Week 5) Nostril nightmare.
As I’m the only person directly affected by having to think of alternative activities for my offspring during a significantly damp October morning I was suitably peeved at this mass absenteeism.
Needless to say, Space Invader and Know It All (sporting his latest t-shirt promoting his unrivalled knowledge of the Kariba Dam) were already in attendance.
A trudge through the millenniums accompanied by Neanderthal man was the treat in store for today's intrepid exploration.
Phrases like Homo Erectus (or Homo Ewectus, as the afflicted one put it) failed to raise an eyebrow with my ancient and humourless classmates, but I confess to having to contain a rather juvenile snigger.
It was while I was inspecting Homo Decrepit on centre stage for any obvious signs of evolution that I noticed it……
What, I asked myself, is the correct protocol for informing a senior lecturer that he has a bat in his cave?
This awkward condition, although nowhere near as potentially embarrassing as a flying low incident, provided me with somewhat of a dilemma.
To enlighten him directly would appear a tad familiar. "Excuse me Sir but are you aware that you have a bogey up your nose?" is, I imagine, not something by and large expressed aloud in polite circles.
Sniffing loudly and deliberately only drew attention to myself, and away from the genuine nostril nightmare, especially as I inadvertently inhaled enough old people particles to set off a rather distracting sneezing episode.
Once serenity had been restored to its former glory, and all tutting had ceased, I decided to attempt to ignore the matter in the hope it would go away. However, I found myself inexplicably drawn to this nasal nasty and for the life of me I couldn’t avert my eyes.
Coffee break couldn’t come quickly enough.
The lads duly joined Space Invader and me at the furthest table in the hall, as it has now become apparent that the other females in the tribe have curiously rejected us.
I was somewhat dumbfounded to witness Know It All top up his Nescafe with an extraordinarily generous slug of brandy! Noticing my stunned expression, he commented that he "couldn't possibly drink the awful coffee here without it".
"Try the tea", would've been the overly obvious answer, but I chose to ignore the tedious old lush.
Back in class I was thankful to note the absence of any bats in any caves.
The irony of hearing about the evolution of speech from one who had not sufficiently evolved himself in order to pronounce his R's, was not lost on me.
I could hardly contain myself at the mention of the Cewebwal Cawtex let alone modified lawynx.
The term hunter-gathewew was equally entertaining.
Predictably this week's visual extravaganza consisted largely of maps (in the absence of any actual photographs of pre-historic man) and numerous close-ups of old bones.
I’ve now arrived at the milestone that stands a quarter of the way through this self-imposed punishment, and am left to speculate if, by the end of the course, I will indeed be four times more jaded with the subject matter than I am at present.
Only time will tell…..