Man sitting next to me in coffee shop: Are you preparing legal documents?
Me: Me? No.
Man: Then what are you working on?
Me: An article…about English literature.
Man: Oh, so you’re taking a course in English then?
Me: No, I’m a professor of English.
Man, incredulously: No! What? A professor??
Man: I thought you had to be old and curmudgeonly to be a professor!
Me: Well, I’m working on that.
Man: Ha ha! So what are you reading there?
Me: Actually, this is philosophy.
Me: He was a German philosopher.
Man: Well don’t be so sure. You never know.
Man: For example, my name? A lot of people think it’s German, but it’s not.
Me: Yes, well, Heidegger was actually German. Though I read him in English translation.
Man, shaking his head: YOU NEVER KNOW.