Friday, October 09, 2009

The Secret Life of Deans

At some point in the second hour of listening to what was supposed to have been a 45 minute talk, I happened to glance at a distinguished professor and Dean who was sitting near me -- a gray-haired, 65-year old gentleman in classic male professorial attire. And then my attention was diverted, but not by the talk.

No, I became riveted by this sight:



The distinguished professor had a Hello Kitty! Band-Aid on his leg, just visible above a sock when he crossed his legs.

Therein lies a tale, I am sure.

I considered, and rejected, various ideas for how to work Hello Kitty! into a post-talk conversation with him. One of the better ideas (in my opinion) was to fake a minor injury (perhaps on my leg) and ask him if he had a Band-Aid. An even better idea was convincing a colleague to do this instead of me, but he refused to do it, although admitting to being deeply intrigued.

I suppose I will never know the reason for the Hello Kitty! Band-Aid on the deanly leg. Who knew that Deans could be so mysterious?

25 comments:

Elena said...

Maybe he has nieces and nephews around at home so much,such that the only type of band-aid available is the Hello kitty! one :)

Harvestar said...

Was it that the only ones available at home are the ones his granddaughter wanted when she was visiting?

Ψ*Ψ said...

He probably has a young daughter--and no other band-aids in the house. :)

Bee said...

His daughter wanted to play doctor and put the band-aid on his leg. I recall being totally fascinated by band-aids when I was 4 or so and put them everywhere, in particular on my younger brother. Yeah, professors, they are human too.

Bee said...

Come to think of it, maybe it was his grand-daughter :-)

Janka said...

First theory that comes to mind: said professor has a grandchild, who was present with supplies when he got that cut into his leg.

Hello Kitty fan said...

I have all kinds of Hello Kitty! stuff (and I'm in my 30s, but I'm also female). It's something I grew up with and never outgrew. I'm not afraid to wear my Hello Kitty t-shirts in public or in the lab.

Maxine said...

I wonder if the reason could be related to an occurrence that frequently occurred to a certain Male Professor of my acquaintance. He would be in some serious meeting when his mobile phone would ring with some crazy ring tone. First time it happened was the best, as he did not realise it was his phone. After that, he got wise to the trick. (A young daughter had changed the settings when he wasn't looking.)

So my guess is some domestic explanation - unless the Hello Kitty band aid is some secret signal of preference rather like those hankies in the pocket ....perish the thought!

hkukbilingualidiot said...

I saw an old man in their 90's holding a very cute XO handkerchief a while back. He was the classic dignified type but I can hazard a guess that it is usually their toddler grandchildren giving that handkerchief to them.

A very useful inquiry process regarding these 'anomalies' is often by asking whether they have granddaughters and politely pointing out that you've noticed that and with the grandparent pride they usually respond with slightly bashful smiles saying so. Middle-aged men who usually use these rather cute daily necessities as a way of quietly and subtly showcasing their pride and joy. Just pin-pointing that usually yield some surprising conversations and connections.

Anonymous said...

My coworkers often sport cartoon bandaids, but they also have young children that provide a reasonable excuse. I have no excuse but wear them proudly just the same - there is no better way to give yourself a little laugh in the middle of the day than running across Hello Kitty or Spongebob Squarepants on your arm.

Anonymous said...

Maybe said Dean had a granddaughter, and when he "injured" himself (tripping over her toys on the ground?) she gave him one of her plasters (a.k.a. band aid for non-UK readers). I have a 6 year old and whatever the injury a plaster always "does the job" and the crying stops.

Anonymous said...

That's hilarious! Thanks for sharing!

a physicist said...

At our school, the annual flu shot is in the upper arm. The bandaids always have a Sesame Street theme, so everybody gets these. My wife is always amused.

Anonymous said...

definately the granddaughter... especially if she's an only grandchild... my grandfather once said he would never say no to me unless it was something that would hurt me... so he'd have completely put the bandaid on if I told him to =D

CJ said...

All of these comments seem so reasonable. I was kinda hoping that there was some more interesting story behind the bandaid... more like he has a secret fetish for pink cats or something. That would be much more entertaining.

yolio said...

Maybe he just loves Hello Kitty. I mean, she is really cute.

Kevin said...

Last time I checked, all we had was pirate bandaids.

John V said...

The band-aid is a nice touch, but I'm disappointed the Dean would put up with the speaker droning so interminably. I'd have abandoned ship at the hour mark unless either I'd introduced the speaker or the talk warranted a second hour.

butterflywings said...

HA! That is excellent.
Meh, there is probably a sensible explanation as the other commenters said.
I wanted to think he just liked Hello Kitty - men are allowed to have a softer side!

Anonymous said...

You could have just said, "...By the way, I like your band aid!"

This post makes me happy. Kudos to the Dean wearing a Hello Kitty band aid.

Anonymous said...

My 4-year-old daughter likes to play doctor and place band-aids over my (non existent) injuries. She also likes to give stickers as gifts to people she cares about. I'll wear either one for the entire day (no matter how ridiculous) just to see her smile when she comes home and sees that they are is still there.

Most people at work quickly guess why I'm wearing them---even those that do not know I have a young daughter at home.

Comrade PhysioProf said...

FSP, you suck! If you had any balls, you would have been all like, "Dude, you got a hello kitty bandaid on your fucking leg!! What's up with that, douchebag??"

female Science Professor said...

But if I don't ask and he doesn't tell me some boring story about his granddaughter, I can persist in my belief that he has a Hello Kitty fetish, and that makes me happy.

EliRabett said...

Eli much prefers the Powerpuff girls, expecially Bubbles who speaks squirrel (which she learned in school, but she did perfect her accent by visiting with the locals)

jyby said...

Would you have been less intrigued if the person hadn't been a dean or if it had been a female colleague?