Student shivers, buttons overcoat, joins Soviet bread queue outside Spoons

The evening started with such promise. A gaggle of excitable freshers rode the U1 to the holy grail of nights out, Spoons. 

With the air of a paddle of ducklings after their mother, or Primark addicts post-lockdown, a mob of irritable, nutrient-deprived students queued outside the W.G. Grace, snaking halfway up Whiteladies.

A freezing mob of halter necks and high waists bundled themselves near an old man smoking a pipe. They reached out, trying to feel some warmth in their fingers. Coats were being rationed between housemates; exclamations of ‘A hoe never gets cold’ rang out in the air like birdsong. 

“Can I have a drag?” one fresher was heard mumbling. “I’m having so much fun,” another sighed; “Jack said he was coming tonight- might be in there already” spoke the shiniest of the group, pleasing nobody. 

Inside was the same, if not worse. Overworked, underpaid employees waded through the grime of the place, soaking overcrowded tables with pungent sanitizer. Time they had endured under the thumb of a dictatorial tyrant weighed heavily on their shoulders, frequently touched by men they didn’t know brushing passed. It was only a year or so since their Fearless Leader had been replaced by an accessible app; now the hand that fed them was faceless. 

Indeedy, things do seem rather grim across the state of UoB. Only this week it was announced that the Gulag system was going to be implemented in freshers halls. Desperate freshers residing in what the UN has declared are ‘unlivable conditions’ are being locked up, unable to leave, visit friends or family. Thankfully the University’s auto-email service is on hand whenever needed to lend an ear and let students know that the administrative team will be back to them in at least 3-5 business days.