Part Two from the Columnsphere

You’ll be pleased to know that – for the purposes of this column at least – I have disembarked from the train. Instead, I have headed for our aesthetically challenged campus, and I have made a few observations. For example, there is definitely a correlation between going in to the Computer Science department and the number of people with long hair and beards that one is likely to see.
I had been wondering why the powers that be in the library have deemed it necessary to cover up the 'Issues' and 'Returns' sign with a banner displaying 'Books In' and 'Books Out'. This is a University, after all; why should we need things to be dumbed down? But then I realised that I was clearly being optimistic as I ascended the stairs and opened a door marked 'No Mobile Phones' only to find someone talking in to one.
Before you get bogged down in the talk of the library and Computer Science and brand me a geek let’s head across to the Parade Bar (of which I am quite a fan). Surely the current arrangement of making the gentlemen use the lift is not a sensible one. Actually, to avoid confusion I should perhaps say “travel via the lift”. I would have said that it’s an accident waiting to happen, but it looks like it already has given that the lift was ‘out of order’ on my last visit. Personally I’d only had one pint before I made the embarrassing mistake of pressing the wrong button and chatting to a random stranger before the doors eventually opened again and revealed that we’d gone nowhere. The excitement of the lift is not the most noteworthy thing about the Parade for me recently though. That accolade goes to a bloke who came in and started chatting to the group reclining around an adjacent table, whilst I was enjoying a Happy Hour pint. As the conversation continued he proceeded to drop his trousers. His boxers fortunately spared me the gory details (as it were) but I was disturbed nonetheless. His friends at the table didn’t seem to mind though and it appeared that the dialogue continued normally until he pulled his trousers back up again and said his goodbyes.
In light of my non-story last issue about the girl on the train, I was asked if my flirting technique has ever actually been any good. Would it have been a good thing if I had thought of something to say? My mind unfortunately wandered back to a time when I had been shopping for a pint of milk and I met a friend on the way home. Whilst we were chatting, a beautiful young lady with whom I was vaguely acquainted passed by on the other side of the street and I rather awkwardly called her over. She apologized for not having replied to an email I'd sent, and so I thought that “don't worry, we [my friend and I] were just saying how life is a bit crazy at the moment” would be a good response. Except that somehow what came out was “I was just saying that I'm crazy”. The fact that I was wearing a scarf with sheep on it probably backed up my inadvertent statement. As the song goes, “you say it best, when you say nothing at all”.

[printed in Impact on March 18th 2007]


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