I’m on the phone with Eric and I ask him to tell Kristine, his sister and my old roommate, that I made use of some of her herpetology background while in Florida.

“Oh?” Eric said, jumping to the immediate Hoffmann conclusion. “Did you bring home a new pet?”

“Close. We passed a big mud puddle, and so I talked to Harold about vernal pools for the next mile and a half!”

“Did he drive faster to make our lecture go by faster?”

“No, we were walking. Turns out, I learned quite a lot about vernal pools from Kristine.”

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