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Sally's Journal
June 28th, 2005
01:50 pm


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Hmm, I said I'd post this. Although on second thoughts I think that it would have been far better left as a drunken memory than exposed to the world in its sober shaggy dog tailed ness. Then again, robhu posted the Prawn Joke earlier, so at least I'm in good company.

(approximately accurate) Background - every year at the CUSFS annual dinner the Reeve poses a challenge, and during the course of the evening everyone has to stand up and make their attempt at the challenge. How a society with a reputation for attracting introverted geeks came by such an extroverted custom is a mystery to me. This years challenge was to come up with an Excuse.

I’m sorry I didn’t do the washing up yesterday like I was supposed to. I was about to do it, when there was a knock on the door. It was my friend Nathaniel from CULES.

“Hello Nate” says I.

“Hello Sally” says he. “I have a great plan. We must go to Queens’ library”

Well, I’m a great fan of procrastination in all its many forms, but I know my responsibilities. “Sorry, Nate”, says I, “I have to do this washing up”.

Nate looked crestfallen. “But it’s my final exam tomorrow. And after carefully studying past papers I’m convinced that a question on balancing static forces will come up. Sadly my dog ate my lecturenotes, and the only copy of ‘Mechanics for people who need to pass their exams tomorrow’ is in Queens’. And I don’t have a library key”.

Well, obviously academic pursuits come before household chores – after all, you’ve seen the state of Rivendell – so off we went.

When we got there, I unlocked the door. The place was surprisingly empty for the middle of exam term. We wandered in. I turned round to put my pannier down, when suddenly I felt a blow to the back of my head – I fell to the floor, the world turning dark around me

When I awoke, I was gagged and bound and propped against the wall. “Mwahahaha!” cried Nate “no-one can resist the power of the CULES rubber chicken!”.

Oh dear. I was trapped in a library by a mad man who had played too many CULES villians. I wondered if it was worth trying to explain to him that there were easier and more consensual ways to end up with a neatly tied up woman, but he had launched into Evil Villian Speachyfying:

“Mwahahaha! You see, I am not really from Cambridge! I am from Oxford! And I’m sick of your poxy upstart university rivalling ours. After years of alchemy and dark research I have discovered the source of your mystery and power comes from the river Cam. And by consulting ancient plans of the university, I have discovered a way to destroy it! Here in this very library is a lever that if pulled, will pull up the plug and drain the river! And then we’ll be the best university! And they’ll be no punts! And no boaties! And no ducks! Mwahahaha!”

Gosh. I was somewhat worried. Luckilly I am a resorceful woman, even when tied up and gagged. I scanned along the bookshelf I was next to. “How to be a French chef, by Sue Flay” “Animal Illnesses, by Ann Thrax”. I was running out of time. Nate had already moved the ajacent bookcase to one side, and a large rusty lever was exposed. “Deux ex machina for wrapping up shaggy dog stories quicky” That was more like it! The corners were sharp. I rubbed the rope against them until I was free. I didn’t know what to do, but Nate was about to pull the lever, and the thought of my town berift of its academic status and the joy of summer punting made my blood run cold. I lunged for him with the book, burying its sharp corners deap in his heart. He fell to the floor dead.

I moped home, distraught by what I’d done. I couldn’t eat or sleep. Still, eventually I pulled myself together, and got on with the washing up. Sorry it was late. Sorry I ended up murdering one of CULES’s better actors. But, all things considered, better Nate than lever.

(11 comments | Leave a comment)

Date:June 28th, 2005 01:16 pm (UTC)
Bravo! That was wonderful.
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Date:June 28th, 2005 01:17 pm (UTC)
Here in this very library is a lever that if pulled, will pull up the plug and drain the river!

Do you remember when they did that, back in 1998? There was some cock-and-bull story about it being to do with Tit Hall's new library foundations, but I've always suspected more sinister motives.
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Date:June 28th, 2005 01:21 pm (UTC)
I matriculated in 2000, so no. But that reminds me...

when I was at secondary school there was a canal at the bottom of the playground. It was a pain, as the park and the fish and chip shop were just on the other side of the canal, but you had to walk round the entire school, out thr front, over the bridge, and then back again.

However, they drained the canal for repairs. And a friend of mine, who wasn't the brightest card in the deck but was lovely in spite of it, decided that as there was no water in the canel he could walk straight across it...

He was only 4 foot something. There was 3 and a half foot of mud down there. Getting him out took a lot of effort....
[User Picture]
Date:June 28th, 2005 01:30 pm (UTC)
I often wondered if I could drain the Cam by dynamiting it. The trick would be to smash the clay bed sufficiantly that the water would drain into the underlying limestone leaving the riverbed temporarily dry. This might have the unfortunate side effect of poisoning the city's aquafer and thus water supply, but I doubt anyone would really notice.
Date:June 28th, 2005 01:23 pm (UTC)
"I think I speak for everyone when I say: Huh?"
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Date:June 28th, 2005 01:25 pm (UTC)
Bravo! Fantastic!

I particularly liked the bit in the middle. And the pun, obviously.
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Date:June 28th, 2005 01:38 pm (UTC)
Hah! HAH! I love it!
Date:June 28th, 2005 02:01 pm (UTC)
I wondered if it was worth trying to explain to him that there were easier and more consensual ways to end up with a neatly tied up woman
Date:June 28th, 2005 02:01 pm (UTC)
Oh... and btw - how? ;-)
[User Picture]
Date:June 28th, 2005 03:45 pm (UTC)
Go here.
[User Picture]
Date:June 29th, 2005 11:54 am (UTC)
Echo that - the puns had me in stitches. And the idea of a CULES actor who's played too many villains taking the role a bit far... marvellous! :)

As to why the CUSFS started this tradition - no idea, but I think it would be a shame to lose it, it sounds like something you're bound to remember.

Aaaaaand... 'death by book'...? *grin* ;-)
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