‘Finalists Fling’ at Hertford had to be cancelled hours before it was due to take place onTuesday, after the drainage system under the college overflowed, forcing sewage into the kitchen.
The black tie dinner, designed for Finalists to enjoy a stress-free evening before the ‘onslaught’ of exams, has been postponed until next week, following a decision by the Home Bursar to close the kitchen until it had been professionally cleaned.
The JCR Secretary sent out an urgent email to students which read, “I am incredibly sorry to report that I have just been called into a meeting with the home bursar and the head of catering who have told me that Finalists fling tonight will have to be CANCELLED.”
“Apparently the drainage system under college has overflowed forcing sewage into the kitchen, and Beau [the Home Bursar] has made the Health and Safety decision that the kitchen cannot be used until it has been professionally cleaned. I have provisionally rearranged it for NEXT TUESDAY. Beau has said he will talk to the bursar about getting us free wine for the rearranged fling to apologise for this catastrophe.”
It was later confirmed that, to compense for the cancelled dinner, attendees at the rescheduled event will be given half a bottle of wine each.
The ‘@whatisinhall’ Twitter account later tweeted, “For those of you who haven’t heard, Finalist’s Fling has been cancelled due to flooded drains in the kitchens.”
Students were able to observe through the kitchen windows that the floor was indeed awash.
Andy Turner, a third-year mathmetician who organised the dinner, told Cherwell, “Finalists Fling being cancelled was a real waste. The whole mishap was a huge drain on everyone’s time and enthusiasm.”
“The incident stinks of a conspiracy planned by the college’s main rival in food provision, the ATS. The meal has been rearranged to next week, when hopefully the funnel continue unabated, with the addition of complementary wine flushing any hopes of a quiet night down the toilet,” Turner explained.
Some students questioned when the incident had occurred. Third-year historian Callum Pirie joked, “We were beginning to wonder why the food had started tasting funny. We thought it was the horsemeat.”
In an email to Turner which was posted on the JCR Facebook group, Hertford’s catering manager addressed students’ concerns: “Please let me assure you that lunch today was not affected, and all food was prepared and cooked before the problem in the kitchen began. The council are currently working on the drains, and a professional deep clean company are due to clean the kitchen this evening. Meaning that service should resume to normal starting with breakfast tomorrow morning.”
Later in the evening, the kitchen was successfully cleaned, with college hall reopening the next day.
A third year engineer, Tom Oakley, sought to make the best of the postponement. “My Mother always taught me that when the kitchen’s knee-deep in shit, you’ve got to cancel dinner – so although I was disappointed, I entirely understood Hertford’s decision. I managed to stave off disappointment by making a delicious dinner of pan-fried duck breasts with raspberry sauce, baby leaf salad and sautéed carrots. And then I went to the pub.”
However, not all students were able to see the funny side of the situation. Third-year mathematician Adrian Clayton told Cherwell, “it’s too traumatic an incident for me to think up any sewage based puns.”