Laurie Taylor

December 21, 2001

Enjoying your Christmas dinner, Roger?

Very nice.

Do you know what it is?

Erm - turkey? No, it's goose. Yes, goose.

No, Roger, it's not turkey or goose, it's red-legged partridge. The butcher got it for me specially. Apparently, there are very few around.

Very nice.

Roger, you don't seem very talkative. Is everything all right in that philosophy department of yours? Have you had a good year?

Oh yes. Very good. We got an even better RAE ranking than last time. Remember last time?

Didn't you get seven out of ten?

No, mother. It's out of five. And last time we got three. But this time we got five. Five out of five.

That's wonderful news, Roger. Shall I be very naughty and open that second bottle of bubbly?

No, mother it's not that good.

How could five out of five not be very good?

Well, we thought the same but then we gradually found out that everybody else had a five. We were ringing people up in other departments and saying, "Hey, we got a five!" And they'd say, "Well done. So did we!" There were fives all over the place. Fives. Fives. Fives.

Roger, do stop being silly. You're supposed to be an intellectual. You should know these things. What does it matter if everyone in the country has a five? That means everyone is happy. Roger, why are you looking at me like that?

I was merely wondering if your new-found egalitarianism extended to the red-legged partridge.

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