Freddy’s legend in college was cemented and the impression of his flaccid cock burned onto the retinas of his fellow students.

‘Alright, Penis Boy,’ one, particularly eloquent fresher shouts at him across the dining hall, ‘How’s your penis?’ Truth be told, Freddy’s penis is absolutely fine, but his face is burning bright red. The embarassment of his fi rst day phallic blunder has dominated his freshers’ week. How can I fully enjoy Park End, he thought, when all the girls have already seen the goods?

But with the end of freshers’ week comes the onset of grim reality and, even though he is still too mortified to linger in front quad, Freddy’s biggest problem is rapidly becoming his fi rst essay. The endless toga parties, it seems, were an illusion. This microeconomics problem is his life now.

Sitting in the Social Sciences Library, he spots another fresher – a pretty blonde girl with a calculator – doing sums with a ferocious intensity. Wow, Freddy thinks, beautiful and an economics whizz, not to mention the fact that she’s not from my college and therefore probably hasn’t seen my penis.

He takes a quick lunch break, stuffi ng a bland falafal wrap into his face, and then returns to the library, choosing, this time, to seat himself across from the girl. Her nose is deep in Hal Varian’s ‘Intermediate Microeconomics’ – her perfect nose amidst those imperfect factor markets – but he continues to shoot her saucy glances, whilst also attempting to give the appearence of breezing through his essay. He picks up his calculator to do a sum, but puts it down. I don’t need no calculator, his eyes say.

In the three hours that they are sitting next to one another, she looks at him twice – once when he coughs loudly and then again when he sneezes. When she goes to the loo, he sneaks over and sees that she’s left her nexus open and scrambles furtively to discover the name of his new obsession. Bernadette.Horseferry@bsl.ox.ac.uk...

In his first tute the next day, his tutor, however, brings him back to earth. Whilst the portions of his essay dealing with various curves were written with a great deal of (unnecessary) vigour, his maths is more than a little suboptimal.