All I want for Christmas!
As usual, at this special time of the year, we ask some of Poppleton’s leading personalities to describe their ideal Christmas present
Maureen, Departmental Secretary, Media and Cultural Studies
“I’d love a larger tin of Quality Street chocolates. This would mean that academic members of staff had to contribute slightly more to my annual gift than their present average of 25p, but it would ensure that I had a couple of Caramel Swirls and the odd Strawberry Delight left over for my Christmas Day celebrations.”
Dr Donald Dingbat, Department of Philosophy
“I’d really relish a colleague. Ever since the university rationalised Philosophy by dismissing nine members of staff, I’ve had to soldier on alone. And that has its downside. Quite frankly, it’s not that easy being a Cartesian dualist when there’s only one of you.”
Geraldine, Transept Head of Overseas Recruitment
“My ideal Christmas present would be a small clutch of paying overseas students. Two contenders did arrive on campus last month. Both have now passed the stringent visa and passport and educational background tests, and we now have our fingers crossed that they will come through their waterboarding security assessments with flying colours.”
Unfortunately, our esteemed vice-chancellor was not able to contribute to this page as he was away from campus delivering a paper on widening access in higher education to the Trans-Global World Universal Summit Conference on Universities of the Future at the five-star Royal Imperial Palace Hotel in Shangri‑La. However, his assistant, Mrs Dilworth, told us that she had endeavoured to infuse him with the spirit of the times by sprinkling a little fairy dust on his December emolument.
Dr Clarissa Flanders, Head of Creative Writing
“What do I want? Do I want what? Give me what I want or what I ought to want or what you think I ought to want? Gimme. Gimme. Gimme. Here comes the sucking incubus. Suck Suck Suck. Until it stops. Dead.” (We regret that this interview was terminated before Dr Flanders came to the point.)
Professor D. W. Stout, Department of Forensic Murder
“I’m very much hoping for a good crop of Yuletide murders. With more than 50 UK universities now offering degrees in forensic science, there are simply not enough corpses around to satisfy current dissection demands. (NB. I trust that this is not too downbeat a wish for the season of goodwill.)
Georgina Spandrel, Our Ecumenical Chaplain
“I’d be delighted to see more believers in our ecumenical chapel mosque church. After the election of Donald Trump, a significant number of Poppleton academics would seem to have lost their faith in the existence of a higher being and reverted to such essentially regressive practices as self-harming, Satanism and Class A drug abuse.”