The first thing they heard about the Oxford sinkhole was a Facebook status update from Tiresome Social Media Finalist. “So there’s a sinkhole outside Worcester! Hope it swallows me up on my way to the library!”

The whiff of quirky self-deprecation couldn’t quite mask the stench of his deep, ineffable smugness. “Sixteen likes!” cried Houmous Girl disgustedly, slamming shut her Macbook. “He’s only put that so everyone knows he’s in the library on a Monday morning in the holidays.”

“The holidays? I think you mean ‘the vac’!” cawed Oxford Fetishist.

“We’re not in Cambridge now!” Everyone snorted appreciatively at this hilarious gag at the expense of England’s other leading university. The only thing funnier than Oxford Fetishist’s jokes about how Oxford was better than Cambridge was when he did his impression of a Brookes student on a night out.

“Do your Brookes impression!” demanded Houmous Girl.

“Yeah, mmm, do,” begged Worryingly Intense Girl, plucking out thick handfuls of her hair in nervous anticipation. 

“Oh, alright then,” said Oxford Fetishist. He quickly changed into a shell suit then developed a hunch back and an expression of utter subservience.

“I’m a Brookes student, innit” he said, while applying for Jobseeker’s Allowance. This piece of searing class commentary had the room in fits of laughter.

“Just out of interest, have any of you ever actually met someone from Brookes?” asked Houmous Girl interestedly.

“Do you think it’s possible that we’re all unutterably self-involved and that Brookes is a respectable institution of higher education fi lled with interesting, well-educated and autonomous individuals?” asked Obnoxiously Opinionated Guy, lighting a rollie by striking a match on his ironic leather trousers. An uncomfortable silence settled. The only sound was Worryingly Intense Girl nibbling her toenails and gibbering.

“Actually, you know what…” said Oxford Fetishist slowly. An expression of confusion briefly flitted across his face. Then he shook his head and the moment was gone, or was it? “Bet some bloody tourists fall into that sinkhole, eh?” he cried with relief.