He looked at Dan critically. "Now, I realize that you know more than most of my students about the snares of evening – evening, when the human race seems to be most susceptible to lust, generally disguised as moonlight and romance, love, as the euphemism goes."
"I kind of remember."
"I'm sure. But now, thanks to your diligent studies, you're armed against its manifold indications to dereliction. That is why I do not hesitate to send you into battle, so you may wrest from it your greatest triumph-a triumph that will bring you far more distinction than all of your achievements in football. "The clinical presentations an absolutely stellar opportunity for you and Melanie to realize the potential of the blessed restraints I have provided you and to make us all magnificently proud."
"I appreciate your confidence in me," Dan told him, and dared to ask, "Are we going out on a date?"
"You can if you wish. But I suggest you enjoy a perfectly unromantic evening right here."
"If you like. You see, Dr. Ernst has been kind enough to invite me out to dinner. I'll be leaving any moment – I should add, without any concern whatsever about your mutual capacity for sexual abstinence. my confidence in you justified? "
"Yes, sir. I can handle it."
"Of course, you can," he said, and stuck out his hand. "Here's an uneventful night."
"Thank you for all you've taught me. I'm ready."
The doorbell rang.
"Ah, that must be Dr. Ernst now. Be right back."
He went to open the door, and Dan did his best to restrain his delight.
Soon, he reentered the den, accompanied by Dr. Ernst.
"Good evening, Dan," she said, noting his diploma.
"Hi, Dr. Ernst," he replied.
"I see you graduated," she commented mockingly.
"A well-earned achievement," Dr. Coburn informed her. "He has, in fact, come so far that I've decided to let him spend the evening with Melanie."
"You did mention that when we talked," she acknowledged. Then she changed her tone. "Now, you've got your month to train the young man. Let me help the evening along."
"In what way?" Richard wanted to know.
"Well, first of all, I must ask, where is your vaunted ecological conscience?"
"What do you mean, Priscilla?"
"Do you always leave this much light on – when you know very well how much unnecessary pollution is created by excess electrical generation?" Having made her point, she went to the dimmer switch near the door and dialed it down. Then she turned her attention to Dan and gestured into the newly mellow ambience. "Now, tell me, Mr. Fox, what does the soft light of evening bring to mind?"
He and Dr. Coburn changed confused glances.
She walked toward the stereo on the bookcase, saying, "Of course, accompanied by some rapturous music." She selected a CD, inserted it, and turned it on. Soft music altered the mood of the room to a treacherous degree, and she asked Dan, "Feeling any latent stirrings?"
He yawned, and replied, "I think I'm getting sleepy."
"Ha! Spoken like a true Coburnian!" Richard could not resist effusing.
"He can not possibly be that far gone," Dr. Ernst retorted.
"You mean to say, that far advanced," Dr. Coburn admonished her. Then he turned to Dan. "I'm sure you and Melanie will have a wonderful redemptive evening."
"Thanks," Dan said.
"But it is a little stuffy in here," Dr. Coburn observed. "Let me just open the window a tad before we leave. The fresh air will do you good."
"Thanks" he replied. "Maybe that's why I'm a little drowsy."
"Let's hope so," Dr. Ernst interposed. "I would hate to think the flames of yesterday have been completely snuffed out."
Dr. Coburn went to the window and slid it up a little. "Oh, good. There's a bit of a summer breeze." He walked back and put forth his arm. "Shall we, Priscilla?"
"Gladly," she replied, and placed her arm around his.
"Have a nice dinner," Dan told them, "and do not worry about anything."
"Thank you," Dr. Coburn replied. "I'll let Melanie know we're leaving."
They departed the den.
When they were walking across the living room, Dan heard him call, "Mel, dear, Dr. Ernst and I are leaving.
"I will not, Daddy," she called back.
Dan listened for the front door to close. When it did, he realized he was alone with Melanie. He considered his demeanor for a moment and opted to open his autographed copy of Dr. Coburn's book and present the appearance of exceptional studiousness. He heard Melanie coming down the steps, and soon she appeared at the doorway. He pretended that he did not sense her presence.
She cleared her throat. He turned to look and was astonished at what he saw – not the usual plan-Jane Melanie but a voluptuous young woman in a revealing black evening dress, made up to personify a seductress to the extent she could manage the transformation.
"Hi, there," she breathed. He felt desire move inside him and out toward her, but he restrained himself, and said as calmly as he could, "Hi, Mel."
"Ready for your clinical?" she asked.
"Yeah," he said, and put down her father's book on the coffee table.
She walked over to him, and his eyes could not help but follow her fluid desirability.
Meanwhile, Dr. Coburn and Dr. Ernst stealthily took up their presence outside the open window. Their intent was to observe Dan's evening class and, as agreed, decide the fate of Dr. Coburn's method according to the outcome.
Melanie came to a stop disturbingly close to Dan's adoring eyes, and asked "What do you think?"
"Tyrannosaurus Rex," he said, and with a lump in his throat, added, "What's going on?"
"What's a postgraduate clinical without a little temptation?" she replied in her best assumption of sultriness.
"Looks like advanced study to me," he told her. "Good thing your dad taught me to see a beautiful woman as mere transient protoplasm." Then he reconsidered his estimation of her. "Great-looking protoplasm, though."
"Thank you. It's the first time I made myself up since my mother left."
"I feel honored," he said. "I've never seen you look so 'Texaco.'"
"I wanted you to see me this way."
"Just to give me a hard time?"
"Naughty boy. What kind of time?"
"Sorry about that. A tough time."
"Excellent replacement!" she said, and sat down beside him. "I want to look ravishing for you."
"Really?" he replied, with his voice unavoidably rising an octave.
"Un-huh," she intoned, and glanced at the coffee table. "Reading Daddy's book again?"
"Yeah," he said. "I need all the knowledge I can get."
"We all do," she exhaled, and put her hand on his leg. "I think I like you."
"Really?" he replied, and reached for his resources. "What about Coburn's sixty-third axiom? 'Touching leads to -'"
She silenced him by kissing his lips delectably, and completed the promise of the axiom for him. "'- arousal.'"
"This is really advanced stuff," he said. "I do not know if I'm ready for it."
"It's not advanced," she said.
"It is not?" he struggled to say.
"No, it's for real."
"I'm not in the mood for a postgraduate clinical," she whispered, and twirled a lock of his hair.
"You are not?"
"Well," he queried, "if it's not a clinical, what is it?"
"Just me, myself, and I."
"Oh," he said. "You're making living by the book a real challenge."
"Yeah. I mean, part of me says, 'Watch out!' And the other part says, 'Wow, this is hot!' "
"Which part are you going to listen to?" she asked, squeezing his leg.
"Mexico! The whole enchilada!"
"Very good," she said, and one of his earlobes a tender bite.
"Texaco! High octane!"
"Silly boy. Do you really think you can resist me?"
"I'm throwing everything I have at it."
"You're the first man who ever took my dad's training so seriously."
"The very first."
"You mean, all the others -"
"- only wanted one thing."
"No, big boy. Sex," she uttered, and stroked his cheek with the back of her hand. "But you're different, are not you?"
"You bet," he avowed, and then bought to understand the truth of his plan. "Can I ask you something?"
"Go right ahead."
"Are you really being yourself or are you just trying to break me down? I'd like to know."
"Would it change how you have?"
"I'm just being human."
"Not just my downfall?"
"No, not tonight," she whispered, and opened the top button of his shirt. "I think we deserve a night off, do not you?"
"Wow," he said, "this is getting hotter than a jalapeno pepper."
"That's because I adore you, Dan."
"Yes. So much I want you to be the first man I have sex with."
"You have no idea," she said, and leaned over to kiss his bare chest.
"I did not know you could be this hot," he commented.
"I do not usually show my true emotions," she said, and moved her hand higher up his thigh. "I want to be naked with you."
"And make wild and crazy love with you."
"Melanie, I'm not sure your father prepared me for this."
"That makes two of us," she told him, and reached for his now quite erect "love maker."
"OK, Melanie," he said, "that's it. Cool it or I flunk my practical."
"I want you to flunk."
"What about your virginity?"
"I'm only human, after all."
"Well, what about your dad? If he found out you had sex, it would kill him."
"Are you going to tell him?"
"Why would I do that?" she replied, and cooed in his ear, "Please, make love to me."
"I'm so crazy about you."
"I can not," he managed to affirm, and tried to remove her hand, but she was determined to keep it where it was.
"Why not?" she wanted to know. "I think I might even love you."
"Come on, you're kidding?" She sat back and looked at him with, what he decided was, totally disarming innocence. "No, Dan. I really have this deep, tender feeling that says I always want to be near you and, yes, make love with you."
"OK, I've heard enough," he said, "you're breaking my heart."
"Because I'm a rotten liar, that's why," he finally had to confess.
End of Installment Eight
(Extended spoof, presented In 10 installations of 4 pages each. This is the eighth installation; previous ones are presented on this site or below each new installation at NewsLaugh.com , in case you miss one or more.)