The Adventures of Montague ‘Fresh’ DeLarge: Part the 3rd – The General Meeting, Running for King of the Students’ Union

Hello, darlings! It’s Monty, fresh and pickled, returning from the ancient wastes of high-chappery where few dare to tread for fear of the strange monsters and woman-beasts that feature in drunken lore, and boozy myth. It’s a strange and dangerous landscape: a world where an honest looking man offers you and your chums discount wine, and the next morning you wake up in the National Portrait Gallery cuddling a tapestry.

My most recent foray into this dark landscape from which I send you glorious report involves our happy little union down the hill from Founder’s castle. I have grown to love our union, my little wine-chicks. I go there dressed as film villains, porn stars and in black tie at every opportunity, and the music there does strange things to my head- stranger things to my hips, and compounds on my enormous sense of lust until I am the resident lust-monster of thrustville.

And then I heard about these curious nights called ‘GMs’. General Meetings. Grand Movements of a campus-focused political symphony, where my views and opinions were both needed and fantastic. I was going to play a part in the ‘big picture’, make life easier and more replete for my fellow students. I was well equipped, too. At my dear old school, Hugo-Fontaine-Wellington’s School For Boys, I was the captain of the debating society, resident lord of dipsoc, chief whip of Chaucer (my school house), and the only boy of our year never to receive a written warning from the police for brutal social misdemeanours- I committed them, yes, but I talked my way out of arrest like a fallen angel charming his way back into God’s own dressing gown.

My mission: make our SU a superpower. My motion: to install a dictatorship of virtue, and create a juggernaut of efficiency. Everyone could be a part of my vision. We would gel together and push towards a brighter dawn. I went to the GM looking dapper. School blazer, club tie, pocket watch, cigarette case, and a ceremonial sword I had down my trousers, which we would use to seal our revolutionary pact.

When I arrived I didn’t really know what to do. There were rows and rows of plastic chairs and it looked as if I might be a tad overdressed. I went to the bar, my spiritual home, and ordered those little plastic bottles of wine they serve you on aeroplanes. I bided my time, looked down at my notes, and sat content that I was a revolutionary hero in the making.

And then the debates finally began. It started off ponderously slow, elections and voting and other silly things. Every time a new speaker took the stand I took a drink – and then it was my turn.

The stand was a prime, voluptuous virgin waiting for a chap like me, and I took it. On the screen behind me were the words ‘Motion to apply core power base to SU management.’ I unveiled my luscious plan to my fellows: there were too many positions in the SU, I said. Efficient and brutal power was being dragged down by bureaucracy, I said. We needed a figurehead- not a president, but a warrior-king, I said. I could be that warrior, I said. And I ended, with my arms spread wide, ushering all my new chums into my compassionate embrace, and I heard strange noises. Booing. The sound of a lot of people, who should like you, expressing the contrary.

In the next hour, I was slated so viciously, my friends, I had to frequently check to see if my limbs were still intact. I was subjected to such a wave of antagonism I was unsure whether I had actually entered a hitherto unknown hell, and the people around me were really demonic hellspawn sent to torment me. I did not know what to do. I drank on, pouring that one saint- wine- down my gullet in order to keep myself pure.

Readers remember that Monty never wavers; he just sometimes stumbles a bit. This was one of those times.

Mid-tirade, I knocked a little woman over before she could take the microphone and rant about my tie, and whipped out the sword I had concealed in my trousers. I held it above my head. The room exploded, but I exploded more.

“People,” I shouted, “My dear people. I hear discontent. I hear sounds of confusion, and the crappy debating skills that normally happen when people lose all sense of perspective. I stand with you against austerity. I haven’t bought a blazer for three months and I don’t drink Rioja anymore. I will be your Caesar, install a royal line to our dear union-”

And then, just as it was getting really good, security broadsided me so hard I woke up on disciplinary shore, and was banned from our dear union for a month. That is the end of my first term at licentious Holloway, for it is Christmas soon.

Your eternal pal Monty, signing off.

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