The Hard Bendy Stool


Dear Piers

How the devil are you? What happened with your court-case in the end? Who’d have thought nuns could be so litigious.

Things here are grand now that I’ve got over that little problem of thinking that “zip-code” meant to take your trousers down. I hear that little story even made it back all the way across the pond. Of course it’s obviously not a patch on the original Cambridge but they try and make it up with lots of twee little details and use of the word “olde”. Some of their building here are over a hundred years old! Can you imagine.

The course here at the Kennedy School is fine except for their infernal habit of interrupting my socialising by constantly setting work. The main college campus is strange and appears to have been designed by some fan of M. C. Escher. Though I can’t recall many of his painting ever containing hundreds of students with massive rucksacks generally getting in my way.

They are indeed fortunate to have someone of my standing and experience on the course. So much so that I often feel I am actually more knowledgeable than the professors and I try to let them know this as soon possible. Normally by interrupting their very first sentence to the class.

The other day after finishing a relevant and particularly detailed anecdote about the time my vintner messed up a case of port I could see the class were deeply moved. Many of them were in fact crying or absent, no doubt due to the shock that such a thing might have happened to me.

By far the most delightful thing I have encountered over here though is this contraption called a “self-service checkout” in their shops. I perhaps wonder if our transatlantic cousins lost some war we haven’t yet been told about?

“Hello, mother? BEEP Yes, it’s me. Ha, yes. BEEP Well you remember how you BEEP warned me if I didn’t get into Oxbridge I’d end up working BEEP behind the tills in a supermarket? BEEP Well it didn’t BEEP make a blind bit of difference. BEEP Yes, yes, that’s right BEEP No, well that’s the funny thing BEEP for free actually. BEEP. Yes, for free. BEEP Next week I’m going to pay them so I can mop their bloody floors BEEP Don’t call again. Goodbye.”

As for girls? Well not much to report there I’m afraid.. Annoyingly in this country they seem to be quite well educated and rich so the usual tricks don’t work. Though the other night I was having some luck with some delightful filly who was fascinated by the fact I was the brother of Princes William and Harry. In my defence it was only a small lie. Followed by a succession of many other small lies.

We gazed into each other eyes and I could feel the Atlantic Ocean evaporate between us. Two lovers bonded as one on the shores this far-flung academic town. I’ll never forget the moment when she leant over and said to me: “You’re quite drunk”.

It was this point that the oik behind the bar informed me that all three of my credit cards had been rejected. I asked them to simply write to my club in Piccadilly for remuneration and there was then some unnecessary aggravation.

And then the familiar darkness faded in….

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