Lost For Words

All you’ve got left is shit chat, but it’s not hard to get tongues wagging with a bit of crap and a pug. ELLIE PITHERS scrapes the barrel of conversation fodder.

agressive Crap fatigue fitfinder Grazia Heat Jude Law Lies Poo Pugloaf Red Bull Shit Sienna Miller

It’s exam term yet another article on The Tab begins with those horribly loaded words. You’re responding with a cynical eyebrow raise; here comes yet another god-awful piece of procrastination from a Tab writer suffering from exam fatigue, hoping to alleviate their reader’s exam fatigue with an article about, predictably, beating exam fatigue. But fear not, loyal readers who have read on to the seventh line! Revision (interspersed with lamentations over the death of FitFinder) is all anyone is talking about – the perfectly neutral “how are you?” has been replaced by an aggressive “how’s your work going?” – but there are, incredibly, a number of other topics you can introduce to plump out your chat over a snatched Red Bull break…


You know when you’ve done some work and you get a bit light-headed? This is a mental state that should have been the result of one too many Strongbows; sadly it was probably induced by one too many timed essays. Anyway, this is EXACTLY the kind of state you have to be in to appreciate the joy of Pugloaf. Pugloaf does exactly what it says on the tin (hah!): it’s a loaf that’s a pug, or is it a pug that’s a loaf?  You decide. There’s only one way to get people talking right now, and that involves taking a picture of Pugloaf on your phone (go on, hold your Samsung up to the computer screen and snap this baby) and showing it to those at the dinner table. Result: guaranteed giggles! There is simply no end to the plethora of punning that can ensue once this pic has been broadcast, from the genuinely witty (“Do you think he’s a purebred?”) to the downright uninventive (“Does  this pugloaf make me look fat?”). You can even insert the word ‘pugloaf’ into songs, and then you’ve got a ready-make joke. Amy Winehouse works pretty well as a starter to get numb brains chortling.


Cindies has shut. Fez has shut. Life has shut. Maybe not all literally or officially (early finishers are plumping up numbers again), but certainly metaphorically. For you, anyway. There is now only one source of gossip available (since, despite the efforts of David Douglas-Pennant, sexual trysts in the library seem to be more myth than reality): CELEBS. Jude and Sienna are back together after realising that no one else in the world was shallow enough to partner them! Jennifer Anniston is eating only baby food! Mischa Barton’s ex-boyfriend broadcast to the world that he thinks she’s fat, and on Twitter no less! Plus he is also really fat! Buy Grazia, or even better, Heat, and revel in the insignificant details of minorly famous people’s lives. It makes you feel better about yourself (Damn, Mischa Barton is actually looking a bit chubbs) and you can instantly connect with people on a non-threatening and superficial level. Leave the Electron theories to the library and analyse celebrity eating habits over luncheon. Making mindless conversation about WAGs has never been easier.


You don’t actually know who is playing at Jesus May Ball, but you can hazard an authoritative guess. Similarly, you don’t know how many people are on anti-depressants in exam term, but you can make up some huge number that sounds really dangerous and impressive, say, maybe, one third. For those of you who want to get a step ahead, lies are not just a way of escaping the tedium of revision, but a carefully crafted method of garnering the sympathy of your peers in the meantime. Because let’s face it, you need all the sympathy you can get. Repetitive strain injuries, irregular heartbeats due to excessive caffeine assumption, and slipping over in the library all guarantee at least an iota of sympathy that you desperately need. Your mum is probably at least 30 miles away, and daily motivational text messages are just not the same as the simpering glance of compassion that inspired you when you were on study-leave revising for your Maths GCSE.

4) POO

According to the March issue of Vogue, Poo is the last taboo. Slightly Clueless Fashion Journo has clearly overlooked such biggies as Domestic Abuse, Death, and Money, but her argument isn’t total crap; you’ve got to be really careful when and where you bring up the subject of poo. In these times of conversational drought, however, why can’t we just accept that the whole day pivots on a perfect poo? Jean-Paul Sartre (See? You can even talk about this with your DoS) explains our fear of poo by highlighting the lack of boundary between it and ourselves when we touch it. This, apparently, is why some people don’t like honey. Admittedly chats about bowel movements are perhaps best saved for after breakfast, but breaking a period of silence with such an observation as, “did you know that the perfect stool should only require one sheet of toilet paper?” is definitely going to get the dialogue flowing…


Take a long hard look at your best friend. Really take in that hair line. Examine those eyebrows. Measure (mentally) the stubble. Or try examining your girlfriend’s ears/lips/toes. This doesn’t necessarily need to comprise a voyeuristic experience – just scrutinise the physical attributes of your nearest and dearest. You will be surprised at what you find. Enormous mole that has slipped your gaze for nigh on two years; great pair of legs which you have not fully appreciated in the past; or even that little bit of muffin top on your girl bearing witness to the end of the lacrosse season. Voice these observations if you dare (everyone loves a bit of mechanical bitching), or remain silent and smugly entranced, buoyed by your detective skills and dissecting gaze, from which no pimple, hair follicle or sunburn can escape. If only you could peruse exam papers with such scrutiny.

But above all, do NOT talk about your SUPER FUN plans for next week. If you meet anyone with this unfortunate determination to talk about fun, then head straight to Talking Tactic 3 (Lies). You got tickets for Johns’ May Ball? I got six, and they’re VIP. You’re planning to go punting to Grantchester the day you finish? I’m going motor-boating up the Thames.

Your parents sent you a bottle of champagne in the post to celebrate your freedom? Mine sent me a balloon in the shape of a pug. Catherine Zeta-Jones has more style than you, I’ve got a First in the bag, I had a great shit this morning and your fringe is actually hideously unflattering.

Nearly there.