Laurie Taylor – 19 January 2017

The official weekly newsletter of the University of Poppleton. Finem respice!

January 19, 2017
Elizabeth Taylor and Rex Harrison as Cleopatra and Caesar (1963)

Tale of the tub

The Head of the University of Bath, Dame Glynis Breakwell, has so far declined to respond to those critics who have described her current annual salary of nearly half a million pounds a year, or nearly £2,000 per working day, as seriously excessive.

However, a spokesperson for Dame Glynis has pointed out that being Head of Bath entails a great many financial costs that are not readily recognised by outsiders.

“People who know little about the day-to-day costs of running Bath can easily forget how quickly the gold taps can become tarnished and need replacement. And many outsiders will also not realise how even the slightest crack in the marble tub can require expert attention from a highly paid Italian marble expert.”

But even these costs, said the spokesperson, paled into insignificance when compared with the daily cost of filling the tub for Dame Glynis’ ablutions. “Hardly anybody understands that it takes no fewer that 700 donkeys to provide the necessary quantity of asses’ milk for that daily dip.” He hoped this now clarified the situation.

Shocked man reading newspaper

You must be joking

Although The Guardian recently reported that some 3,722 people at 48 universities had signed gagging agreements as part of their settlement upon leaving a university, not one of those people came from Poppleton. So what is our secret?

“Quite frankly,” explains Cecilia Bodkin, our current Head of Assisted Retirement, “when staff leave here and choose to describe life at Poppleton to any outsider, they are simply not believed. Nobody, for example, can possibly accept that we have a vice-chancellor who earns nearly half a million pounds a year for doing little else but issue largely incomprehensible managerial injunctions. And absolutely no one can believe that more than four-fifths of our academic staff are on short-term contracts or that 90 per cent of our undergraduate teaching is done by underpaid graduate assistants or that the managerial staff in our university now outnumber academics by two to one. So why use gagging orders when you already possess that very best weapon of all against disturbing revelations about real life on campus – INCREDULITY.”

(Ms Bodkin is currently on crocheting leave.)

Word imperfect

One of our leading academics, Mr Ted Odgers of the Department of Media and Cultural Studies, has reacted strongly to a study by a group of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania that claims to show that people frequently regard the presence of profanities in tweets as evidence that the writer is unlikely to be an educated academic.

In the following personal statement, Mr Odgers not only expressed doubt about the validity of the findings but also raised serious questions about the appropriateness of the research.

“Look, I’ve worked my bollocks off in this shithole for the best part of 20 effing years and the last sodding thing I want to hear right now is some dickhead research group from the University of Pennsylvania suggesting that I might be as inclined to use profanities as some lesser educated twat. If you ask me, they’re taking a bleeding liberty.”

(Mr Odgers is currently being considered for a gagging order.)

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