In the kitchen with the lead piping
I was made a professor recently, ending what has been a slight source of stress for the last couple of years. My fella hid a bottle of champagne in the fridge as we awaited the decision of the third and final committee who get to decide these things. He even offered to make me breakfast so I wouldn't accidentally find it. So I had an excuse to have champagne before breakfast without looking like an alcoholic Joan Collins. My parents were actually impressed (they stopped following my academic "career" after my GCSEs), and sent me a card that said "You've reached the very top." I didn't have the heart to tell them that I am only a level 1 professor (my university has 9 levels to traverse - my fella is at level 8), so I'm merely at the bottom of another ladder looking up again.
At least I don't need to keep my CV up to date for a while. I had hoped to be made one before I got to the end of my 30s (like my personal rival, quadrulpe threat Professor Cox - professor, media star, member of D-Ream and person who my sister-in-law fancies), but my 40th birthday came and went at the end of May, and I kept my birthday cards up for a week longer than usual, so at least I could say that I got made a professor just as I turned 40.
I look and sound even less like a professor than Brian Cox (OBE) is, resembling someone who might have been in a boyband in the 1990s but now looks like they probably appear in local newspaper adverts for step-ladders. I tried it out yesterday when someone asked my title and I don't think I was very convincing, and when it was said back to me, it just sounded silly. I guess it's a role you can grow into. I think the trick about being a professor is not necessarily knowing more than other people, but just being able to convince others that you do. The best professors are good at evading difficult questions (by turning them back on the questioner) or giving vague, cryptic answers that seem wise. Other than that, I could just grow a beard and/or start wearing a bow tie and stroking my chin. It's either that, or go the opposite way and try to be trendy, which means wearing jeans with ripped knees, driving a Volkswagon van and saying "fuck" a lot. None of those seem attractive.
"You do realise that people will start asking you to do things now," said my fella, bursting the little bubble of happiness I had going. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted.