Just then, Professor "Wilder? I Don't Even Know Her!" speeds up on his bike, calling Joey's name. She's "just the person [he] wanted to see." He glides to a stop in front of the girls, and Audrey responds by leaping to her feet, thrusting out her chest, and making goo-goo eyes in Wilder's direction. "Quick!" Wilder says. "Rose Lazar?" Joey makes a thoughtful face. "Famous dead writer from the twenties. Like Dorothy Parker, but not," she answers. Behind Joey, Audrey bats her eyelashes. "Yes, ding ding ding!" Wilder says. "Rose Lazar's husband?" Joey bites her bottom lip. "Mr. Lazar?" she asks. "Yes. And also dead. Just died, in fact. Which means?" Wilder asks. "We're very sad?" Joey offers. "Noooo," Wilder says. "I mean, yes, but no." He goes on to inform Joey that, now that the poor, unmourned Mr. Lazar has gone to join the Flash in the big 31 Flavors in the sky, Ms Lazar's estate is the property of Worthington College For Very Smart People. Although Wilder uses the word "estate," I assume the presumably fictional Ms Lazar has only bequeathed her papers to the college, rather than her entire estate, china and Waterford and cigarette holders and all. "Did you know she went here?" Wilder asks Joey. "Well, she did." And he gets to "inventory her estate." Joey smiles. "Wow!" she chirps. "Congratulations. That means…I have no idea what that means." Wilder explains that it means that he, basically, gets the privilege of digging through all of her papers; diaries, unpublished manuscripts, correspondence. He also gets to decide if any of it is of any literary worth, or deserves to be published. "I'm putting together a team," he tells her. "Five students, to help with the sifting, the cataloging, the filing, and you're going to be part of that team. Say yes." Joey looks slightly stunned. "Yes, yes!" Audrey answers for her, and Joey joins in eventually. She's thrilled, understandably. And elsewhere on campus, a graduate student who's writing a thesis on lesbian imagery in the works of lesser-known female writers of the 1920s is plotting Joey's death. Because it's pretty damn unusual for a freshman who doesn't even have a major yet, as far as we know, to be handpicked for a project like this, something the majority of English majors would give their eye-teeth for, if they already didn't have their eye-teeth forcibly removed for ending a sentence with a preposition, something I just artfully avoided by adding this clause (run-on sentences? Less serious offense).
But anyway. Wilder wants Joey on his little team because she has a brilliant mind that he wants to nurture. Also, because he wants to jump her bones. He explains that he's giving a party at his place that weekend to celebrate the project, and he'd like her to drop by. Joey's face falls, and she demurs, citing "a friend in town." "Bring her!" Wilder invites. "Him," Joey corrects. "Bring him," Wilder says. Joey makes a face and explains that there was "a death in the family," so he might not be in a party mood. Because parties are stressful. "You're off the team," Wilder deadpans. "What?" Joey gasps. "Just kidding. You're still on the team," Wilder assures her. "But try make it; I'm serving brie." With this, he rides off, not knowing that Joey will be far too sensitive to bring Dawson to a party where dairy products are the featured foodstuff. "I love brie!" Audrey chirps after Wilder's retreating form. Heh. "I'm on a team?" Joey wonders to herself. Audrey, still staring after Wilder, wonders if it's too late to transfer into his class. Joey chortles and throws her arm around Audrey's shoulders. They smile, and Joey starts to jog off. "Nooooo, I can't!" Audrey calls after her, stumbling exhausted down the path.