Friday, April 28, 2006

Mirth and Woe: The Phantom Turd

The Phantom Turd

"Mwargh! said David Evans. "Mwargh! Who's done that then?"

And there it sat, in its stinking malevolence, a perfectly formed turd on the cheap linoleum of the sixth floor gents' toilets at Bracknell College.

"Don't touch it!" he warned "You'll get worms and die."

So we didn't, and the next day it was still there, slightly crustier, still stinking the place out.

But still the mystery remained. Who had done it, and why had he missed by such a considerable margin? We suggested that this might be a political gesture. IRA prisoners were still holding their dirty protests in Ulster's H-Blocks, and this was seen as some sort of demonstration against the No Smoking Area in the college refectory.

The following Wednesday, there was another cry of "Mwargh!" from the sixth floor toilets, and we dashed to investigate. And there it sat, in the hand-basin, daring us to turn on the taps. So we did, and discovered our tormentor had recently eaten sweet corn.

And so it continued. Every Wednesday, two o'clock sharp, there would be a cry of "Mwargh!" from some random, slightly more adventurous corner of the college buildings, and a fresh turd would be found.

In the bike shed.

At the bottom of the stair well.

In the lift, the door wedged open, tellingly, on the sixth floor.

In the metalwork room.

And despite some of the faculty's finest minds on the case, the identity of The Phantom Turd remained a mystery.

And that, indeed was all we know. For his (or indeed her) most audiacious stunt, a ten-inch steamer outside the refectory double doors was accompanied by a piece of A4 paper with "The Phantom Turd strike's again!!!" glued on in the classic cut-from-a-newspaper style. Top marks for pranking, two hours in detention for dreadful punctuation.

The culmination of The Phantom Turd's campaign came during a full dress rehearsal of the drama club's Romeo and Juliet one dreadful, memorable Wedsnesday afternoon. Two o'clock had come and gone and the entire college had breathed a collective sigh of relief as the culprit had clearly ended his campaign. Or so we thought.

The college theatre was full to bursting with actors, stage hands, lecturers, and various hangers-on. The curtain opened to reveal a stage empty. Enter Chorus, reciting his lines as he walked toward centre stage

"Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene..."


"From ancient MWARGH! grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes
Oh Jesus civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers
OhGodOhGodOhGodItStinks take their life."

Despite a full board of enquiry chaired by the principal himself, The Phantom was never caught.

And no, I have nothing to declare.

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