17th June 2024

Toope resigns under weight of sustained lampooning by the Porter’s Log


Stephen Toope, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, has announced that he will be stepping down from his position following a long, targeted campaign for accountability from The Porter’s Log. The so-called ‘PLog’ has long pursued Mr Toope, like a grizzly bear chasing a Canadian moose, and the resignation is a definitive victory in comedy’s battle to punch up.

“It was all The Porter’s Log, really,” admitted Toope in a recent interview. “Their relentless mocking, pinpoint precise puns about my name, and their bringing to light of matters that only the three readers of Varsity previously knew about has forced me to reconsider my position. It just goes to show the power of comedy to make a difference, a power that the Footlights have struggled with for quite some time.”

Since his accession to the vice-chancellorship five years ago, Professor Toope has seen his dignity shredded following persistent derision from the satirical publication. “It was all in good taste to begin with,” Toope explained in an interview with his reflection in the mirror. “They ran that article about me earning a higher salary than my counterpart in Oxford. It upset me to read their hurtful words, of course, but once I’d dried my tears with a sheaf of fifty pound notes, I saw the funny side.”

However, as Toope noted, his eyes painfully contemplative behind the spectacles Richard Osman had kindly lent him, things quickly got out of hand. “The bastards then said I was going to appear on ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’. I was positively bouncing when I read that. I spent all day sitting by the phone waiting for Ant and Dec to call, and not a peep. You have to understand how this callous abuse affects a lowly Canadian Vice-Chancellor like me. I found myself relapsing into the maple syrup addiction that nearly took everything from me ten years ago. I was broken. The blended shit just wouldn’t do it anymore; I was on several litres a day of a liquid that costs almost as much as printer ink.”

“After that it was just pure anarchy,” Toope continued. “They had me rappelling down the Senate House walls machine-gunning Marxists. A complete fabrication – I was actually using a flamethrower. And once they’d run out of actual ideas they suddenly realised my name sounded a bit funny. Again, you can’t imagine how heartbreaking this all was for me. Do you know how many times a day Graham Virgo rings me up just to say “Haha Stephen Poope” before hanging up? And then The Tab didn’t even defend me, they just asked if he was a Virgo and whether I wore a ‘Stephen Toupée’.

“The film puns were the worst, though. Toope Gun? seriously? That doesn’t even f****** rhyme. In all honesty, that might have been the last straw. I spoke to my family and they all agreed: better to step away than let these salty virgins rule my life with their subpar wordplay.”

After their victory against the University of Cambridge, The Porter’s Log are looking at bigger targets. “Climate change. If we can take down the Vice-Chancellor of the university, we can take down climate change with the power of our jokes,” declared the editor-in-chief, Marcus Atherton, behind closed doors. “We could even bring world peace, but in all honestly we will probably just call it a day. Satire is hard work.”

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