Travel Tuesdays: The Chapel at Brasenose College, Oxford

Wednesday, April 17, 2019







I can count on one hand the number of times I have made Joe laugh out loud, even after 5 years of being together.

The very hardest I've ever made him laugh was when he showed me a picture of a young woman who his friend had just started dating.  As I completed a cursory scroll through her Instagram account, I noticed a common theme: a lot of swimsuits, swanky boat rides, rays sunshine, trips to the lake with large groups, long blonde hair, wild nights out -- all the photos seemed to reflect some combination of the foregoing elements, to the extent that if I hadn't known she was dating Joe's friend, I would have automatically assumed she was a contestant on an upcoming season of The Bachelor.  Joe sat patiently, watching me scroll, eagerly awaiting my response.  I handed his cell phone back to him before summarily announcing, "She looks like someone who would go missing."

Another was when we received a Christmas card from an affluent Carlton Landing family, their young son featured front and center, dressed in a the preppiest, Wasp-iest attire with an accompanying frat swoop to match.  After reviewing the Christmas card in silence, I tossed the card aside, sighed, and said under my breath, "Let's just hope he doesn't grow up to have his swimming career ruined."  
The kid looked like a real Brock Turner in the making.

(Side note: can you tell I'm a 6 on the Enneagram with these knee-jerk worst case scenarios??)

Yet another took place beneath the gorgeous stained glass panes of the Brasenose Chapel at Oxford.  As Joe toured the premises boring me to tears with his dad-like inquiries ("I wonder what voltage those lamps are"...."I wonder how often they bring out scaffolding to wash the windows"....."What kind of sod do you think they use out there on the lawn?"), I grew increasingly impatient.  At last, after checking my watch for the 15th time in 15 minutes, I demanded with authority, "We have to go.  I have something at 1:00 and it's already 1:15."  With his interest piqued, Joe turned to me. "What plans do you have at 1:00?"  After a long pause, I answered, "I have to play Chancella Rex."

What followed from Joe was a tilted head, squinty-eyed expression.  "Chancella Rex?"

Chancella Rex, I explained to him in total seriousness, was a computerized opponent in my Yahtzee Dice Master Showdown, and I needed to get back to our place so I could have wifi to access the app.  You have to wait 24 hours before advancing to the next opponent, and my 24 hours was up.  I had been trying to beat Chancella all month, and today I was really going to do it.

I likely needn't go into why this made Joe laugh so hard.

Nor will I fully explore the irony of my choice: foregoing the reverence of the divinely magnificent, centuries-old architecture in all its glory so that I could retreat to the four walls of my bedroom, iPhone in hand, ready to play a bot named Chancella Rex.

I will disclose, though, that I lost to Chancella.  That game is 100% rigged.


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