The Annual Student Toss

As the new student season approaches all the big city universities are preparing for the influx of Freshers. Looking out of my office window, which overlooks the main road that runs through the student village, I can’t help but look forward to the Annual Student Toss.

The Annual Student Toss isn’t a game played by rugby boys to see who can shoot their load the furthest, nor is it a variation on Soggy Biscuit (I still can’t believe all those dirty old middle aged mum’s in my office actually know what that is!) The Annual Student Toss is a spectacle that only those who have a view of a main road where drunken students stagger from their accommodation to and from the clubs and bars in the city, will get to see. I am fortunate enough to be one of those people who at least 3 or 4 times a year hear that dull thud that tells me the games are underway.

The townspeople of Guadalupe, Chihuahua celebrate Rosario Ibanez’ acceptance into Manchester University by preparing her for the AST

The rules of the AST are simple – students pit their wits against traffic as they attempt the perilous journey from one side of the road to the other without getting knocked ten foot in the air by an oncoming vehicle they have somehow failed to notice. From what I gather, before crossing the road the competitor must first hinder themselves with a handicap. Handicaps vary from reckless vagueness to utter stupidity. Excessive consumption of alcohol and/or drugs whilst munching on a kebab is popular, as is confounding the senses by listening to music through an i-something, walking blindly into the road whilst texting or BBing or talking on a mobile phone is very common, but my personal favourite is The Trouser Shuffle, which involves the competitor struggling to walk whilst attempting to pull up a pair of pants that they have deliberately worn with a loose belt so that they hang down around their knees and show off their arse – priceless. If you’re really lucky you may get a combination hit – drunken student texting mates whilst eating a kebab and struggling with pants before being propelled ten foot into the air with a look of utter shock, horror and bemusement is rare but comic gold.

High flying business student Giles Faulkner-Bebbington scored a perfect ’10’ with his record breaking 32 metre toss off the front of a Range Rover. His economics professor told worried family members in hospital “Don’t worry, this kid will go far”.

The common denominator with all of these students is that for some reason they believe that a busy high street is actually a pedestrian plaza where you can stroll along nonchalantly without paying any attention to what is going on around you. You would have thought the absence of a fountain, statue, green space, or flocks of mutated pigeons eating discarded fast food was a give away. For me, just the fact that vehicles are continually driving up and down this elongated ‘plaza’ would have made me think “Hmm, this is actually a road, I better take care before I get hit by a ton and half of Mini Cooper.”

Although not quite on a par with The Hunger Games or The Running Man, this does seem a pretty sadistic spectator sport, but I am genuinely glad to say there have been no fatalities so far… Actually that can’t be true because there are speed cameras on the high street. Anybody who has done a speed awareness course will know that those big yellow money spinners come at a cost of three dead people a pop. Well all I can say is that there have been no fatalities on my watch… Yet.

Stop, look, listen – I mean how hard can it be!?

Now many of you have probably misjudged me as some sicko who enjoys seeing people get hurt; not so. First of all, most of these people don’t get that hurt because they are so drunk they are numb. Secondly, as wrong as it is, everybody enjoys seeing someone have a semi-painful accident… don’t they? Whether it’s right or wrong, seeing somebody trip up, fall over, walk into a post or get taken by surprise and hit by a car is just funny. I don’t know why. Maybe Jeremy Beadle and the makers of Jackass and Wipeout have the answer. There’s also something quite satisfying about the idea that the future masters of industry, lawyers and doctors – the brightest young things getting the best education that mummy and daddy can buy so that they can grow up and be well-paid arrogant smug pricks – can’t even negotiate a fucking road properly. I mean how can you get into a top university but not be capable of passing the test required to join The Tufty Club?

However, that said, road traffic accidents are no laughing matter – but in this instance I just can’t help it. So this year I think I’m going to appeal to the students on their level in a bid to prevent more accidents of this kind. I therefore intend on putting on a student night called ‘Roadkill’. Everyone has to dress up as a member of the Tufty Club and the bouncers will all have to dress up as Green Cross Code men. Everyone who buys a ticket will get a free green vodka sambuca shot and a condom with the message ‘THINK, STOP, WAIT UNTIL ITS SAFE’ printed on them. Proceeds from the night will go toward resurrecting the Tufty Club in universities across the country. It may seem an irresponsible idea because everyone will get drunk and it’s very likely someone will get hit by a car on the way back to their student digs. However, I’m sure that for those that make it back to shelter safely, the message of road safety will penetrate with good effect and get hammered home.

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