There were scenes of indescribable horror at Oxford yesterday, after 11 students were killed by plummeting mortar boards they had tossed in the air during their graduation ceremony.
Although the custom of ‘mortar boarding’ has been banned for ten years, it still continues in some traditionalist departments. Observers said that those caught in the melee of rignt-angled cloth shrapnel never stood a chance.
‘It’s a tragic waste,’ said Oxford Vice Chanceller Lord Squires. ‘We had been trying to encourage graduates to emulate the less dangerous tradition from the University of Baghdad of randomly firing AK-47’s in the air.’
In honour of the fallen, surviving graduates completed the traditional ceremony by jumping naked off Magdale Bridge onto spiked punt poles. ‘Our hearts go out to the families of the deceased,’ gasped one. ‘But if it’s any consolation, they are now 6/4 on at Paddy Power for this year’s Darwin Award.’