It is time for sherry, dear Reader. In the Senior Common Room.
As Jade and I approached the SCR, we could hear the sound of merriment and clinking of glasses from some distance. Someone was singing ‘It’s a Long Way to Tipperary’, accompanied by the tinkling of an out-of-tune piano.
Jade and I entered through the swing doors.
A hush fell. All that could be heard was the whirring of the overhead fan and the rustle of a bamboo-frond pot plant. The bartender hastily removed the whisky bottles from the bar top. The other three people in the room stared at me.
‘Dear colleagues’, said Jade. ‘This is Dr Ada’.
The piano gave a little plink.
‘This is Dr Flloyd, Head of the Department of Psychotherapy’, said Jade.
‘Charmed’, I said.
Dr Flloyd said nothing, but stared at me and made a small X on his clipboard.
‘And this is Dr Manchu, of the Department of Comparative Literature’, said Jade.
‘Oh, CompLit!’, I exclaimed. ‘Phooey!’
At this point, dear Reader, I spotted a familiar face in the crowd.
‘Professor Mise!’, I exclaimed. ‘ Fancy seeing you here!’ Professor Mise glanced at me, sipping her sherry.
‘I am on secondment to the Department of Chinoiserie’, she said. ‘Fear not, it will not interfere with my blogging’.
A sudden thought struck me. I turned to Jade.
‘But where, dear Jade, are the representatives of the Department of Runic Studies? The Vice-Chancellor told me that there are at least 20 full-time members of staff, not to mention the 40-odd postgraduates, part-time tutors and occasional member of the general public who now go by the title of Affiliate Professor (Education and other Services), thereby allowing the university to claim that there are at least 60 professors available to teach the hundreds of students paying exorbitant fees flocking to study Runeology. Where are they?’
‘Alas’, said Jade, brushing away a small tear. ‘They have all left’.
‘Left?’, I said’.
‘Yes’, said Jade. ‘They have been offered a better job at the University of Singapore’.