Comedy //

Another Day, Another Drink with Dr Rupert Thorogood: Week 2

“But hark! What noise down yonder corridor does emanate? The sprightly footsteps of my love?”

Belinda, my porcine PhD student, has made a complaint to the powers that be about my “academically underwhelming and personally misanthropic serial misconduct” as her supervisor. Well, by the powers vested in me by this half bottle of claret I just finished, let me tell you Belinda, you scholastic spastic, this is simply not how things are done! How dare she have the audacity to expect her PhD supervisor to actually care about her research project much less like her as a person! Is she so wholly ignorant of the customs of academia that she is unaware that being treated like the scholarly scum she is is a time-honoured tradition handed down from Plato! You don’t think he and Socrates were all chummy do you? No, there was a blissfully simple power dynamic: teacher and student, and it worked pretty well for them didn’t it?!

But enough of my fiery spleen, my doctor tells me I must rest it or else cut back on my tipple, neither of which are likely given the predicament I find myself in. If the tribunal finds against me, I face the gallows of academic probation. O shame upon shame! I have not been published in nigh on two years! I feel the sword of Damocles hovering above my crown, the hangman’s noose about my nape, the Grim Reaper of ‘institutional restructuring’ drawing ever nearer.

Damn this incorrigible swine and her incessant oinking! Prior to this I had been forgotten by the university administration and their cursed ‘economic rationalism’. Like a cerebral chameleon I had successfully hidden my interminable inadequacies so that none would dare question the pedagogic utility of Dr. Rupert Thorogood. Safe in my leather-bound lair, I had subsisted on the most meager of sustenance – a letter to the editor here, a scholarly point of contention there. But alas, I have become undone…like a shark that must keep swimming to survive, I must publish and publish soon!

Olivia is still yet to reciprocate my affections…time and time again I have pondered the feasibility of a lithe, nubile sylph such as herself falling for an admittedly slightly unkempt, but nonetheless raffish man of letters such as myself. O Fortuna, grant me your grace, that I might bed this lusty wench before semester ends and she slips from my fawning grasp like all too many before her.

But hark! What noise down yonder corridor does emanate? The sprightly footsteps of my love? Away damned bottle! Begone accursed flask! Be still unruly locks! It is a knock and Olivia is to be – Belinda?! O Fortuna, thou art a cruel mistress! A cruel mistress indeed.