Dear Reader,

Never let it be said that I do not listen to my staff, colleagues, students, and assorted riffraff.

Last week’s request for a noticeboard to appear as an awkward plot device was noted. Janice received instructions. Health and Safety appeared, carrying tools. There was banging. There was drilling.

Lo, a noticeboard is now securely fastened to the wall next to my office.

Picture me this morning, dear Reader, as I run my delicate fingertips over lapis lazuli hessian. The box of coloured drawing pins I keep in the tool belt slung low about my waist rattles a little as I reach for yet another newspaper clipping about me from the Daily Hulusi to place under the black on gold lettering at the top of the board.*

Here are a few headlines for you, dear Reader, as they flutter in the gentle Taizhou Spring breeze:

‘CITY DON ADA LAMB DENIES USING ALIAS’

‘NO SERIAL KILLER ON CAMPUS SAYS PVC LAMB’

‘CAN OF HAIRSPRAY BLEW UP MY BEDROOM SAYS JANICE’

‘DON LAMB ORDERS CONSIGNMENT OF HORSE HEADS’

‘WHERE IS ADA LAMB? MISSING FOR 11 DAYS AND COUNTING’

‘IS DARREN ADA’S LOVECHILD?’

‘RUNEOLOGY BACK IN FASHION IN NEW COLD WAR WITH ORCS’

‘WE ARE NOT RECRUITING AND HAVE NEVER RECRUITED RUNEOLOGISTS SAYS M15 CONTACT US ON FACEBOOK DO NOT TELL ANYONE’

‘FOR SALE: USED PSYCHOLOGY TEXTBOOKS. FAIR CONDITION, MARKED PROP. S. FFLOYD. CHEQUES TO A. LAMB’

‘WANTED: WORKING WASHING MACHINE’

‘I AM THE BEST AT RUNEOLOGY BY PROF ZALTY BOB’

 

Wait, dear Reader.

What was that last headline?

I look more closely.

Beneath the headline is a black and white photograph of my staff, dressed as the Ancient Mariner in black polo neck, sitting on a lobster pot, and looking into the long distance while sucking on a pipe.

The caption reads:

‘Dr Salty Bob (45) explains to us his new cognitive-semantic theory of Runeology and how all other approaches, especially the literary historical approach advanced by Ada Lamb, are to be thrown overboard from the ship of modernity.’

Dear Reader. Perhaps the noticeboard was a mistake.

________________________________

* ‘UWL (TAIZHOU CAMPUS) NOTICEBOARD. PROPERTY OF ESTATES. NO FLAMMABLE MATERIAL. NO TO PINS.’

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4 thoughts on “Noticeboard Ex Machina

  1. Dear Drada

    In the course of my busy schedule, I managed to find a few millisecs in which to scan your noticeboard – what fascinating tranches de vie are therein contained! Moved to compassion as I was by your appeal for a working washing machine (I can only imagine with horror how squalid your life must be without one), I must tell you that I recently acquired the last one in existence on the planet. So I’m afraid you are henceforth condemned to a lifetime of slapping your smalls on a riverside rock every Friday night.
    I know – life can be tough at times…
    Bless your socks (before washing them, that is)
    Nunkyton

  2. While standing in the check-out line at the grocer’s, I usually try to ignore the sensational headlines of the local tabloid rag sheets of which the Daily Hulusi seems to belong. To quote an old Soviet friend of mine: “Pravda is not Isvestia and Isvestia is not Pravda.”

    But then, as I glance smugly and self-importantly over your noticeboard of headlines, I am snared by one: “RUNEOLOGY BACK IN FASHION IN NEW COLD WAR WITH ORCS”. Just one more reason, Dr. Ada, to hold your subject of expertise in high esteem. Is there, perhaps, a Bletchley Circle in your basement?

    1. The vice-chancellor’s wine collection is in the basement, my dear, as well as a disused rowing machine, a shopping trolley, and several bin bags full of student exams and essays (we are obliged to keep them for five years, you know, in case of appeals). I will send Darren down to look for the Bletchley Circle. It will do wonders for his fear of the dark.

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