2 June 2018

Newly overbumped

On the first day last week of this year's Eights Week Races, I strolled down to see a Historical First. It was the first time St Benet's Hall had fielded ... if that's the right term ... a women's boat.

Benets never had women until this year. You see, it is an offial Benedictine House as well as being a PPH of this University, and I gather there is something rather obscurantist in the Regula or else in current law about women lurking in men's houses. But Benets has a new Master ... who is no longer a Benedictine monk from Ampleforth. This lay Master, according to rumour, is not unknown in the circles of the S Gallen Mafia. Under his new regime, an important decision was taken. So that it could hold its own among the other colleges, secularised more than a century ago, Benets needed, of course, to have women. Don't we all? So it purchased the former convent in Norham Gardens (my generation at Staggers will remember it). That is where they hide their women undergraduates (these are not, I believe, women religious).

And this year, their women showed on the River, having secured a place through the Rowing On process, in the bottom Women's Division.

They looked terribly nervous. One of them said "per omnia saecula saeculorum", another added "Kyrie eleison", and a third asked "Does anybody know any other Latin words?" (You couldn't make it up, could you? I promise I haven't.)

The gun went off; off they went; and I watched until, intactae, the sweet little mites disappeared under Donnington Bridge and out of my sight. I gather that later, sadly, they were bumped: indeed, they were overbumped. What would S Benedict have made of that? What is the Latin for 'overbumped'? Unaccountably, the Vatican Lexicon Recentis Latinitatis affords no help.

I think I know how the Benets Women's Boat, next year, could begin the long journey to Head of the River. My solution is very much in the Spirit of S Gallen and of the Zeitgeist. All the beefiest young male Benedictines at Benets should "Self-Identify" as women. Perhaps the Master should lead the way.

Hey Presto!! Bob's your uncle!!! Tempora mutantur, nos et ... er ...

7 comments:

Sprouting Thomas said...

What is the Latin for "overbumped"?

Let's think - St. Sidonius makes chariot racing sound rather exciting:

"est sic tertius atque quartus orbis;
quinto circite non valens sequentum
pondus ferre prior retorquet axem,
quod velocibus imperans quadrigis
exhaustos sibi senserat iugales;
iam sexto reditu perexplicato
iamque et praemia flagitante vulgo
pars contraria nil timens tuam vim
securas prior orbitas terebat,
tensis cum subito simul lupatis,
tensis pectoribus, pede ante fixo,
quantum auriga suos solebat ille
RAPTANS Oenomaum tremente Pisa,
tantum tu rapidos teris iugales..."

Reportedly, that holy bishop was capable or rattling off this sort of stuff at will, which makes me think that rather more of the French Episcopal Conference ought to be employed as sports commentators. And there are plenty of Latin words for our girls to choose from.

So, perhaps, "perraptatae sunt?" Or would that suggest that the undergraduate raptores were in dire need of a "consent workshop?"

On the subject of occasional verse, why was there none for the Royal Wedding? It seems to me that, rather sadder than the A-list roll-call was the fact that no creative outpouring was encouraged, no invitation to solemn public joy was made. What are our panegyrists doing? When once town councils commissioned Bachs to set their annual festivities to music, are kings and princes now content with second-hand bits from Classic FM?

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Father. Always anxious to be helpful, were ABS there he'd have yelled out, " Hey, what about the traditionalist twins, Tom and Dick Verbo, referenced in Domine, non sum dingus..."

Colin Spinks said...

The best I can do is "bis deprehensae".

Ignatius, Cornwall said...

After Satanically perverting a papal election, it now seems the perverse wickedness of the St Gallen Mafia (are they not all dead yet?) knows no bounds.

John Vasc said...

They're not of course the only ones who think 'Kyrie eleison' is a Latin phrase.

Joshua said...

ABS, pursuant to your amusing comment, the phrase to which you refer is sed tantum dic verbo, not the expected sed tantum dic verbum, by reason of the underlying Greek employing a dative, thus: ἀλλὰ μόνον εἰπὲ λόγῳ.

Is that right?

JARay said...

If Bob's your uncle, is Charlie your aunt?