Thursday, January 27, 2011

It never rains in California

Okay, I have had times that I have been really ticked off with my colleagues, but this LA Times story highlighted a professor who was REALLY pissed off. Literally.

Apparently, Cal State Northridge math professor Tihomir Petrov, a grown-ass man in his 40s, was so upset with his colleague that Petrov had taken to urinating on said colleague's door. Not once or twice, mind you, but enough times that the university actually set up a hidden camera to catch the perpetrator. Now Petrov's picture is in the paper, and he has been charged with a crime. This scenario is so unbelievably outrageous as to seem like something from a Richard Russo academic novel. And like reading the Russo novel, this story gave me a case of the giggles.

I keep imagining the possible explanations to the jury:
  1. It wasn't intentional; I have incontinence and am leaving puddles everywhere I go.
  2. The research he produces is such shit, I mistook his office for the bathroom.
  3. In my culture, urinating on someone's property is a symbol of respect and admiration. 
  4. What right did you have to tape me without my consent? That is a human rights violation. I am suing the university.
  5. I have a Pavlovian reaction when I see his door, because it used to be the men's room on this floor before the recent renovation.
  6. Ah, hell, just tell me the fine and I'll pay it. And I might do it again, too. Fuck it, I have tenure and it's not like I'm gonna get a raise anytime soon.
Closing thought: Peeing on a colleague's door is such a guy thing to do. Women wouldn't do this, and not only because we don't pee well standing up. It's just, well, gross.

I am sorta hoping Petrov has a medical condition or an active substance problem, because otherwise, this story is just pathetic. And nothing like getting your name **and picture** in the local paper and national news for this kind of sad story.The best coverage may be the LA Daily News, which notes Petrov's publications and alma mater.

Still giggling.

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