The Death of the Traditional Oxbridge Undergraduate

After centuries of almost singular predominance, the traditional Oxbridge undergraduate is now thankfully a dying breed. Nevertheless, he may still be found among his clan stalking certain corners still hospitable to his species, such as chapel at Evensong or anywhere where he might tread solemnly upon the alabaster grave of his ancestors and test his Latin. Though rare, his species can be recognised – and thereby avoided – by certain distinctive markings peculiar to it alone. It is an evolutionary anomaly of the race well remarked upon that he will often drape himself in a flowing black gown to protect himself from commonness and will scavenge scraps of leather from wherever he may to place upon his elbows to protect those from the wear and tear of never being set upon table tops. It is made a great deal easier to spy the traditional Oxbridge undergraduate and all his kind for they are rarely seen out of doors out of corduroy. As a species they show a great predilection for the colour pink, something they share with the Lesser Flamingo of East Africa and a baboon’s arse. Nevertheless, in season they will shed their corduroy for a strange covering known to them as jodhpurs. If at all, then this creature is to be approached with extreme caution, but if necessary can be appeased with port or sherry, but only at the appropriate hour, if not you are wont only to stoke the fires of his rage. The sole factor to which the traditional Oxbridge undergraduate owes his continued existence in this world is his unwavering and quite rampant dedication to inbreeding, though throughout history one or other of his species has been tempted by one or more of the horses with which he surrounded himself, lending to the features of the whole a certain equine quality, by which – incidentally – they may also be detected. Driven by this irresistible biological imperative, when encountered the traditional Oxbridge undergraduate will invariably utter his mating call, equally the cry uttered by every dying member of his species throughout history: “I believe in God, the Holy Trinity, and the Devil, but by the heaven’s above and grandpapa below do not ask me to believe in the existence of other universities!”

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