Another story from the travellers' grapevine
TWO students studying for their final year in philosophy at an eminent Scottish university had handed in their dissertations and sat their preliminary exams. They knew with one exam left to sit the following Monday, they had done well enough that they needed merely a token score in the final test to ensure their degrees were in the bag.

Disinclined to sit around town for two days, putting in hours of unneccesary reading, they booked a cheap flight to Dublin on Friday for some serious rest and relaxation. Anybody who has spent any time in Dublin will know what rest and relaxation is likely to mean. Their weekend descended from intoxication into debauchery and beyond.

As Sunday approached, they would have been hard pushed to remember their own names, never mind the teachings of Sigmund Freud. Unfortunately they became so detached from reality they lost track of the time and missed the last flight back to Scotland.

Flying back on Monday, they tracked down their professor and "explained" the watertight story they had craftily concocted: they had, they said, spent the weekend studying in the peace and seclusion of a cottage out of town but had blown a tyre on the motorway while returning that morning. Only then had they discovered the spare was flat. They had done everything in their power to hitch a lift, but to no avail.

The professor, doddery old buffoon that he was, accepted their excuse and agreed they could resit the exam that afternoon. They turned up at the appointed hour and were shown to separate rooms. They sat down and turned over the papers. The exam consisted of one question for which 100 per cent of the marks were to be awarded. The question: "Which tyre?"

Maxton Walker

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