ring from time to time. Kremin pushed him out of the room and steered him downstairs. Then out the front door and into a stretch limmo, where to Dale's amazement, Peggy sat watching TV.
Dale sat silent in the plush seat while Kremin showed them all the marvels this car had on board. Over twenty grand of gimmicks and special effects loaded into over sixty thousand dollars worth of car.
"And this will recline your seat Dale..." Kremin continued the demonstration," he pushed a button. A nozzle sprayed water all over them and the ceiling. "That, of course, was the fountain for the wet bar." He fiddled with a couple of knobs, "Ahhh, this." The TV went off and the icemaker spit cubes onto the floor.
Dale and Peggy looked at Kremin with sly grins.
"The icemaker works real good." Kremin said with a smile. "Ahhh..."
The chauffeur hadn't cracked a smile.
Dale tried a button on his console. The refrigerator jumped out of the seat in front of them and opened. Six cans of diet sodapop fell out. One of them, caught in the door of the unit as it tried to retract into the seat, exploded. Showering the occupants.
Peggy was trying to get the TV back on, and wipe soda off. She pushed several buttons. The TV came on, as well as many decibels of 'The Rolling Stones' Greatest Hits- LIVE!' from the CD changer system in the trunk, through several well-placed concealed speakers in the passenger compartment and a hidden super bass driver. "OOPS." She said, though nobody heard her.
Kremin was trying to make the concert go away, and found the beer tap, which he used. Dale had pushed a couple of buttons on the ceiling.
Suddenly the back seat started turning into a bed and began massaging the three students.
Then the TV went off again, and the music automatically turned down when the phone started ringing. Nobody paid any attention to the computer screen in front of them, it was giving readouts on the stock market. Then the air conditioner came on full blast.
Peggy was laughing so hard she couldn't breath.
The sunroof opened and the reading lights started strobing. Then the water fountain squirted water out the open roof and onto the front windshield. Now the bed was raising one side up higher than the other, mashing Dale into the ceiling and Kremin into the side door.
The beer tap wouldn't go off, and the refrigerator was trying to retract again, now with Dale's foot in it.
The chauffeur, apparently oblivious to the pandemonium behind him had the wipers going for the water squirting onto the front window.
The car arrived at the Rozbilski Mansion. The chauffeur got out, rang for the butler and vanished. He had wet his pants restraining the laughter. Once inside, he fell apart.
Two Dorms Part 6
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