Ask Uncle Sam #5: Tutorial romance

Cherwell's very own agony uncle, Sam Juniper, is here to cast an avuncular eye over your woes

Dear Uncle Sam,

My tutorial partner recently ended our chirpse over Facebook Messenger, and now, whilst discussing the finer nuances of Riemann integration twice a week, we have to pretend that we haven’t slept together. Any tips?




This is a difficult situation to be in—for a start, the fact that you’re using the word ‘chirpse’ in 2017 demonstrates how hopelessly uncool you are. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if your catastrophic inability to keep track of what is socially acceptable slang was the key reason behind your little affair ending. Except, of course, if you were saying it ironically: if this is the case, you’re now awesome and your ex-chirpse has made a huge mistake.

The best advice I can give you here is to make things as awkward as possible. Really hammer home that you won’t be mucked around like this. The quickest route to accomplishing this is obviously sleeping with your tutor. Just imagine the look on your ex’s face as your tutor skips up to them, fuelled by post-coital joy, unable to contain their excitement as they spill the beans about your dirty, sweaty, voluptuary night of passion and self-loathing.

If you’re especially keen to make them jealous, don’t use protection: nothing will grind their gears quite like watching your new love child being raised before their eyes during weekly tutorials. It goes without saying that if you and your tutor are the same gender, adopting a baby has exactly the same effect.

It’s unlikely that your tutor will reject your advances. But if they do, you’ll have to expand your plan for revenge (that is what you wanted tips for, right?) to include them too. Thankfully, this scenario permits you to kill two birds with one stone!

Your best friend in this situation is anthrax. Depending on how furious you are, you might want to use the real thing. If you’re not too fussed and would like a reasonable chance of survival, I’d swap it for sugar or talcum powder. Anyway, you need to arrive for your tute five minutes early and plant a not-quite-sealed package containing your anthrax (or anthrax substitute) someplace where it’s easy to knock over. A few minutes into your discussion about the fundamental theorem of calculus and step functions, casually brush the package on to the ground, spilling your powder everywhere. Then scream “anthrax!” at the top of your lungs. This will alert your adversaries that you have knocked anthrax on the floor.

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Provided your college has even the most basic health and safety procedures, the three of you should be quarantined almost immediately. Now you have your opportunity to turn your tutor and former booty call against one another: a recommended starting point is tricking them both into thinking that the other had planted the anthrax. Let it get violent. With any luck, they will maim one another enough to leave permanent damage or provide grounds for the police to arrest them for grievous bodily harm—or, ideally, both.

It hasn’t escaped my attention that you may wish to punish a third party—who may or may not be separate from your tutor-tute partner debacle. If you do, you can find a means of framing them for the anthrax attack. Contaminating the scene with their DNA, disguising yourself as them, or forging a written confession to the incident should do the trick. And remember, if someone doesn’t love you at your best, they shouldn’t be able to handle you at your worst!

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