Thursday, 23 September 2010

Fleas on the agenda

This morning the senior management of Fruitcake Miniature College all woke up in or on the same bed and held a meeting. The Principal was there, the Head of Animal Care, and the Director of Studies naturally. The Health and Safety Advisor was also present, as were Estates, and of course the Refectory was well represented, it being before breakfast.

If this sounds a little wild and disorganised, bear in mind there were only three of us. If that's still rather a lot to handle, remember only two of us are human. The third individual, Fruitcake, is a cat, though he is the Principal of Fruitcake Miniature College. This institution, as regular readers will know, is my response to redundancy. By starting a couple of private classes I have recreated in miniature some aspects of Hardacre Collage, which is the spelling mistake I worked at for so long.

Anyway, Cho and I were sitting up in bed with a cup of Assam, and I suggested that we should hold regular meetings. I had in mind the proper minuted sort, with the previous meeting's minutes, action points, initials against the action points. I noticed Cho looking at me sideways, which I know means that she thinks I'm having a good idea. However, this particular meeting only had a one-item agenda so there wasn't really the opportunity for lots of procedure. All the same, the Health and Safety Advisor had plenty to say. Fleas.

Fruitcake, our Principal, has got fleas. Ironically, these don't trouble the Head of Animal Care, though she is indeed sympathetic to the rest of the college, who suffer dreadfully. We referred to previous actions and reminded the present meeting that we had obtained powerful ju-ju from the petshop, and had also consulted the Nice Lady (the vet). However, these actions had not proved effective to date. Not surprisingly, what with breakfast and long to-do lists to see to, the outcome of the meeting was a date for another meeting. But Estates would in the interim spray the passage from the bedroom to the bathroom again.

This all goes to show how little a reluctantly private enterprise like mine has in common with a proper institution such as the imaginary but Government funded Hardacre Collage. Who could imagine in a real college the Principal being a creature who acted purely out of self interest but at the same time desperately wanted to be scratched on top of his head? And what real Principal would ever tolerate parasites living in his fur and making everyone else miserable for so long? That reminds me, I haven't said much about the importance of trade union representation yet. More on this soon.

1 comment:

  1. Our establishment once had a similar problem with the Provost (who sounds much like your Principal) and Health and Safety recommended wearing wooly long white socks while passing through the problem zone. Thus we were able to see the black fleas on the socks, pick them up and flush them down the nearest loo. It was a bother, though, and eventually we forced the Provost into a hot bath with banishing soap for the parasites. It was, alas, only a temporary solution.