Friday, 1 April 2016

The great joke

Way back in 2009 I wrote here about a remarkable, large scale practical joke I took part in when at university. It was a made-up ancient ceremony, for which the traffic was stopped by the police, so that a large procession could go down King's Parade, through Trinity College and onto the backs by the river, where a bizarre ceremony took place. I recently received an email asking for any details I had, so dug out of the loft my original instruction sheet, which I thought would make an appropriate entry for 1 April.

Scribbled by hand on the back of the sheet was the Latin responsory, which as a member of the choir I took part in giving the responses, as well as singing Super Flumina Babylonis during the immersion. I didn't quite remember the extract I gave in my previous post correctly, so here's the first half. The early bit about the fish was when the person playing the High Professor was slapped across the face with a fish, and for the bit about him standing in his combinations, you have to remember that the label of Marks & Spencer always used to be St Michael.

V - Ecce piscis... [I didn't copy the whole line, sadly]
R - Ecce piscis qui soccorum odorem oluit
V - Nunc etiam doctoram flagellat
R - In nomine Swain Dirus [GENUFLECT] laudamus te
V - [...] Derifiamus vestimenta eius
R - Venite virgines et vestes abicite
V - Nunc inventes senesque spectaculum vident
R - Omnes in risu tripodium admirantur
V - In combinationibus candidus extat
R - Sancta Michaelis nomine designatus

And here were our instructions:

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