Monday, October 17, 2005

I lost my balloon!

So yesterday was a very Christopher Robin evening. Matters started ordinarily enough: after a Sunday morning's lazing about, I marked an undergraduate essay and went to a housewarming BBQ. So far, so pleasant and autumnal.

But then I had to help set up for a club squash. No, not a lemon drink.

A "squash" in Cambridge is generally a drinks function where the jaded old committee of a club or society meet the newly-minted enthusiastic first years and attempt to fill them with enthusiasm for the society and its good works, and with alcohol, in about equal measure.

Normally: many people, small room, hence squash.

Not so our almost venerable (but hip) little organization. We managed to put on a fairly civilized spread in a pleasant room, with jazz playing on someone's iPod speakers in the background (I wonder whose?) and weren't too crowded at all.

There were also blue balloons.

Now, a point to note is that I am one of only two grads on the committee and the only boy on the committee at all. The average committee member age is probably 21 and only because I and the other grad are both turning 30 this year.

So, while packing up, one of my fellow organizers asked: "Do you like being the only boy on this committee? What's it like?"

"It's like have a nine or ten younger sisters. Terrifying."

"We always feel reassured when you turn up to things. Like there'll be someone sensible around to look after us."

"You know, I'm sure that's said about Christopher Robin in the Pooh books: '... and everyone felt much better now that Christopher Robin was there.'"

To compound the image, I then got to take home a blue balloon tied to my backpack as I cycled through the night. But, as I can now warn you from bitter experience, knot that little sucker tightly if you expect it to be there when you get home.

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