With the exams fast approaching, the UCD Students’ Union has organised a petting zoo on campus with the aim of reducing nerves across the student body.
‘The petting zoos of previous years always had great turnouts,’ said one organiser. ‘But the goats and lambs never actually proved to be very effective at reducing stress, so we’ve replaced them with bog bodies.’ Many of the students who visited this year’s petting zoo responded negatively to this change. ‘I definitely wouldn’t have called it a petting zoo,’ said one student. ‘They just sat us down in a circle and made us pass around the bog bodies.’
He continued, ‘I recognised the Tollund Man, but I didn’t know who the others were – his brothers, maybe.’ Did he think the bog bodies did a better job of relieving stress than lambs and goats? ‘Definitely not,’ he said. ‘I just pat the Tollund Man’s hat a couple of times and passed him on. I definitely didn’t leave feel better when I left. I immediately went to wash my hands.’
The organiser was keen to respond to the criticisms. ‘Many students seem to be thinking about the bog bodies in the wrong way,’ they said. ‘We weren’t trying to say – aren’t the bog bodies more fun to pet than rabbits? We were more trying to say – Don’t the bog bodies put the exams in perspective?’ However, the students do not appear to have been convinced. ‘Maybe they put things in perspective’, said one student. ‘But it was still really gross. I’m thinking of taking a break from college for a while’.
Martin Kinsella Turbine Writer