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Episode 16: “Prig N. Pfeffer’s Grand Entrance”


“‘How am I to get in?’ asked Alice again in a louder tone. ‘Are you to get in at all?’ said the footman. ‘That’s the first question you know’”

L. Carroll     “Pig and Pepper”

Pig and pepper

As often happens, the technical world came up

with a replacement for babbitt.

This discovery ended Alex’s

free ride;

(and, in fact, his favorite ride)

for his automobile was repossessed.

Alex was reduced to

working for wages.

It was humiliating.

Even the beaver,

the moose and

the fish were

exempt from

laboring for



To make a long (and meaningless)

story even longer I offer

the following:


“Good morning Alex” said the lady as she

walked up to him with hand extended.

Alex was sitting in an




(He had been here before to fill out a job application.)


Now he had returned at the request of

the personnel manager.

Alex rose to his feet

and zipped on

his best

(and most charming)



“Good morning. Ms. Pfeffer I presume?” Alex asked.


“Presume nothing about me” demanded Ms. Pfeffer.

“Also, you can drop the title of Ms., for I am neither

Ms., Miss, or Mrs., I am simply Prig N. Pfeffer.

You may address me as ‘Pfeffer.’”


Alex was taken aback for a moment.

When he had finally regained

control of his brain he said

“Of course mm—mm – – –

Pfeffer. Sorry about

the assumption.”


“Don’t apologize. Never apologize for anything

while you work here – – – – – IF you work here.

Our motto is “Never apologize and

remain arrogant at all costs.”


“Of course, Pfeffer – – – –

Never apologize

and remain


at all


(Alex repeated this motto quite dutifully.)


Pfeffer (Miss, Mrs. or Ms., whatever she was)

looked over her narrow glasses

and down her nose at Alex.

After a very long pause

(and until she knew Alex was very uncomfortable)

she raised her right hand.

The back of her hand

was towards Alex

and her fingers

were folded

into her



Finally she raised her index finger

and with it motioned

Alex towards her.


Alex was very nervous about taking

a step forward because Pfeffer

was already in his face.

Being more afraid

not to follow her

directions he

made a slight



he would


Alex copyright