Posted by STEPHEN MCMURRAY Posted on 7 December 2020

An Interview With Professor Bluffer

Interviewer: “This morning we have Professor Bluffer of Inferior College, Oxford.

“Good Morning, Professor.”

Professor Bluffer: “Mmmmnngghhnnn”

Int: “It might me a good idea to remove your mask, first.”

PB: “Mmmnnmmgghnn.”

Int: “And the other one as well…. and the scarf……and bandana. The snood really needs to go too… and how you can breathe with those thermal underpants over your face is beyond me. Good. Now, Professor Bluffer, could you explain to us the mechanism behind how masks protect us from the virus?”

PB: “Well, the material catches the little blighters, like flies on sticky paper.”

Int: “But how do masks do that when the viral particles are smaller than the gaps in the material?”

PB: “Eh?”

Int: “The viruses are smaller than the weave of the material, so how do they work?”

PB: “The viruses are smaller than the gaps in the material, you say?”

Int: “Of course, Professor.”

PB: “I never knew that.”

Int: “Excuse me?”

PB: “I thought they were bigger, you know, the size of flies. That’s why I said they would get stuck like flies to sticky paper.”

Int: “I thought that was an analogy”

PB: “No, I just have a cold.”

Int: “What? Look, never mind. You’re saying you think viruses are the size of flies?”

PB: “Small flies.”

Int: “Small flies?”

PB: “Teeny weeny, itty bitty flies.”

Int: “But you can’t see viruses with the naked eye, Professor.”

PB: “Teeny weeny, itty bitty…invisible flies.”

Int: “Invisible?”

PB: “Yes, clever little beasts. They can make themselves invisible using stealth mode.”

Int: “Errr….okay…….I believe you also think the virus is intelligent.”

PB: “Absolutely, and it has its own personality.”

Int: “A personality?”

PB: “Yes, it’s very introvert. That’s why it always stays two meters away from everyone. But if you get too close, it gets very territorial and will attack you with its sharp claws and nasty teeth.”

Int: “Professor, viruses don’t have teeth or claws.”

PB: “Who’s the expert here, me or you?”

Int: “Frankly, I’m beginning to ask myself that very question.”

PB: “I’m the expert. I have a PH thingy in lots of sciencey stuff and you don’t. Of course they have teeth and claws….they are just invisible.”

Int: “O.K. Then, could you explain why it attacks at 2 meters in the United Kingdom but only 1.5 metres in Spain and only 1 metre in France?

PB: “The rate of exchange.”

Int: “Sorry?”

PB: “It seems to have a problem working out how many Euros there are to the metre.”

Int: “But Euros and metres are two entirely different things.”

PB: “Exactly, that’s why the virus can’t work it out.”

Int: “Alright, so what else can you tell me about the virus?”

PB: “It’s a night owl.”

Int: “I thought it was a fly?”

PB: “Don’t be smart with me laddie.”

Int: “O.K. So it’s a night owl – enjoys a good night out, a bit of a party animal, is it?”

PB: “Yes, that’s why some countries impose curfews. They operate in flocks after 10pm.”

Int: “Don’t you mean swarms? Flies swarm, they don’t flock.”

PB: “Will you stop it with the bloody flies!”

Int: “You started it.”

PB: “They flock. Why do you think they called all those hospitals, Nightingale hospitals?”

Int: “Because of Florence Nightingale”

PB: “Who?  No, no, it’s because the viruses flock like birds after dark.”

Int: “But birds don’t have teeth”

PB: “What?”

Int: “Earlier, you said the viruses had teeth.”

PB : “Yes.”

Int: “Well, name me a bird that has teeth.”

PB: “Snowy.”

Int: “A snowy owl?”

PB: “No, snowy, my budgerigar. It had really sharp teeth. Used to mistake my finger for cuttlefish bone every time.”

Int: “Look, Professor, we are drifting from the point here. I believe you have also publicly stated that the virus is a bit of a political animal. What do you mean by that?”

PB: “Yes, it’s very ‘woke’. It likes those jolly nice climate people. You know the ones who like a good peaceful protest but aren’t so keen on hygiene – Act Stinky, Shun Rebellion, I think they’re called. So the virus leaves them alone. But it really hates those nasty, right wing, extremist, anti-lockdown lunatics. All this old “We want freedom,” nonsense has to be knocked on the head. I mean, the only way to achieve freedom is through lockdowns, mandatory masks, and by everyone doing exactly what they are told at all times without question. That’s just following the science. If they keep these protests up, they will be out in their hordes.”

Int: “Who will?”

PB: “The viruses.”

Int: “You mean flocks.”

PB: “What?”

Int: “You said they will be out in their hordes. I thought viruses, flocked, like birds.”

PB: “Well, they do but they can horde as well, like wildebeest.”

Int: “It’s a herd.”

PB: “What is?”

Int: “It’s a herd of wildebeest, Professor, not a horde.”

PB: “Is it really? I never knew that.”

Int: “You have also claimed that the virus is adept at mathematics, could you elaborate on that?”

PB: “Of course. The virus doesn’t bother too much with one or two people. It might have the occasional nibble at them but if people gather in groups of six or more well it can become very ferocious and go into a feeding frenzy, like a shoal of piranha.”

Int: “So it displays fish-like behaviour now, does it? It’s very adaptable – avian, mammalian, piscine, insectile. A bit of shape-shifter it would appear. And how does it know there are six people present and not four or five?”

PB: “It uses ESP”

Int: “The power of the mind?”

PB: “No, the power of the nose – Extra Scentsory Perception. It has a great big snout that can sniff out how many people are in a group.”

Int: “Like an ant-eater sniffing out ants.”

PB: “It doesn’t distinguish between male or female relatives – aunts, uncles, it doesn’t matter, if there are more than 6 in a family group it will attack. I don’t think it would actually eat aunts, though, but it would certainly give them a nasty nip.”

Int: “I believe you also said it had a built-in heat sensor, is that correct?”

PB: “No, no, I never said that. That would be silly. I said it had a built-in height sensor.”

Int: “Of course, that’s not silly at all.”

PB: “That’s why you are not allowed to stand at the bar but have to sit at a table – so you are under its height-detecting range. It can’t sense anything below 5 feet tall.”

Int: “That would be why it can’t infect children then?”

PB: “Yes, and pygmies.”

Int: “Sorry?”

PB: “It wouldn’t be able to detect pygmies either. Unless they stood on each other’s shoulders. Do pygmies have a tendency to do that?”

Int: “I really couldn’t say, Professor.”

PB: “It would probably be very difficult. I don’t think their hooves are made for climbing.”

Int: “What?”

PB “You know, their hooves, wouldn’t make them very agile.”

Int: “Exactly what do you think pygmies look like?”

PB: “Small, pink, curly tails, oink a lot. You know, small pigs – pygmies.”

Int: “Pygmies are small humans, not small pigs, Professor.”

PB: “Really, do they look like pigs?”

Int: “Not even remotely. Now, professor, I also believe you said that the virus may be seasonal, is that correct?”

PB: “Yes, most of them hibernate over the summer, like bears.”

Int: “Bears hibernate in winter.”

PB: “Ah, that would explain it.”

Int: “Explain what?”

PB: “Why I don’t see any bears around my house at Christmas time.”

Int: “Where do you live?”

PB: “Peckham.”

Int: “Right Professor, back to the hibernating viruses, if you will. So they sleep all the way through the summer, do they?”

PB” “Not all the way through.”

Int: “What else do they do.”

PB: “Read.”

Int: “The viruses can read?”

PB: “Avid readers they are. Never stop.”

Int: “I think I am going to regret asking you this, but what do they read?”

PB: “Books – lots and lots of books”

Int: “They read books?”

PB: “Well, why do you think it’s called a novel virus.”

Int: “Are you sure you’re an actual professor? How many degrees have you got?”

PB: “Three.”

Int: “You have three degrees?”

PB: “Yes, I have all their records.”

Int: “I’m not interested in your musical tastes, what academic qualifications do you have?”

PB: “Well, I have a thingumabob in something-or-other and a doodah in whatchamacallit.”

Int: “Right Professor, I would like to go back to how this all started. The country was advised to go into lockdown based on your computer model. Those figures that were fed into the model originally, did they come from you?”

PB: “No, a colleague.”

Int: “Who was this colleague?”

PB: “Nancy Jones.”

Int: “And what university is she from?”

PB: “Err… she isn’t at any university?”

Int: “What polytechnic, then?”

PB: “Well, she is not technically at a polytechnic either.”

Int: “Well, what academic institution does she study at?”

PB: “Sunny Meadows.”

Int: “Sunny Meadows, what? “

PB: “School.”

Int: “This person is a high school student!”

PB: “Primary school, actually.”

Int: “What? Is she some sort of child genius?”

PB: “No, she’s my niece, lovely girl.”

Int: “Excuse me, Professor, but exactly what qualifications does your niece have

to produce figures for a computer model that sent the whole world into lockdown?”

PB: “She got a gold star last week in spelling, was pupil of the month for January, can make a really nice stick man out of tin foil and pipe cleaners and was top of her class at remembering to put her hand up when she needed to go to the toilet. Anyway all her figures were peer reviewed before they were put in my model.”

Int: “Really, peer reviewed, by whom?”

PB: “All her classmates. They all thought her figures were drawn really nicely and that she used some really pretty colours. Apart from Johnny Jenkins, he was too busy putting worms up his nose.”

Int: “I suppose her predictions couldn’t be much worse than yours anyway.”

PB: “What do you mean?”

Int: “For a start, what about your wildly inaccurate prediction in 2015 that at least a million people would lose their lives to the creeping heebie-jeebies – a supposed new disease caused by a virus in the saliva of the common house spider?”

PB: “A number of people did become ill with that.”

Int: “Three people to be exact, and they didn’t get ill due the creeping heebie- jeebies. The three old ladies in question got injured after getting run over by a number 10 bus when they rushed out of the house in terror after a perfectly harmless spider broke up their coffee morning.”  

PB: “That was a tragedy.”

Int: “It certainly was, but they weren’t laid low by a spider bite. They were laid low by a rather a large motor vehicle. Despite this, they still went into the official statistics as testing positive for the heebie-jeebies, why was that?”

PB: “They had a positive PCR test.”

Int: “Could you explain to the audience how this test works.”

PB : “Of course. We get a parrot that is a bit under the weather and invite the test subjects to feed it some cheese and if it doesn’t react to the titbit on offer then that is a positive test.”

Int: “What are you talking about?”

PB: “I’m explaining the Polly-malaise Cheese Reaction test.”

Int: “Dear God, you mean you had these three old ladies dangling bits of Gorgonzola in front of some ill tropical bird to find out if they had a virus – that’s mad.”

PB: “Not at all, we confirmed the test with a questionnaire. We asked them how they thought they had been treated by the medical profession. Were they happy as Larry or sick as a parrot. They all positively identified with the latter statement.  See, good science at work.”

Int: “I suppose it’s about as useful as the other PCR test.”

PB “There’s another PCR test?”

Int “Never mind. Now Professor, let’s continue with your failed predictions. In 2017 you predicted that 5000 people would die of Arctic bat flu?”

PB: “Yes.”

Int: “And what was the actual fatality figures?”

PB: “Well, that’s a difficult question to answer, due to the differing testing regimes in each country, how deaths are actually notified and the varying clinical symptoms used to define a case in each region.” 

Int: “It’s not that difficult, Professor, the answer is one. One person died and he didn’t die ‘of’ Arctic flu or even ‘with’ arctic flu. He actually met his demise by being frozen in a block of ice when trying to count how many bats there are in the Arctic – the answer being, exactly none at all.”

PB: “What about the mad monkey malaria outbreak, I modelled for? Lots of people died of that.”

Int: “No they didn’t.”

PB: “Well, they got really ill. They couldn’t stop sneezing for months and couldn’t even get out of bed, or anything.”

Int: “Nobody got ill.”

PB: “But there were runny noses and mucous everywhere.”

Int: “There wasn’t even a sniffle.”

PB: “Soggy Artichoke-induced Respiratory Syndrome?”

Int: “Nope.”

PB: “The one where I predicted thousands would die of a bacterial infection from breathing in air from unwashed balls of string?”

Int: “Twine flu? No, not a single cough or splutter. “  

PB: “I know, the one where I estimated at least half a million deaths of musicians getting infected from contaminated wind-instruments.”

Int: “Sorry, nobody died of flute-in-mouth either.”

PB: “Someone must have died somewhere.”

Int: “The only thing that seems to be have died is the scientific method. Now, one final question. What are you actually a Professor in?

PB: “Wildly Adulterated Fictional Figures and Ludicrous Estimates“ 

Int: “Ah, that explains everything.”

From our advertisers