Laurie Taylor column

April 16, 2004

UNIVERSITY OF POPPLETON

Dear Georgina Middleton,

It gives me great pleasure to invite you to receive your degree certificate at the graduation ceremony to be held in the university's Monsanto Hall at 3.15pm on Tuesday July 20. (NB. Failure to graduate invalidates this invitation.)

On such a happy occasion it is only natural that you would wish to be accompanied by your friends and family, and I am delighted to be able to offer you a maximum of 12 guest tickets at the special price of £20 each. (This sum ensures a seat in the auditorium, a free programme and unlimited access to toilets.)

I am further delighted to announce that you may use the enclosed form to reserve your compulsory full Bachelor's regalia (vermilion Velourex gown with Tudor bag sleeves and claret full-shaped hood) for the budget in-advance hire price of £53.50. Those who wish to have a permanent sartorial reminder of their achievement may wish to purchase their robes for £234.20.

As this is such a proud occasion for you and your family, you will obviously wish to have a proper photographic record. I am, therefore, even further delighted to tell you that formal framed photographs may be booked in advance from Magic Moments of Poppleton by using the enclosed form. (Indicate combination of photograph required: individual/with family/with family and attendant don, and choice of frame: heritage gold/ fusion aluminium/brushed teak/basic walnut.)

After the ceremony, why not put the final touch to your great day by relaxing in style with a bed-and-breakfast special at the Poppleton's premier two-star hotel, The Clarendon? The special rate of £95 per person includes a complimentary glass of bubbly!

I greatly look forward to seeing you and your family at the ceremony on July 20. I will, of course, be in touch with you again before that date if I can think of any other dubious service or second-rate piece of merchandise that I can pass off as essential to the occasion.

Yours sincerely,

The vice-chancellor (signed in his absence by Mrs Dilworth)

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