Dining Din

The degree show is up, the marking has been done and last night’s formal dinner with the external examiners is almost a distant memory. I ended up seated at a table for eight, and the seating arrangement was girl-boy-boy-boy-boy-boy-boy-boy. Unfortunately my dining partners were all rendered completely inaudible thanks to the combination of my cloth ears and the acoustics of the cavernous and noisy venue. There were tantalisingly audible screechy female conversations going on at the next table and I cursed whoever it was who had briefed the front of house staff to prevent rogue diners, like the shifty woman with the hearing aid, from switching the namecards on the tables before everyone else arrived upstairs.

I already had a bit of a headache when I arrived at the restaurant and the intense concentration required to work out what the heck everyone was talking about, especially the football bits, turned it into an absolute blinder before the starter even arrived. Then, when some completely unnecessary background music was switched on by a person who clearly wasn’t finding eighty people talking in a ceramic-tiled echo chamber loud enough, I had to dig even deeper into my fake nodding and smiling routine in order to avoid digging my fingernails right through the edge of the table. My eyes assumed a terrifying fixed stare of concentration and, as the molecules of my brain responsible for listening overheated like porridge in the microwave, I was uncomfortably reminded of the previous evening’s entertainment, where the spouse and I had guffawed our way uproariously through David Cronenberg’s Scanners. The film’s main protagonist has an intense telepathic gift for exploding people’s heads by the power of thought, and after two hours at the table I felt as if he was now working on me.

Fortunately, I avoided the fate of the balloon-headed victim in the film, but I hate to think of what might have happened if I hadn’t put my jacket on and left when I did.

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2 Responses to “Dining Din”


  1. 1 kentigern June 9, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Academia, the supper of Champions eh what?


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