Hugo looked up from the basketball box-score reports and stared at her.
"Yeah?" he said. "You think that's interesting? Is that the kind of useless-ass crap you're learning at that fancy-pants community college? I hated English in high school, and I got negative-zero interest in hearing about it now."
Lynette dropped the corner of the paper, which floated down into Hugo's half-eaten bowl of chili.
"Here's another thing about that college," Hugo continued. "If your smarty-pants Professor Madgek knows so much, why ain't he teaching at the state university instead of misfit-toys community college for brain-damaged teenagers and washed-up, middle-aged housewives?"
Lynette glared. "For your information, Professor Madgek is very smart. He used to teach at a university in the Midwest, but he likes community colleges better. He said it's a community-outreach thing for him, make the world a better place by providing learner-centered education in a nurture-based environment."
"Sounds like he missed his life-long calling," Hugo replied, wiping chili from the point-spread listings for this weekend's football games. "He ought to be a bleeding-heart nursemaid instead of a professor."
Lynette grabbed Hugo's bowl and dropped it into the sink with her own. Hugo didn't notice the nerve-jangling clang as he kept talking in his cringe-inducing voice.
"You know what? Your precious Professor Madgek seems like a pansy-ass fruitcake, if you ask me. He spends his whole day running off at the mouth about adjectives and poetry--that sounds pretty queer-ball homo to me."
Lynette rinsed the chili residue from the bowls and rubbed them hard with the scratchy soap pad. She resisted a near-overwhelming urge to break one of the bowls over Hugo's suitcase-sized head as he left the table, carrying the sports section to the upstairs bathroom for his nightly half-hour, post-dinner session on the toilet.
While she dried her hands on the flower-bordered towel, she thought of how she rubbed those same hands over Professor Madgek's rock-hard abdominal muscles that afternoon in his office after class. He had kissed her with that heat-probing tongue of his that always made her head spin. Pansy-ass fruitcake? Lynette chuckled. Queer-ball homo? Not hardly.
Then she thought of the new ingredient she had added to Hugo's chili just before she served it to him: detection-proof poison.