Gordon Battle censured for trip to Welsh chip shop
by Wagril Slane
Photo: W A D Davies / Svklimkin / Ursula Reichenbach / Alan Levine
Students have been rocked by news that a senior campus figure challenged regional Covid-19 travel and household mixing rules by making a flying visit to Wales.
Gordon Battle, a lesser grey-backed hairless gull, is Principal of Aberdeen University's Guild of Seagulls. Battle issued a statement on Sunday, when it became clear he'd been found out.
"On Friday I flew down to Wales for a private dietary matter, to visit a bin outside a fish and chip shop I have been tipping over for some time. For the purposes of the visit I have been staying at our cree in Wales which is occupied by my egg. As I am a tight bastard, it felt like the safest option was to be in my cree, rather than in an aviary. It has been suggested to me that this may not be in line with local guidance."
Many students were outraged at Battle's mid-pandemic trip, and the absence from campus of the University's most senior seagull at this critical time. "This is hypocrisy," one told The Gaudie, asking to remain anonymous due to the University's new policy of sending passive aggressive emails to students who speak out. "We're not even allowed to go to the chip shop in King Street, why should Principal Battle be allowed special treatment?"
"How can an individual who has supported £250 fines and expulsion for students breaching Covid-19 rules do this and keep their job?" asked another. "I thought the university would be super careful now, since the scandal when the last Principal of Seagulls, Ivan Geezer, got a year's salary for doing nothing. Well, even less than seagulls normally do."
"Principal Battle should resign," said a third. "I can't believe how terrible this place is turning out - first no Fresher's Week, then I caught Covid in The Spindle, then Mr Angry Duckboard locked me in Wavell. Where I nearly starved till the university sold me three packets of pasta and a few sugary cereal bars for £75. And now this. I almost wish I'd gone to RGU. Well, not really, obviously."
South Wales RSPB investigated the trip and concluded Principal Battle had a "reasonable excuse" for entering the restricted area. "Battle has convinced us that it is impossible to find satisfactory fish and chips in Aberdeen, or indeed anywhere closer than Wales," said a spokesbird. "I wouldn't personally make a thousand mile round trip just to visit a specific chip shop, but what do I know, I'm a parrot, so I only eat 'seeds, nuts, fruit, buds, and other plant material', according to Wikipedia".
The scandal echoes that of the UK's Prime Sparrow Beavis Jackson's special adviser, chaffinch Donovan Cummerbund. Cummerbund faced censure for flying from London to Barnard Castle earlier this year where he did a poo on a member of the local public. He later claimed that he was testing out his bad eyesight, and in normal circumstances would defecate only on undergraduates.
"I would like to express my deep gratitude to the pigeon who has taken the time to send a message of support on Twitter, and to the one, possibly different, bird who favourited it," Battle continued, in his third contrite statement to students in five days. "I regret any negative reputational consequences for the University. Though as we've been in decline ever since Bishop Elphinstarling's day, I doubt it'll make the slightest difference to our role as a mediocre, arctic hellhole for Edinburgh rejects." Signalling to a nearby violinist to begin playing a mournful air in the background and holding back tears, the esteemed gull concluded, "In hindsight it would have been helpful to have sought prior confirmation that 'Please don't come to this bit of Wales' did, in fact, mean 'Please don't come to this bit of Wales'."
The Gaudie contacted Aberdeen University Students Association's President Ms Covidia Walnut for comment on Principal Battle's controversial excursion, but were advised "Unfortunately we cannot comment, as AUSA has a strict policy not to get involved in issues involving Aberdeen, the University, or students."