The Yahtorialist

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By Thomas Cuthbertson

Upon arriving in Oxford, I started diligently carving out a niche for myself as the most unapologetically pretentious (ie. worst) member of my college. With thick black glasses upon my nose and a painfully ironic and aggressively yellow eBay purchase in the bike shed, I had assumed my pretentious credentials were assured. My pretentious hubris was, however, predictably short-lived. Whilst having drinks at the Turl Street Kitchen, the call of nature sounded and I descended to the Gents’, obviously cracking my head off their precariously exposed beams on the way. Whilst not usually a reliable source of hilarious toilet graffiti, on this occasion the “TSK” came up trumps with the discovery of Smiths lyrics penned on a wall. The question “Does the body rule the mind, or does the mind rule the body?” clearly irritated another customer so much that they felt compelled to add a second question: “Are you so pretentious to make up for the fact that you’ve got no friends or do you have no friends because you’re so pretentious?” Whilst I relished the sarcasm of this retort, the prospect of there being someone in Oxford who was more pretentious than me sent me spiralling into existential crisis and so I decided to up my pretentious game!

So was born the ill-advised project of making my own clothes. Credit for the project really must go to my brother who last year constructed a surprisingly fetching (if daringly short) pair of shorts from a job lot of The Very Hungry Caterpillar fabric. Over Christmas we had planned to branch out and to make a jacket and a pair of voluminous harem-style trousers, a plan, alas, soon abandoned. So the (admittedly weird) clothes making mantle passes to me, and this time I am determined to bring the project to its dubious completion. Having decided that trousers are probably the easiest item of clothing to make (surely just two leg shapes sewn together?) the dilemma now is what fabric to choose. In the interests of making something as far removed from that perennial Oxford favourite the red trousers as is humanly possible, I have turned to eBay’s haberdashery section for inspiration. The choice is between fabrics printed with either the most sickly-sweet pictures of kittens or the most cloyingly cutesy images of puppies imaginable. As soon as the fabric arrives I shall begin cutting and sewing in earnest. I look forward to being the proud owner of trousers nobody else in their right mind would ever wear. I’ll keep you posted…

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