TEoD: Chapter 9: Back to School

Murphy hurries to his class, and thinks…

If there was one thing he hated, it was being late for anything.  He didn’t like it when other people were late for meetings with him, and he was fanatical about promptness himself.

Huh.  A few things:

  1. Wow, hates it when people are late to meet him!  How unusual!  What a unique character trait!
  2. If you hate lateness so much, Murphy, maybe don’t call your pseudo-lover for the first time in weeks mere minutes before you’re supposed to be in class.

Murphy “had traced this idiosyncrasy” back to fifth grade.

(Yeah, a dislike of tardiness.  That’s an idiosyncrasy.  Except not really.  It just makes you a Judger.  Like over half of all humans.)

See, back in fifth grade, Murphy’s class was going to take a field trip to the Hershey factory.  And Murphy “loved chocolate and was excited about going.”  (Wow.  Murphy is so unique and unpredictable it hurts.)  But he was late and missed the bus.

So I guess Murphy grew up near enough to Hershey, PA, to get there by bus for a school trip.  So, hey, we learned something new about him!

And Murph gets to the classroom with three whole minutes to spare!  Whew, that was a close one, Murph.

The most hilarious part of class is that “class clown” Clayton Anderson is still in it.  Remember, this guy was the class clown not only in The Europa Conspiracy (which took place, presumably, only a few weeks ago), but also in Ararat, which took place last year.

Anyway, Clayton saunters in late and slams his books down, then gives the patented “who me” gesture…


This sends the class into uproarious laughter, so we get a little peek into the intelligence level of your average Preston University student.  And there’s more to come!

Murphy starts his lecture, which is about pagan gods.  He immediately jumps into the issue of child sacrifice, because pagan gods were eeeevil, don’tcha know, unlike his god, who only fakes you out with child sacrifice.

Look, I’m sorry, but brief digression here.  Murphy presents all these awful child sacrifices, and doesn’t even touch on his own god (in his biblical archaeology class, mind).  Now, this god demanded that Abraham sacrifice his long-awaited son FOR NO REASON.  Seriously, God offers nothing in the way of justification for slaughtering your own child, and in fact, when the fake-out is complete, God makes an innocent ram appear, just so Abraham can sacrifice the ram instead.  So God is out for blood no matter how your slice it or dice it.

Anyway, as Murphy is blathering on, a pretty lady enters the classroom.

Whoever she was, she certainly looked like a professional model.

Hey, just like Isis!  Nothing but the best for our Murph.

So instead of asking this stranger what she’s doing walking into the middle of his lecture, Murphy just keeps going.  How much do you wanna bet that Murphy would have stopped the lecture if a Moar Arab had entered his classroom?

Back to Clayton: he makes reference to a pagan god he thinks is like a merman, and when he cracks wise about what kind of bait to use, Murphy responds:

“Well, personally, Clayton, I’d use wisecracking Preston University students.”

Everyone laughed and went “Oooooh.”

“He got you, dude!” said one of the students.  Murphy gestured for quiet.

Yeah, he really brought the house down with that one, that Murph.  Missed his career as a comedian.

Then again, I’m starting to think that Clayton might in fact be the greatest troll ever.  He signs up for every class Michael Murphy teaches, apparently, and tells the same stupid kinds of jokes, and manages to distract the eminent professor every time.

Back to the “striking blonde“: she has vacated by the time Murphy ends the lecture.  Can’t say as I blame her.

Murphy was still thinking about the blonde when he entered his office.

Well, isn’t that loyalty for ya?  He’s spent the whole last two books pining for Isis, and admitting his love for Isis, but the minute one pretty blonde enters his field of vision, all bets are off.  Quite a guy, that Murph.

But he is re-distracted when Shari informs him that Levi Abrams called.

“Levi!  That’s great!  After he was shot, I got him to the hospital and then he just disappeared.  That was months ago.”

Okay, now I think Bob Phillips is just trolling us.  Did he really not stop and think about that dialogue after he wrote it?  Yeah, when my best friends are shot and then “just disappear, I too wait months before trying to get in touch with them.  I just let them take the lead, in such places.

Also, it’s been months since the George Washington Bridge incident?  Because that would make it seem like we were in the middle of summer and graduation has already happened and Shari would have to go out and start her life, but we obviously know that is not the case.

Also also, the horrific bureaucracy that is the FBI finally got back with the college professor about the mysterious fingerprint that has nothing to do with anything…and there is no match.  So now that Murphy has so patiently waited for Levi to get back in touch with him following the shooting and disappearing, maybe Levi can help with the fingerprint.

‘Cause that’s what shot friends are for.



Posted on June 5, 2017, in The Edge of Darkness. Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. “I’m starting to think that Clayton might in fact be the greatest troll ever.”

    He always wanted to become an archaeologist; this is revenge for Murphy wasting his time and chance at education.

  2. Ah, RTCs and child sacrifice… “The Canaanites were horrible people who practiced child sacrifice. This was so evil that god commanded the Israeli’s to invade and slaughter them. Thanks to this divinely mandated slaughter of their children, their children were spared the fate of being sacrificed to their god.”

    (I know I’ve seen this argument, but I wonder, is there any indication, in and/or outside of the Bible, that actually indicates the various people actually committed child sacrifice?)

    • Ivan, I’ve certainly seen a lot of arguments against the Moloch/child sacrifice thing. There’s a certain practical consideration in that organisations which want people to kill their children generally die out pretty quickly one way or another.

  3. The overall impression is that he’s teaching at a community college.

    • Seems more like a high school to me. He’s got wisecracking students who obviously don’t want to be there, yet are still in the same class year after year. He covers seemingly random topics that are important to the plot. And, of course, there’s a bell signaling the beginning and end of classes. Clayton Anderson may as well be named Zack Morris.

      • Murphy’s class definitely seems more like a high school class than a college class. It makes me wonder if the authors ever actually went to college, or if they just assumed college must be exactly like high school except the students are a few years older and the teachers are called professors.

        • I’m just going with the assumption that Murphy only teaches 100-level classes and everybody knows that you only take his class because it’s the easiest way to get one of your required credits out of the way.

      • Maybe if Murphy spotted a leaf that blew away and flew under a bed with a Menorah at its head, with a man in a soldier’s uniform jumping out from underneath the blankets to fight him. Then after a few hours of thinking and asking Shari and Isis for help, he might have deduced that Methusalem was telling him that Levi was hidden in a Jewish military hospital.

      • That’s my impression. In addition to not having bells signifying the beginning and end of class, college also doesn’t have to tolerate disruptive students. Y’see from K-12, they legally have to try to give you an education, no matter how shitty a person you may be. College, though…You are legally an adult, so if you act up, they can come down on you like a ton of bricks, without having to deal with your parents. And because you’re an adult, they are under no obligation to play nursemaid to you. It’s up to you to discipline yourself to do the work and go to class. When it comes to a disruptive student, they can just say, “STFU or leave!” without dealing with principals or parents. They are under no obligation to educate you if you don’t want to, so they can just kick you out, so they can educate the students who actually want to learn.

        Given their belief that High School=College, I wonder if it’ll turn out they have detention where they make them write, “I will not do X in class,” a hundred times.

        • InquisitiveRaven

          Not only that but four-year colleges don’t have to let you in in the first place. Now I get the impression from this guy’s blog that community colleges are not so fortunate when it comes to selectivity, but he doesn’t seem to have actively disruptive students, merely utterly unmotivated ones.

    • I’d say Bible college. Murphy’s “witty comeback” might have generated a vague chuckle in any secular school or university, but no way all students would react with “OMG, he pwned you, you got rekt man!” The only way Murphy could get as many cool teacher points as he does is if the students have incredibly low standards of hipness.

      Which is not surprising. Of course when writing about college, RTC writers would portray it as the kind of college they would attend. EXcept that people like Paul or the Dean can’t get kicked out for violating the institute’s Statement of Faith.

  4. Murphy does seem to spend all his time reacting to things other people are doing, so I’m not surprised he’s not proactive enough to look into a friend’s disappearance without being prompted.

    • Maybe if Murphy spotted a leaf that blew away and flew under a bed with a Menorah at its head, with a man in a soldier’s uniform jumping out from underneath the blankets to fight him. Then after a few hours of thinking and asking Shari and Isis for help, he might have deduced that Methusalem was telling him that Levi was hidden in a Jewish military hospital.

  5. It’s not just Isaac. Surely a discussion of religious sacrifice of one’s children should also touch on Jesus.

  6. Murphy’s biblical archaeology classes seem to be very inaccurately named. There’s pretty much no archaeology in them, and often there’s very little about the bible in them either.

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Roundup for June 9th, 2017 | The Slacktiverse

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