As May takes its stride and summer begins to force its joyful tidings upon us, this Malcontent turns regretfully to one of life’s banes: punting. In the month’s following Oxford’s very own exercise in Darwinian evolution, those that survived the mass exodus of stupidity on Magdelan Bridge will most likely be found beneath it, swanning around in blissful serenity and boring the arses off the rest of us via daddy’s smartphone.
Now I am a tolerant creature, I look at photographs of friends’ babies without yawning, refrain from commenting on my tutor’s frankly hideous moustache and regularly pass Big Issue sellers without so much as a kick, and this hatred vexes me. For whether it is the sloppy verbalization of a concrete noun or the fact that it is usually accompanied by a horsey voice and an even horsier face that does it, the fact remains that if I had my way –to paraphrase a certain Mr Scrooge- every idiot who goes about with ‘punting’ on his lips, should be drowned with his own straw hat and buried with a sprig of pondweed through his heart.
No doubt some of you will be reading this – the Cherwell can’t take all the wankers, although God knows they’ve tried- and to you I say ‘Congratulations’. No doubt it is a hard task to engage in the only thing more touristy than being Japanese, and I take my hat off to you. It’s not a boater and it is sadly lacking in gingham ribbon in John Lewis’ finest attempt at expressing my kooky nature, but I doff it nonetheless. To the rest of you I say this: the punt is a versatile creature, and to my knowledge is best used for one of three things: drunken picnics, al fresco shagging, or drowning the over-eager tute partner you’ve secretly hated since 2009. Anything outside of this strays dangerously close to wankery, especially if accompanied by a notebook (you know who you are).
So let this be a lesson to you: you may have read Brideshead 12 times and look dashing in your straw boater, but the rest of the world thinks you rhyme with what you’re sat in.