Debating And Pop Idol And Coffee Sugar Nazism

The tournament was great. Will won Pop Idol. A good weekend!

Before I say I think the tournament went pretty damn brilliantly the typical Michellian disclaimer is necessary – ideally, I’d have liked more teams and judges involved, and ideally the first proposition team in the final wouldn’t have turned a motion which had great potential for something interesting (This House Would Shaft The Axis Of Evil) into an incredibly boring debate about removing Oxbridge privileges. But apart from that, everything seemed to run almost disturbingly smoothly, which actually worried me quite a lot – I kept thinking I’d somehow overlooked some huge glaring problem and waiting for the anvil to drop, but it just never did, and I’m reasonably proud that in roughly four years of tournament debating (since ’98) mine was the first tournament I’ve ever been at which ran on time.

So thank you, Mark, for putting up with all my malaise and moodiness, for being lovely in so many ways, and lastly (and very importantly) for booking rooms that actually existed this time. We were both admittedly mightily pissed while exchanging affirmations of love and friendship and each other’s general wonderfulness on Saturday night, but I stand proudly by everything I said, even now in the sobering light of day. Been great working with you, dear.

I raced home from the tournament with a beatific smile on my face, headed straight to the TV room in search of Avril, who’d taped Pop Idol for me, and did a lot of girlie screaming. Realized later that this is the only British pop cultural whirlwind I’ve actually gotten sucked into in my two and a half years here, but this one really did manage to reel me in, hook, line and sinker. I’ve explained to Alec that I came upon it at a vulnerable time; that having not seen him for two weeks due to our respective ski trips and missing him dreadfully I was just there for Will’s taking (oof, perhaps a bad turn of phrase there) that fateful Saturday evening in December when I wandered into the TV room and was transfixed. He remains unconvinced. Oh well. Good luck and best wishes, Will. Your profile is distinctly primatial but from the front you’re lovely, cheesy grin and all.

Much like the Sunday after the last debating tournament I organized, yesterday was a whole lotta wonderful nothing. Woke up at noon. Lunched and coffee’d with Russ, whom I dearly wish hadn’t brought me that belated Christmas present of American Gods, because he inconsiderately went and bought himself the tripod I was going to give him, and now I’m stuck for ideas. Treated the congregation at mass to an unusually muted and reflective version of Shine Jesus Shine (the hymn Fr J disdainfully refers to as likening Jesus to Brasso). Lingered downstairs with soup, John, Tay and bizarre conversation that involved coffee sugar Nazism (Me: “Does it make me some sort of lesser person because I like two sugars in my coffee, goddamit?”) and awful puns about a strange guy called Terry who comes to our hall and makes trouble every now and then. (Tay: “Man, this is scary. I’m terrified, man. I’m developing terranoia…I really don’t like it when he comes over here. I get all territorial.” And so on.)