Thursday, 22 March 2012

Ellery of Exeter

Ellery of Exeter
Exeter Paddon Award 2012 Entry

Ellery was man. I tell a lie; he was a boy. That is, he saw himself as a boy but had manly features. Either way, the distinction is irrelevant.

Let me start again. Ellery was a confused human being with an acute case of irritable bowel syndrome, an affliction caused by a truly awful Christmas dinner prepared by his then atheist mother in the winter of 2002. His mother has not been seen since she embarked on a pilgrimage back in 2005. Her goodbye note read simply; ‘I am no longer an atheist. I am going to Mecca. Don’t wait up.’ Some say she couldn’t handle the heat but Ellery always insisted she had actually taken that trip to Disney Land they had always discussed and, while there, met a fat, middle aged banker before being murdered in her sleep at the height of the financial crisis. Make of it what you will but the trauma of abandonment never quite left Ellery. One night he even drew up a list entitled; ‘The Positives of Mother Leaving’. The list was a failure, so much so that Ellery found only one positive, that is, he no longer had to endure his mother’s cooking. If you’re wondering about Ellery’s father, don’t. Let it just be said that his father is rumoured to have been the inspiration behind Margaret Thatcher’s hairdo. Despite all of this, Ellery reached an age where compulsory education was a thing of the past. He faced a decision; to go to university or to follow his father into the wig trade. After some deliberation Ellery chose university; after all he had heard good things about university life but they say what swung it was that university meant he wouldn’t have to enter the big, bad world and socialise with riff-raff. ‘Work in a shop!’ he once exclaimed. ‘Don’t make me sick! I’m going to university where all the special people go.’ Then came the decision of what university to go to which, despite what you may think, was not a tough decision at all. As soon as Ellery heard that Exeter was home to a Cathedral and a Jack Wills store, both within a hundred yards of each other, he jumped at the chance to go there. No one ever found out the name of the evil bastard that told him Jack Wills was a cool place to shop.

So it was decided, Ellery was going to university in Exeter. Not even a two hour phone call from Emma Thompson could put him off. It is often said that Ellery arrived for his first day having walked the full one hundred and seventy miles from London; the reason being his father had recently fallen under the illusion that he was losing his hair and as a result refused to be seen in public. Furthermore, Ellery had a fear of trains, airplanes, buses and bikes. Nonetheless, he was in good spirits as he moved into his penthouse apartment in Holland Hall. As a side note, he had been offered accommodation in Lafrowda but ‘didn’t really fancy it because it was a bit dirty and full of common people.’

Throughout his first week in Exeter, Ellery had the time of his life. He made lots of friends, drank lots of water, dined in The Ram, he did all a man can. He even discovered that the people in Lafrowda weren’t so strange after all. In fact, Ellery was overheard discussing Lafrowda with a close friend and exclaimed; ‘I didn’t know they were literate in Lafrowda. They’re just like you and me!’ Such learning curves were as frequent as his bowel problems. At least that’s what his flatmates said. Nevertheless, it was not until a couple of weeks later, once he had recovered from Fresher’s Week and settled into his course, that Ellery realised there was more to Exeter than a Cathedral and a Jack Wills store. He began to explore the city in depth. He discovered Diagon Alley and collapsed in shock. ‘I didn’t know Harry Potter was real! I thought it was just made up!’ he cried in the ambulance. He signed up to the Arts Society, the Litsoc, the Knitsoc, the Mind Your Head Campaign, the Soul Choir and the Netball Society. He even went to a strange event called The Safer Sex Ball and liked it because, in his words, ‘there was lots to see’. He probably would have discovered much more had he not got lost for two weeks in the underground tunnels. The myth goes that when they found him he was lying on his back singing Help! by The Beatles and sipping a bottle of Sainsbury’s Basics Vodka. Despite this, which took his number of traumatic experiences up to fourteen, officially eleven above the average British male, he recovered in two days and was back on his feet enjoying university life. For the next three years Ellery flourished as a human being. He avoided any more traumatic experiences, keeping his total at fourteen, and made the most of his new found freedoms. He even setup his own society called ‘The Abba Wig Society’. Accounts of what happened at the socials vary but one distraught student who accidentally walked in on one hasn’t spoken since. There are also accounts of people exiting the room days later in some sort of trance. Speaking of his time at Exeter University, Ellery simply stated, ‘Who needs Paris when you have Exeter? If every place I visit is as kind to me as Exeter, I’m in for one hell of a life.’

Ellery is currently scouring the Himalayas where his mother was reportedly last sighted. Martin Scorsese’s biopic of Ellery’s life is set to hit cinemas within the year. 

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