FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 20th, HOPKINS HALL -- “Fucking bite his ear off!” shouted an ebullient Dean Dave Johnson as two of the week’s most promising fighters – Michael Coughlin and Julius Ramsey – grappled with each other in the middle of a circle surrounded by other applicants and the entirety of the Deans, Fellowships, and Study Abroad offices.
“I like this one. He really has an Oxford feel to him” said Tina Stiociu, Director of Study Abroad, gesturing at Mr. Ramsey, who was punching Mr. Coughlin repeatedly in the stomach while screaming at the top of his lungs. She took a small dagger out of her pocket and tossed it into the middle of the circle, between the contestants. “We’re not supposed to tip the scales so much, but sometimes we can’t help but pick favorites. I mean, we are human.”
The two boys slipped on the floor, slick with blood, as they both made a made dash for Ms. Stiociu’s dagger. After ten minutes of violent combat the boys began to tire, but the onlooking faculty hadn’t lost their excitement. They knew that this was the point in the match when, in the words of Outing Club Director Scott Lewis, “things get real.”
“There’s just nothing like it,” confirmed Mr. Lewis, who doesn’t have an office in Hopkins but makes the long trek from his forest hut each year to watch the fights. “The old president, Adam Falk, told us that it wasn’t ‘moral’ for us to decide who gets to go to Oxford by way of ‘blood sport.’” Mr. Lewis shook his head. “And look where that got him: divorced.”
There was a terrible scream, and Mr. Ramsey abruptly stood up, his hand clenching the hair of Mr. Coughlin’s severed head.
“Congratulations!” shouted Director Stiociu, patting Mr. Ramsey on the back while handing him a golden ticket that read WEPO ‘20-21. “Who’s next?”
At press time, Mr. Ramsey excused himself to share the good news with his parents, ever proud of his scholastic achievements, but not before taking Mr. Couglin’s watch as a souvenir.