Not in the Guardian, as is generally the custom, but in the Spectator, thanks to Carola Binney, an undergraduate history student at Magdalen College, Oxford, who “writes on student life.” In keeping with tradition, the headline is bold:
Cloakrooms should be free to stop young women freezing to death.
If the thought process behind the headline (and its missing comma) is somewhat unobvious, Ms Binney elaborates:
As I wiggled into my tights in preparation for an end-of-term night out, I was faced with the perennial clubbing question: should I take a coat? Logic, and my mum, would say the answer was obvious. My outfit was hardly cosy, and a tipsy walk home at 2am in December is an adventure best braved from within my wardrobe’s most wind-proof, water-proof and fur-lined offering. But the question wasn’t just one of insulation – I had a financial decision to make. The cloakrooms at most Oxford clubs cost between one and two pounds: what did I want more, healthy circulation or a Jägerbomb?
Ah, the life of the mind. Our thoughtful undergraduate goes on to share Dickensian tales of underdressed drunkenness, thereby illustrating the seriousness of her latest cause:
25-year-old Bernadette Lee, for example, died of hypothermia last January after going on a night out in the Kentish snow with no coat.
“Coats,” she informs us, “are especially essential on nights out, because alcohol, although it makes you feel warmer, makes you more vulnerable to hypothermia.” From this, she concludes,
If local councils are looking for a way to protect young women on nights out, they ought to make a free cloakroom a condition of a club’s license.
Readers may wish to take a moment to process Ms Binney’s mindset of entitlement, a mindset not uncommon among our brightest and best. Specifically, the belief that coat-wearing in winter can only be achieved – say, by students at Magdalen College, Oxford, which, incidentally, boasts its own deer park – if local nightclubs are forced to provide storage for these items entirely free of charge. On account of the reluctance of said students to part with one, possibly two, whole British pounds. Money that might otherwise be spent on roughly one half of a tasty and nutritious Jägerbomb. You see, they can’t be arsed to pay. Therefore someone else should.
Via the ever-vigilant Mr Eugenides.