He's the youngest prof in the building. The handsomest, too. Tall, lean. Curly hair, dimpled smile. He wears cargo pants a lot, the kind with scads of pouches and pockets hanging off his thin hips. Very sexy in a carefully casual, not-trying-too-hard way. His pastel Polo shirts have the collars "popped" up high just the way the students wear them. Coo-uhl.
Cute male professors are in scant supply at this place. The men at this campus tend to be middle-aged (or older), rumpled, bald or getting that way, unfit and uncaring about their appearance. The youngish ones are a really squirrelly bunch. They prefer khaki Dockers -- a fashion faux pas no student would commit -- and every nerd's fave accessory, the pocket protector. The older ones, subscribing to that age-old wardrobe statement of college professors everywhere, scuff around, fall, winter and spring, in well-worn corduroys and saggy sweaters. They hide their weak chins behind scraggly beards. Their bifocals tend to be unfashionably framed and exceptionally smudgy.
Hot Pockets has white teeth and expressive eyes. The girls are wild about him and every semester I've heard of this Ashley or that Jennifer having a big crush on the guy. Poor things. They think they have a chance.
Bless his heart, Hot Pockets ain't a playa. He's a nice guy. He's married to a gorgeous woman. He dotes on his kids, coaching their teams and spending his weekends with them instead of lurking around the campus like other profs.
But the girls keep trying. They dress up for his classes (where young women make up 98 percent of the roster for Hot Pockets' courses) and bat their velvety eyelashes at him. They swarm around the door to his tiny office.
"He could have a harem if he wanted it," a guy student told me recently. "But he's onto all of the girls who show up at his office in their shortest little skirts. I've watched from the hallway. A girl will go in his office and close the door and it's not two seconds later that (Hot Pockets) has that door wide open again. He's never alone with them."
Good guy. There are profs who will let the ladies flirt their way to some extra credit. I heard about one in another department who's secretly living with an undergrad who's one of his students. Not exactly a Mary Kay Letourneau situation -- most college students are over 18 -- but still not kosher under the general rules of academic behavior.
Hot Pockets just keeps disappointing his admirers. If he didn't, a lot of us would be deeply disappointed in him.