...the Criminology scholar-in-residence, twenty-something British Parliamentarian and super-powered individual Muffy Diver
. Sitting in on a lecture, they were impressed with her command of fields as varied as criminology, UK and international law, teleportation physics, the poetry of Sappho (which Penny actually enjoyed), and even the art and science of carpet cleaning. After the lecture, they asked if they could chat with her for a bit, and she agreed. "Why don't we adjourn to my orifice--office!
I mean office," she said.
"So. Visiting the campus, are you birds--I mean ladies. Well, although I'm a visiting scholar, and I've only just met you, I sense that Bad Bad Bad University is just what you're looking for. It's a fine women's college in such proud company as fellow Sixty-Nine Sisters schools, Smith and Bryn Mawr. Do you have any questions?"
"Yes," said Penny. "Could you tell us what the origin of the university's name is?"
"Would you like the official explanation," Diver leaned in close toward them and smiled conspiratorally, arching her eyebrows twice, "or the real
"The official one, please. We
know this school is far, far from 'bad,' quality-wise, but we'd just like to know what to tell our parents."
"If you don't think it cheeky of me to ask," said Diver, "would that be mother and father, or mother and--?"
"Father, here," said Aggie. "For Penny, mom and dad."
"Ah. Then you may tell them the name is from the Arabic ābād
, "abode," as in "Islamabad." So "Bad Bad Bad" means, "abode within itself," that is, a self-sufficient house of learning."
"Makes sense," said Aggie. "Tell me, is the campus environment friendly to...alternative lifestyles?"
"You might say that. You might even say it's our mission to be especially... accomodating
to women with non-mainstream values and...tastes."
"Well, you at any rate seem very approachable and friendly, Prof. Diver," said Penny, "so thank--"
"Please...call me Muffy." She did the eyebrow thing again.
"Er yes, well, thank you very much, Muffy, for allowing us to sit in on your fascinating lecture and answering our questions. Now Aggie and I'd better be off to check out the library."
"Good, good. Oh, and if you should feel peckish, do stop at the food court in Rugmunch Hall, lower level. Best fish tacos in the whole of New England. Good-bye and good luck, lllladies."
"She's very nice," said Aggie, as they walked across the campus. On the lawn, barefoot undergraduates in bikini tops and shorts were spraying each other with rainbow-coloured water out of hoses, apparently as part of Orientation. This reminded Penny of something, but she couldn't quite pinpoint what.
"Yeah," said Penny. "Everyone here's been tote--totally
nice. There's just one thing I wonder...