Laurie Taylor Column

September 3, 2004

University of Poppleton Clearing Hotline Centre.

Sorry, I'm in a phone box. Could you say that again?

I SAID, UNIVERSITY OF POPPLETON CLEARING HOTLINE.

Right. Is this the number for people with lousy A levels?

This is the number for people who are keen to learn about the very exciting and yet still available opportunities for undergraduate study at Poppleton University. How can we help?

Well, you see, I wanted to do psychology at a posh university but then I didn't get the A levels they wanted and so I rang them up and said could I still come with the lousy A levels and they said that they were sorry but they had standards to maintain. Can you still hear? There seems to be a bit of a crackle on the line ...

If you could speak a little more slowly.

Well, then I decided to ring up some other universities that did psychology but which weren't half as nice as the posh one and they all said they couldn't take me either because even though they weren't particularly nice places they still had standards to maintain and psychology was a very popular choice. Are you still there?

Yes indeed.

So, then I thought I might have to give up the idea of going to university altogether. But I was having a drink with a friend and he said that what I really wanted to do was to think of a university that hardly anybody wanted to go to and then he told me to think of a subject that hardly anybody really wanted to study and then put the two together.

So why exactly are you now ringing Poppleton Clearing Hotline Centre?

Well, it's obvious, isn't it? I'm just ringing up to accept a place in your engineering department.

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