Fun_People Archive
15 Dec
Cakes and Ale

Date: Fri, 15 Dec 95 19:28:11 -0800
From: Peter Langston <psl>
To: Fun_People
Subject: Cakes and Ale

[Okay, I've finally found an interesting Cakes & Ale posting -- with thanks  
(and apologies) to all the Fun_People who sent me versions of the original  
over and over... -psl]

Forwarded-by: (Keith Bostic)
Forwarded-by: gknauth@BBN.COM

[There's an urban legend, related about a number of Universities (usually
 Oxford or Cambridge) concerning a student who, in the middle of an exam,
 demands his "cakes and ale", and when the proctors are confused, shows
 them some random old document where it states that students sitting exams
 get "cakes and ale" upon request.  In all versions I've heard, he gets
 something, usually a hamburger and a Coke, since they're the modern
 equivalent.  In some versions, he's later fined five pounds by the
 University for not wearing his sword to the exam, another obscure clause
 in the same document.]

That is an old myth with an identical parallel in Oxford University.
However, our Proctors did not fine the student, merely refused to bring
his pint of ale "since he was improperly dressed without his sword".
Our Proctors, you see, know their Constitution by heart...

There are better ones in both universities, such as the student sitting
his Finals examinations in Philosophy (for PPE), who answered the question
"what is the bravest thing you have ever done" by writing "This is" and
walking out.  That is also ascribed to a school student sitting the
entrance exams, and to a Classics scholar who eventually got a First in
Greats for his trouble.

There is also the fact that in both universities, anyone who dies before
completing their last exam is awarded a posthumous First in their subject.
Which is weird, but very Oxbridge.

[=] © 1995 Peter Langston []