Agony Porter

Right then. Which loon has OxStu arm-wrestled into answering our questions this week?

 Afternoon all. I’m Brian, one of the college porters. I’ll be replying to your queries over a cuppa as I watch the college CCTV – what’s all this then? Keepie-uppies outside the Fresher block? Hold my key set! – Sorry, where was I? Ah, yes. I’m here to answer your questions and deal with your concerns, and all in complete confidentiality – that is, unless you’ve broken one of the College Statutes. Then it’s the Dean’s office for you, pal.

 Agony Porter – two years ago, I was cycling through Cowley and the chain started making a grating noise as I changed gear. I pulled over and tried to fix it, but I was wrestled to the ground by a mugger. Since then, I’ve struggled even to leave the house. I’ve lost all my dignity and I fear I’ll never get back to normal. 

It sounds like you need your chain refitting. Sometimes they can get strained over time, which means that they slide less easily over the cog teeth. This is probably what made the noise, and might be helped by occasionally applying oil across the length of the chain. Take it to Cycle King and it’ll be right as rain. Was there anything else you needed? Oh, yeah – if you get a new bike, you’ll need to register it with the college. 

All month I’ve had to watch the menfolk of Oxford sprout awful, patchy facial hair on their upper lips, and all in the name of charity. What’s your take on Movember? 

At the end of the day, a moustache’s a moustache. Good on the young lads for giving the grow a go. But these things take years, even decades, to perfect. Making the decision to take on a moustache is not to be done lightly: the upper-lipper caterpillar is a life partner and ought to be treated as such. When you commit hair to face, you’ve got to be able to see it through. Lots of these guys can barely muster bum fluff, let alone a respectable ‘tache. Back in the Seventies, blazing sideburns were the bare minimum, but times have changed. Giving up after a month doesn’t do justice to the great British institution that is the moustache. Don’t do it by halves, lads.

I’m a third year and I’m soon going to be evicted into the real world. I’m considering quite a few careers – what would I need to do to become a porter? 

In a word – nouse, elbow grease, and moustache trimmers. A strong constitution will be required for dealing with inebriated freshers and their bodily fluids. If you want the Christ Church job, you’ll need to look snappy in a bowler, and to be able to distinguish camera-wielding tourists from maths students.