Give it up for our bedders

Sofia Johanson leads us through some of the interesting encounters some of our most cherished staff members experience

Sofia Johanson

"Oh how we love them."Wikicommons

For most of us, having someone come into your room on a daily or weekly basis to clean your room is a bit of a shock. How do you act around your bedder? Polite and formal or easy-going and friendly? How do you respond to their odd quirks? How do you apologise when your room resembles a WW2 bomb-site?

Fear not! The following anecdotes will make you realise whatever you do, or however you act, your bedder would prefer your stuttering awkwardness to what one bedder, let’s call her Daniella, has to deal with.

Introducing her charges:

“[Bedders are] the most courageous, resilient and tolerant work force out there”

Bio-Hazard Boy

He has the best room in college. So, it was only natural that, from Freshers’ Week, every single pres would be hosted by him – which, as you can imagine, has had rather extreme consequences.

Both the sofa and the carpet have been ‘redecorated’ by various individuals who felt their dinner had got a little too comfortable in their stomachs. Rather than throwing away any remaining empty bottles of wine, vodka and whiskey (each to their own), the occupant decided to collect them, accumulating 74 so far.

His affectionate nickname has its origins in the two bio-hazard kits that were lovingly given to him by the porters in an effort to make some kind of improvement to his living situation. They were largely unsuccessful. As you can imagine, the smell, mist of sweat and unidentifiable substances don’t make for pretty viewing at 9 am in the morning – nor does its occupant, who prefers not to shower after a night-out.

Failed Acrobat

Next door to Bio-Hazard Boy lives this legend, who vastly over-estimated his agility on the stairs when somewhat inebriated. One five-hour trip to Addenbrooke’s later and his shattered elbow and fractured and dislocated shoulder were wrapped up in a sling and he was unable to move from his bed. The occupant, in so much pain and setting up permanent residence on his mattress, had to urinate in a vase next to his bed. He was greeted a few hours later by his bedder who, a term and a half in, was hardly taken aback by this sight.

As an apology for the unbecoming nature of his person and his room, Failed Acrobat penned a poem to his bedder, including the line “thank you for keeping all our secrets”. Their bond has never been tighter.


Across from Failed Acrobat sits one room the bedder does not dread. Its occupant feels panging guilt at the position she is placed in every Monday and Thursday morning as the boys fail to make themselves or their surroundings in any way presentable. A beaming, apologetic smile is plastered on his face whenever she is around, and he makes triple the effort to ensure that Daniella has at least one charge who is vaguely sentient.

His greatest effort in preventing her pain came earlier this term, when Bio Hazard Boy succeeded in blocking their communal toilet and Curtains spent several hours using boiling water, washing up liquid and brute force in order to undo the (considerable) damage, so that Daniella would not be greeted by such a terrifying sight.

So, there are those who make us cringe at their ineptitude and make us feel glad that we have not fallen into such situations (or down two flights of stairs), but there are beacons like Curtains who we should try and emulate in picking up the slack of our less considerate neighbours.

No matter which category you fall into, everyone will agree – Daniella is a shining example of the bedders being the most courageous, resilient and tolerant work force out there. Oh how we love them.