Cambridge’s Best Benches: Part 2
A considered and tastefully compiled selection for your perusal
The wait is over.
It has been a while, and for that I apologise. The powers that be informed me the previous edition had been ‘too radical’ for the mild-mannered Tab, and that I should wait for the dust to settle before bringing out round part 2.
I know it has been hard. I too have seen the swarms of people wander the streets not knowing where to put their buttocks, sitting on sub-par benches without realising it, and it has hurt me. There was that teasing article about Cambridge’s Best Bums, but it was a poor imitation.
And so here, at last, is Part 2 of my ad-benchures:
6) The Picnic Bench – Sidney Sussex
This bench is the lazy picnicker’s dream come true, if only because it’s like two minutes walk away from Sainsbury’s. What’s more, if there’s anything you’ve forgotten, like cutlery, Sidney Sussex buttery is close and perfect for a little food-orientated kleptomania.
8/10 – Functional and sociable, but you will inevitably have the conversation about why ‘Sidney Sussex’ has such a funny name.
5) The Taking-A-Selfie-With-Darwin Bench – Christ’s
If you’re alone, he’s company. If you’re with someone, he’s a good conversation starter. Yup, sharing a bench the young Charles Darwin is an experience not to be missed. The view isn’t great, but it’s more than made up for by the fact that you can molest one of The UK’s greatest scientists. The placards dotted around also make for good reading, especially since, as you are technically learning, it doesn’t count as wasting time.
8.452/10 – Makes you proud to go to Cambridge, dunnit?
4) The Nelson Mandela Bench – St. Johns
We all know what everyone thinks of St. Johns, but this bench is going to take your prejudices and challenge the shit out of them. The view is so amazing; with the magnificent John’s in front of you, the Cam to your right and a little riverlet to stop you getting into Trinity behind you; that you’ll question all of your core values. It’s a life changing experience.
At least, it would be if they hadn’t had to chain it down to stop those privileged, rugby-playing, fnar fnar let’s-go-and-shoot-at-the-poor Bullingdon Club wankers throwing it into the river.
8.6/10 – An annoyingly good bench.
3) The Mathematical Bench – Queens’ College
Designed by Isaac Newton and built by Stephen Fry at the Queen’s behest, this bench, hidden in Queens’ secret rooftop garden, actually lets you forget you are sitting in what is officially the ugliest college on the Cam. It’s just far enough away from people to be quiet, but just close enough that you can eavesdrop on students who don’t know you’re there. If I weren’t sworn to impartiality, I would’ve put it top.
3π/10 – Awesome bench, but since 80% of Queens’ residents don’t know it exists, you haven’t got a hope in fuck of finding it.
2) Tit Hall Wall – Trinity Hall
I know the Tab’s got a reputation for trolling, but you bench-purists out there hear me out. Alright, so it’s a wall. Why do we need to reduce the world into the binary of ‘bench’ and ‘non-bench’? For me, Tit Hall wall is a statement, pushing the boundaries of ‘benchness’ – people sit there, they eat their lunch, it’s got a great view: ergo, it’s a bench. Deal with it, you narrow-minded pricks.
9.5/10 – Beautiful but dangerous, this is the femme fatale of the bench world. Take someone here and they’re bound to be impressed. Or slip and get very wet. Either way, it’ll be fun.
1) God’s Own Bench – Emmanuel College
There’s a pond. There are ducks. There’s a tree. It’s all just so fucking tasteful. You can’t hear the traffic because it’s too far away. Anything is possible on this bench. Any essay you write on it will get you a first. Any book you read you will instantly understand. Anybody you sit with will instantly attempt to seduce you (its far enough away from the college that dogging is definitely on the cards). If you are scared of success, avoid this bench.
10/10 – Makes you sick, doesn’t it?
So there you have it. Join me next time for ‘Cambridge’s Most Obnoxious Cash Machines’.