Tab Rates vs. Tab Slates: Week Four

Another week, another few oddballs to add to the collection. We rate them. ‘Dad of the Year’ John Terry? We slate him.

Catz College Drinking JCR John Terry Library Phoebe Luckhurst Scandal Sex Ta Bouche Tab Rates vs. Tab Slates

Tab Rates

Barmen. The specimens at Ta Bouche particularly. Obviously they’re only flirting with you in the hope that you’ll ask for an actual cocktail with your glass of water (tap) that you’re only drinking so that you can loiter at a table until Fez is busy enough for you to deign to grace it with your presence. But still. A little bit of insincere and gratuitous flirting never fails to make the ladies swoon.

Other people’s awkward situations. My friend and I went on a dinner ‘date’ (largely to bemoan the fact that we were on a ‘date’ with each other rather than with actual men/the barmen at Ta Bouche) and found further cause for grievance when we were seated next to a couple. Nothing like a bit of gooey-eyed adoration to make me tut so often that I sound like a braying horse rather than a female member of the human race. All of a sudden, without warning, the girl in this seemingly functional relationship got up, started yelling, grabbed her coat and hit her male companion over the head with a set of keys. Well. I can testify to the fact that it is very difficult to concentrate on chopping up a bit of tuna steak when you are shaking with suppressed laughter with such dynamism that an uninformed observed might naturally assume you were having an epileptic seizure. Even better, moments later she returned, (forgot her coat – always embarrassing when you do that, like slamming the door only to have it bounce back open behind you) and added another blow for good measure. Even better, was that at the precise moment this little scene exploded, the unwitting waitress arrived with their main courses. We spent the rest of the meal debating the ethics of poaching their glasses of untouched wine (we didn’t – but it took some soul searching) and wondering just what he could have done.

Poaching. Other people’s ideas in seminars to enliven your own dire essay, other people’s food from fridges to enliven your own dire meal, other people’s newspapers (i.e. the communal pile bought for the entirety of the college population) from the JCR to enliven your own dull Sunday morning. Nothing like stuffing a pile of supplements into your bulging bag to make you feel the thrill of the illicit.

The Cambridge Weirdo Population. Disco Kenny is a personal favourite of mine – though the fact that he has not been seen cycling, beatbox in basket, in a while have caused unconfirmed rumours of incarceration for illicit practices – but the chap I met in Catz library is pretty good too.  Complete with straggly ginger facial hair – post-grad? – he slumped down opposite me and proceeded to breathe heavily through his mouth, catching strands of this straggly facial topiary in the process, so that he was emitting a strange, reed-like music. Almost beautiful, except actually really disgusting. He also looked like the kind of candidate for a Columbine-esque attack on the poor, studious residents of Catz library. In fact, when he whispered, "excuse me," across the table, I was quite certain that I was going to be calmly informed that in twenty seconds time,  he was going to put his hand over my mouth, drag me to my feet and scream, "Nobody move or the bint gets it!!!!" Actually he asked me if I would take a picture of him in the library. So he could show his parents. Ten minutes ensued as I played Testino and tried to capture his true ‘essence’ and the beautiful – and obviously significant – day that was his sojourn to the library. He only let me leave when he was happy with one of the twenty-four pictures I took. Moral of the story: the weirdos of this university provide food for Tab Rates vs. Tab Slates.

Tab Slates

Spitting. Hanging outside the pub waiting for someone to arrive – smoking the obligatory cigarette, the only thing that makes waiting, solo, like a big old lemon, remotely less embarrassing  – when I was joined by a companion. (Not the one I had been waiting for, you understand. Another lone wolf like myself.) He swayed slightly and I decided to keep my friendly smile of acknowledgement to myself. He then spat up a large volume of a delightful saliva mucus melée and I decided that I’d rather wait in the bar and jostle for space with the group of large, tattooed and very intimidating men than spend another second in his orbit.

Your antics. You’re just better off not knowing. When I wake up with fourteen Facebook notifications and six text messages from my best friend marking the progression of the night (10.05pm: "Hey where are you? X"; 10.20pm: "We’re at Fez come find us X"; 10.40pm: "Fez now hurry up X"; 11.05pm: "Phoebe?? X"; 11.40pm: "Worried. CALL ME X";  12.27am: "WHERE ARE YOU?????"; 1.06am: "OK SERIOUSLY WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU"), you know it’s one of those ones where you’re better off in the dark. Because in the dark you can’t see your own face in the mirror and gaze at it with a mixture of self-loathing and fascination as to how you managed to get eyeliner on your chin.

The holier-than-thou. OK, so you went to that 10 o’clock lecture, met the deadline and spent the evening at Parkside swimming a casual forty lengths. I got up at 2pm, missed a supervision because I simply forgot it had ever been arranged (exposing the flaw in the write-it-on-your-hand diary system – most of my 'carefully' written plans plunge into oblivion via the plug-hole in a Palmolive scented cloud of bubbles) and can’t climb the two flights of stairs to my room without needing to stick my palms behind my head and breathe deeply for two minutes afterwards. I feel rubbish enough as it is (see: ‘Your antics’), I don’t need you swanning about the place being A Good Example of Humanity, making pointed comments and reminding me that I, by contrast, am Shit At Life.

Your bed. Don’t concern yourself with how I stumbled upon this, ahem, ‘gem’ from July 2006, concern yourself with soaking your sheets in a bath of Dettol (it protects – fact) and then jumping in yourself for good measure. You know you haven’t washed them since Freshers’ Week. 2008.

John Terry. Footballer in shagging scandal. Not really breaking news. But Mr Terry's been pretty naughty. That Dad of the Year Award, might, in retrospect, have been an error. My Dad forgets my identity (phonecall: "Hi Dad!" "Sorry – who's this?") but he's definitely a better Dad than the national captain has turned out to be. And I thought John Terry was one of the nice ones. Then again I though David Beckham was simply too thick to do anything wrong and look where that ended up. With Rebecca "Well-At-Least-She-Does-It-For-Farmyard-Animals" Loos.