Cambridge’s 10 Commandments

CONOR CLARKE re-writes the Ten Commandments, in the hope that they’ll become more relevant to the Cambridge student.

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I’m sure we all know our commandments, don’t we? ‘Thou shalt not steal’, ‘thou shalt not kill’, and so on, and so forth. I’m pretty sure there was something about my neighbour’s ox in there too. My neighbour doesn’t actually have an ox; although he does have a mini-fridge I’ve had my eye on for a while now. The moment he turns his back, it’s mine.

Okay, so maybe some (most) of us don’t have the ten commandments at the forefront of our minds on a day-to-day basis. This makes me wonder whether it is actually fair to expect us to fixate on a set of rules imposed thousands of years ago and handed down generation after generation, with no regard for their continued relevance? The world was a very different place in the time of Moses. They didn’t have mini-fridges, for starters. I will concede that these ordinances are supposed to be universal and timeless. After all, this particular code of conduct is set in stone.  Quite literally, as it happens.

Even so, maybe there is room for improvement. I think we should make the commandments a bit more relevant to the here and now, in fact, Cambridge students could do with a set of their own rules:

1. Thou shalt not complete thine assignment more than six hours before the deadline

After all, there are plenty of other, really pressing things you have to attend to. Like staring off into space. Or flicking bits of lint around your desk. Ooh, look a Facebook group about the ten most irritating things women do during sex. I so have to join that.

2. Thou shalt remember the rules of ring of fire, and keep them holy

There’s a reason no one remembers the fourth king at Bethlehem, you know. Everyone was too wankered.

3. Honour thy college father and college mother

My college dad got me drunk and then forced me to play a drinking game called ‘Deutsche Erotica’. Sometimes I wish I could forget the things I heard that night.

4. Thou shalt not listen to drum and bass in the room above with the bass whacked up so high that I can sit and watch everything on my desk vibrate

This means war. Think I didn’t hear those creaking bedsprings the night that porter escorted you back to your room? Think again.

5. Thou shalt not wash thine clothes until thou hast re-worn all thine underwear at least twice

Everyone has this level of personal hygiene, right? Right? 

6. Thou shalt not sit next to me in the library and get more work done in half an hour than I have all day.

I dare you to colour code your notes. I dare you, I DOUBLE dare you, motherfucker, colour code those notes and I’ll make you eat every last piece of your itemized stationary. Exam stress? Whatever do you mean?

7. Thou shalt not have a nutritious breakfast. Ever

Bran? What the hell is bran? I’ve been kick-starting my day with a can of relentless and two pro plus ever since I got here.

8. Thou shalt try new and exciting things. And then regret it

You can guarantee the hangover and the Facebook pictures will both hit at exactly the same time.

9. Thou shalt not pretend to like the pretentious foreign movies at the Arts Picturehouse to impress that history of art student from Toulouse with the open mind and the furry handcuffs

Also, no one likes your beret. Take it off. You look ridiculous. And you’re holding that copy of Sartre’s ‘Nausea’ upside down.

10. Thou shalt remember that the I.T. staff are watching which sites you visit through the college broadband

It’s no good deleting your browser history now. It’s much too late for that.

Most of it is just a matter of common sense. Just think. Unless you plan on thinking about whether the I.T. staff know what you’re keeping on your hard drive. Some things just don’t bear thinking about.