Routines: so reassuringly do they provide a blanket of comfort in our lives, that we often forget the unbridled horror of having to divert from them. However, if you’re a brave soul looking to shake things up, look no further than 2nd year Emma Wooton: the modern-day Reagan who has smashed rigid conversational norms by abandoning her official HMG conversational flowchart in her most recent exchange with her flatmate.
Amazed by her daring orations, The Whip’s inter-flat relations correspondent quizzed Ms Wooton on how she came to make such a brave decision to forge her own path through the dense undergrowth of intra-flat tedium.
“I honestly don’t know what came over me!”, the undergraduate explained, “I had all the usual questions locked and loaded: ‘How was your day?’, ‘Up to much tonight?’. All good, British questions masking enough disdain and apathy towards the recipient so as to give Andrew Neil a run for his money.”
She continued, “Then suddenly, in a flash of madness, I just went off track; started asking my flatmate what he thought of the soft power gains of Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road initiative. The poor guy was so confused he ran away to Wales. Never trying that one again, guess I’ll just have to revert to the old ‘Good thanks, you?’ formula till the end of the year.”
In order to avoid such conversational disasters happening to other students, The Whip urges anyone attempting to engage in anything other than banal conversation with one’s flatmate to please consult the government’s official conversation flowchart for further guidance. It might just save you an argument or two.