Friday, 22 May 2009

Finals Filler: Too Clever By Half

Two friends of mine wrote these two emails to our college housekeeper at the end of last term. Insufferable, but also hilarious.

The first email is an attempt to persuade her that while it is against the rules to keep a bicycle in your room, nowhere do the rules state that you cannot keep the COMPONENTS of a bike. The second - well, you'll see.

Dear [Housekeeper],

My bedder has told me that, in light of the forthcoming room inspections, I must remove my bicycle from my room, where it is currently stored, and place it in the bike sheds. The bike rests in three parts: a frame, a fork, drive-train and handlebar composition being detached from the two wheels. Samuel Taylor Coleridge said that 'the whole is everything, and the parts are nothing'. Never has this been truer than in today's holistic bicycle market, in which bulk manufacturing has replaced products of individual labour. Furthermore, as a keen cyclist yourself, I trust you will appreciate the innumerable difficulties involved in undertaking a long journey on a vehicle without wheels.

Best wishes,


To which the head porter replied, 'Very funny. But if you have anything remaining in your room which could possibly be construed to make up, or to once have made up, a bicycle, you'll be fined, as per the rules.'

And the second:

Dear [Housekeeper],

Since the beginning of the year, there has been a grotesque marking on the window in my room which overlooks Rose Crescent. I would be very grateful if this could be cleaned at the earliest convenience. Goethe wrote that 'it is only the light of heaven that shines pure and leaves no stain'. Had Goethe gazed out through the window of G-, [Residence], marred as it is by a transgressing milkshake from the McDonalds below, how much stronger would he have been in his conviction? Seeing as I will be in this room next year too, I would be very grateful for this to be accomplished, so that I too can be strengthened by the pure light of heaven as I go about my daily tasks.

With thanks, and best wishes,


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