Long time readers will know that my displacement nightmare activity involves my return to Oxford University. For reasons that are always slightly different, the story starts with me, rather foolishly, deciding that my 2:2 was not a true reflection of my academic genius and somehow I manage to persuade my old college to take me back for another stab at it. Somehow, I then contrive to screw it all up again and suddenly I am sitting in Schools, staring at an exam paper realising that this time around, notwithstanding widespread grade inflation, I’d be lucky to get even a Desmond.
The variants on this plot see me suffering various other indignities on my return to Oxford and the whole experience is even more utterly horrific than it was the first time around. Last night, it was something to do with punting and being shot at by various of my contemporaries who have now reached dizzying heights of woke acclamation, such as Carole Cadwalladr. Eventually, I wake up from this nightmare and realise it was indeed just a nightmare. Consoling myself with the thought that I probably didn’t even deserve a Desmond last time, I go back to sleep.
Thus, when I am eventually dragged away for daring to challenge Big Brother’s plans to make mask-wearing compulsory at all times until we have found a cure for white privilege and global warming, I expect that when the Ministry of Truth hauls me into Room 101, I will find myself back sitting a finals year paper on philosophy and will face an easy question: what is a woman?
Frigging hell these exams have got easier, I chortle to myself, and put down a few words on there being two genders, something about a penis and a vagina and a note on how women are not so good at rugby, whatever Clare Balding insists as Big Brother’s poodles at the BBC put her on screen for the seventeenth time each day. I lean back and start to dream that I will leap-frog a 2-1 and get a straight Geoff.
But, at that very moment, disaster strikes as Oxford’s MP Layla Moran enters the room, looks at my paper and scoffs. It is clear that this time it’s no Desmond but a Douglas, if I am lucky. For the “correct” answer according to Ms Moran is below. I shall try to remember that for my next Oxford nightmare.