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SMAD. An Organ of Student Opinion. 1932. Volume 3. Number 3.

Tangleword Tales — (2) The Procesh

page 3

Tangleword Tales

(2) The Procesh.

Tangleword Tales

Once upon a time there was a person known as a professor which means a sort of teacher who makes professions of faith in all sorts of things so long as they are not things that people believe in, for a professor doesn't believe in anything except that it is a mistake to believe in anything. This professor had a class of students known as V.U.C., which stands for Very Unconscious Crowd, for the students were always so tired-out from dancing all night long that they found it hard to keep awake in class, and anyway they didn't see much use in keeping awake just to hear the professor spouting stuff that they would forget all about immediately the lecture was over. But the professor didn't mind how much they slept during lectures, for, as he put it. he was there to talk, not to teach, and they could listen if they liked, and it they didn't like they could do the other thing: and when a student asked what was the other thing the professor was very pleased to see him so interested, and said that most people were too hopelessly fetterd by the morasses of outworn traditions to be able to think up new things, and they should at least pretend to break away from traditions which were a hindrance to the progress of the race; and when the students said do you mean we should do something stark, the professor said oh, no, that would be contrary to the traditions of this College, of which the greatest is that you must attend carefully to what I say in class, or you will be sorry for it when the term results go up.

When the students got outside they took a deep breath and said, by gosh that's a good idea to do something stark; suppose we toss for it? So they hunted around the Common Room until they found the penny the Two-up Club forgot all about when the news came through that D—g. Ed—s had joined up with the S.C.M.. which is short for the Special Constable Movement, and they called out heads, and when the penny came down tails they said let's have that over again; so they had it over again until heads came up; then they said now let's think up something bright and original—something really stark. But they were so used to letting the professors do all the thinking for them that all they could think of was to have a procession, and Riske, who is very advanced, said what's wrong with a procession, anyway; the unemployed have lots of them in Russia, wherever that is, and I'll bet you a kopeck to a report from Riga that a procession is psychologically sound, even if Mr. Freud doesn't say all he knows about the subject. So they got everything ready for a procession, and by-and by the Caucus known as the Exec (short for Execrators) came along, and when they found they couldn't look at the notices except through their fingers, they yelled out: "Here, I say, what's the big idea? Do you think this in Capping Day at the Royal College of Sanitary Engineers, or the Salome Celebrations, or what And when the students said we are just: going to do something stark, the Caucus said: Sez you, but you're not going to let that menagerie loose on the poor unemployed, not in times like these, when there's violent crowds just hanging around waiting for somebody to throw dead fish and things at them to start them oft' throwing things themselves; so you'd better wash your faces and put your clothes on and buzz off home, for the procession's more than a bit off—it's absolutely right off! So the students took all their stuff back to the Hp where they got it from, for they were very obedient students, and always did what they were told when they couldn't think of anything else, and the Caucus went down town to have a drink, because if they went too sober people might mistake them for ordinary students; and by-and by along came the Mare of the city which is attached to the College, and the College Promoters said. "Hullo, old horse!" And the Mare said. "What about giving us a procession to draw the crowd?" And the Promoters said, whatever for. and the Mare said for the unemployed, of course; and the Promoters said, but the Caucus have just gone and thrown a graceful gesture to the unemployed by calling the procession off and sent it back to the tip; and the Mare said, can I believe my ears, do you want to poison the rats; good heavens, just think of it. a sublime spectacle that gladdens the hearts of millions of poor taxpayers every year and never fails to give expression to the true inward sentiments of the great soul of the Wellington public; surely you must be pulling my leg; don't you want the people to know what the University is thinking—an intellectual show like that always draws the crowd. The Promoters were very much taken aback by this, for they always did things to please somebody—even the students, but only sometimes, of course—and at last they said, all right, have your own way about it ; and to the students they said, have your own dirty way about it. and if any damage is done it can be put down to advertising, but we will set up a committee of inquiry beforehand to deal with any student who says whoopee or bites a special or can't pronounce carillon correctly at the Capping Ball. So the students went back to the tip and got their procession out, but it was a bit tip-soiled, and parts of it were missing, but as it was for a good cause nobody minded very much when they saw it was patched up with bits of string and chewing gum; at least so I've heard, for I was not there to see it myself, because there were collection boxes everywhere—that was the catch—but things were suspiciously quint at the Capping Ceremony, which means that somebody had a good time, and more than that I wouldn't like to say, although I did think of putting a moral to this story, something like if you can walk with crowds and keep your virtue; but of course the characters are not virtuous to start with, and anyway the story hasn't worked out quite right, which means that it must be a true story after all—The End.