Laurie Taylor Column

September 7, 2007

You have reached the office of Professor Lapping. I am afraid that Professor Lapping is away from his office on annual vacation and cannot be contacted until his return.

Maureen, are you there?

You have reached the office of Professor Lapping. I am afraid that...

Maureen, are you there? This is Professor Lapping speaking. Can you hear me?

Ah, Professor Lapping. I thought you told me not to take any messages until you returned.

That's quite right. But I just wanted to remind you that my holiday ends tomorrow and that I'll be back in the office on Monday.

That's what it says on the wall chart.

Maureen, is everything all right at your end?

Fine, thank you, Professor Lapping. A couple of suicides in Physics after Clearing failed to deliver, but otherwise plus ça change .

Excellent. Maureen, I know I told you I didn't want to be bothered with messages, but it occurred to me that there might be a pile-up of e'mails on Monday so I wondered if there was anything particularly urgent that I might get my teeth into in advance. Anything from the vice-chancellor or Jamie Targett or Human Resources or the RAE?

Not really.

Any urgent messages at all?

Not really.

Anything less urgent?

Just six e-mails on more or less the same topic.

Something I need to attend to immediately?

That's hardly for me to say.

How's that?

They all want to know if you're having problems with erectile dysfunction.

Thanks for that, Maureen.

It's a pleasure. Ciao, Professor Lapping.

Au revoir, Maureen.

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