Intrepid roving reporter Edmund Bannister takes advantage of Hartley library’s 24 hour opening by spending 24 solid hours in there.
Forbidden from leaving from 00:00 on Thursday to a full day later, his only experience of the outside world is limited to within five metres of the library doors. You’re uniquely privileged in that you’re going to watch him degenerate into absolute madness. He’s been provided with a stash of chocolate bars to hide around the library/bribe readers to restock him with essential supplies from the SUSU shop, so you should get involved in the comments below with things you’d like to see him do in his day in the library. Partially because there’s no way the democratic history of the United Kingdom will keep him occupied, but mostly on account of the sheer loneliness that accompanies his thankless task. If you’re a real sadist and want to watch a man undergo a Gasgcoine-esque meltdown, add him on Snap Chat at edmundbannister. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Just in case any of you are still reading, the exam was a bona fide abortion. Y’all made it worth it though hunnybuns.
I’m now in Edinburgh, so if any of you have any excellent suggestions of what to do snap or tweet me. Cheers.
(Also this totally won the Southampton Editorial Team a £50 night out, so extra thanks to y’all for keeping me interested in what could have been a bit of a dud!)
Right, I’ve got ten minutes left, so I’m going to start wrapping this up. It’s been an absolute pleasure going insane in front of you all, and 11,000 hits say you’ve enjoyed it too. I apologise for the…erratic content, but it seems to have been worth it all – yes, even the dick pics.
Here at The Tab we do the stupid things so you don’t have to. This was one of those it was straight up dumb. It’s the library equivalent of snorting a fucktonne of cocaine and then attempting to conduct the London Philharmonic Orchestra on Beethoven’s most intricate symphony. I never want to see this room again, and I’m probably going to have mild PTSD over the whole thing. I think the next thing I do will be approached with a slightly more…mature outlook, because this degenerated fast after about 19 hours – but hey, it was kind of awesome too. If you like my work, here’s my author profile – sometimes I write decent things.
If I was going to take one thing from this experience, it’d probably be diabetes. Cheers for all your involvement, it’s been a proper laugh. I would say it might happen again, but under no fucking circumstances am I ever doing this again. God forbid.
This got a lot less serious. I purport to be a serious journalist but the time for levity is now because otherwise I will just start sobbing.
And I just know that tomorrow, that’s the only quote I’m going to remember at 9:30.
“I’ve had five wanks today” – Jacob George Ketcher, 2015
THIRTY FOUR MINUTES AND I SHALL BE FREE
And now on the topic of bloody diarrhoea. The quality has dropped once more.
We’ve gone from Chartism to erectile dysfunction. Can a woman be too hot? Our survey says…yes. Yes they can.
So we’re going to fuck this exam cos it’s an ugly motherfucker.
Oh fuck this I’ve got an exam and I want a degree. Would it be cheating if I leave at 11? 23 hours is still pretty good.
22:22. I SHALL BE FREE.
Still here, still working, still sad. This was an awful idea and I am the devil incarnate.
TEN THOUSAND AND TWENTY ONE HITS. Cheers guys. Sorry this has fallen by the wayside a bit, I’m just actually getting into this terrible subject now. Woop.
Three hours. The revision has stepped it up a gear. I’m salivating at the prospect of the outside world.
We kicked them out. If you’re drunk, I already hate you.
A group of drunk people has arrived at the study room. I’m not sure what’s happening.
“What’s the tallest building on campus?”, asks khaleesi-alice.
Tab considering Tab Big Brother in the summer – get all the editors into a room, see who can last the longest. Be prepared. It’s going to be slightly cooler than this.
Upshot of my revision: how the fuck did Britain not follow France’s example and have an epic revolution?
Second of all, why can’t we just ALL GET ALONG. WHY’S THIS A THING NOW.
New subject: This place. It’s keeping me going now, because the news is always so dismal. At least this is happy!
First of all, the second dick picture just came in. THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS. Honestly, you can almost understand David Cameron censoring the internet!
ok guys please god entertain me this final four hours is not looking like fun. Snap me, tweet me, comment here. Just don’t abandon me in my hour of need!
Alright, now I’m just being sent legs. It’s getting more confusing. You guys are weird.
Still better than revising.
At 8pm I’m going to order a toastie from the Christian Union. I’ve got to ask them a question about religion, so what would you like me to ask?
I am no longer alone. A fellow history student with the same exam tomorrow has joined me. We’re not happy. Add him on snapchat at thebigdawg65 if you want to make another innocent victim want to gouge their own eyes out.
Over 9000 hits. You’re all delightful people – even you, penisman!
If I get to 10,000 this’ll all have been worth it.
Why’s it always the blokes that are super creepy?!
You’re either a serious grower or you better pray size doesn’t matter.
Ok, the flaccid penis to my snapchat was unnecessary. You know who you are.
Five hours. The final push.
Entertainment editor Jamie Hemingway has left me for the second time. And now, so is Ben my fellow News editor.
I am alone, again. For the third time. This is when this is the most arduous endeavour.
But hey, if this helps me make it as a legit journalist one day (with less…egoistical tripe), this’ll all have been worth it. 18:35 hours in the library, and to be honest, I’m used to it. I think I’m developing Stockholm Syndrome, I can’t imagine a life without the library. I’ll walk past this room in a few months, and there’ll be other people in here and I’ll feel a pang of loss for today.
It’s been a blast – thanks for making it such great fun. And the party doesn’t stop here. Help me through the final push!
It’s weird actually, I joined The Tab because I wanted to do more serious journalism, and yet one of my most successful articles is basically me creating a Stalinesque cult of personality, where I don’t post anything serious regarding my principles and turn myself into the main attraction. To describe myself as pretty conflicted right now understates it massively.
I do have one problem. I categorically cannot shit in public toilets. It’s just not a thing. They’re gross, and Hartley library is no exception.
I have drunk four energy drinks and consumed three bananas. Without wanting to go into too much gory detail, the next five and a half hours will consist of a running battle between my sphincter and my germaphobia.
MY EGO IS RAMPANT.
Call from a friend: “I saw your blog thing, and wanted to make sure your ego didn’t get too big. It popped up on your facebook, and I wanted to see how many people hated it. I was really disappointed when everyone was getting involved and loving it, you need to be contained and stood on like an ant. But well done”
The Tab are currently trying to work out whether their readership extends to the Islamic Caliphate. Matt Mcdonald reckons they do.
If you’re listening IS, just chill out and have a Snickers. You’re not the same when you’re hungry.
Latest suggestion from the ether is that I play a game of danger wank.
Come off it mate.
And looks like mine isn’t the only ego being boosted today. Grace returns, clearly gratified by the anonymous compliments.
And I have a fan club! Hannah turned up with a Kitkat, because she too thought “i deserved a break”. Cheers Hannah! I’ve hoverhanded like a pro, just because I’m so caffeinated right now I’m basically a jackhammer.
According to katielaurence, the Tab should give me a holiday – which she’s even drawn out, in case I’ve forgotten what the world outside of Hartley is like. And she’s offered me help with my exam, which is lush! Katie, yes please. Tell me about the effect of the third reform act, and I’ll love you for all of eternity.
I feel like I’ve come so far, until I think about the fact I still have a quarter of this enduring hell to complete.
There are mass murderers serving life sentences with better living conditions than me right now.
Entertainment editor Jamie has returned, coldly uttering that “it’s like I never left”.
Oh you did Jamie, you did. Editors May and Georgia have also come to revel in my misery, FRESH FROM THE PUB. Hell exists, hell exists.
Will Fry has arrived to rescue me from the doldrums. His girlfriend apparently saw the blog and sent him here to be my knight in shining armour. Any other time, I’d make a whip crack noise. Right now, I just want to be a cat.
Another blinder from Francesca, who suggests a library game of Bogies. Anyone at a university library right now, Snap Chat me VIDEOS of you doing it.
Oooh! I can totally use this to plug my earlier work, which is even almost relevant after the France shootings. Tell me why I’m wrong, why I’m right – just someone please god talk to me I am haemorrhaging my mental wellbeing.
Right, fuck it. Let’s talk Nigel Farage. Is there a single student out there who’s actually thinking of voting UKIP? Tweet or Snap Chat me, I’d love to hear why.
Do any of you even care about the election? Cos you like, should.
I remember when this was edgy.
Am I in the library or is the library inside me?
I’m going to start blaring My Chemical Romance because only they truly understand my current state of teenage angst. I am rent by a pervading sense of ennui. I’m not sure what’s real and what isn’t.
Ah, work. That seems like a distant dream, especially if it’s dependent on my knowledge of the democratic system of the United Kingdom.
Anyone want to…hire me? Call this my CV.
Denny’s final move was to channel his inner Dappy.
Everybody’s left me. I am alone, with only the memories of human contact to sustain me. This is a glass case of emotion that I cannot begin to escape from.
I’ve felt better after prostate exams than I do right now. 8 hours 8 minutes remaining.
“You’d make a shit Jack Bauer” – apparently I’m not allowed to have a meltdown at FIFTEEN HOURS AND FORTY MINUTES IN.
I think I would define this as an existential crisis.
“Apparently there’s hackers, and they hack your webcam and they post it on a website and they LAUGH AT YOU and some shit, and I can’t handle people laughing at me on the internet because I have feelings” – Features Editor Sarah Kyle explains why she’s covered her webcam with a post-it note.
She reminds me of my grandmother, with her incisive understanding of ‘hackers’.
We’re now debating shades of green. Lucy is the one in the “mint green”, for context.
Every single Tab Editor is attempting their utmost to disrupt me and become internet famous. The lass in the green is Editor Lucy, who’s just made another violent threat to my safety – this time involving testicles (mine), a cheese grater (hers) and a cactus (soon to be mine through proximity).
“I’m splicing my revision with Made in Chelsea” – Ex-editor Dennison is a man of class and decorum.
Sorry, reprobate. That’s what I meant.
Yeah, I’m running out of ideas. Tweet me @EdmundBannister with suggestions for what I should do. Anyone that says “revision” will be hung.
RIGHT I HAVE SO MUCH FOOD. If anyone comes to study room 5023, makes a bad joke that makes 1/4 of the room laugh, I shall reward you with type 2 diabetes. Bring it.
The atmosphere in the study room has become somewhat tense, after Sarah told a wonderful anecdote about a toddler shitting itself. A sweepstake has been started as to whether my copious consumption of energy drinks will lead to another droll Inbetweeners parody, where I lose control of my bowels in the exam tomorrow.
The tone of this blog has definitely dropped. And it wasn’t that high to begin with.
How many bananas can you eat in a day before it kills you? Editor Bish reckons it’s 9, and I’m well on my way to a horrible, potassiummy death.
9 hours, 17 minutes. The sweet embrace of death cannot come soon enough.
People have just started bringing me food though which is nice. Gold bars are cool too though!
I feel like I am becoming a caricature of myself. The pressure is too high. I may go full Kony.
I wish I’d brought a tent and a sleeping bag. Fatigue setting in.
I STILL DO NOT KNOW MUCH ABOUT THE DEVELOPMENT OF BRITISH DEMOCRACY CIRCA 1830-1918
OK GUYS I REALLY NEED TO BE REVISING.
And you’re actually making this fun! I’m supposed to be having a meltdown, not being brought gourmet dishes and sent amusing snapchats. 9 hours 48 minutes left.
Will and Ryan, it’ll be hard for anyone to outdo you. But if anyone wants to try, edmundbannister is my snapchat!
My kart team captain (And ex Tab editor) has turned up with healthy food for me. I think he just wanted to have his fifteen seconds of internet fame.
Shit. This is not conducive to my revision plan, and I’m really running out of good content. However, still doing a better job than this fellow, who’s just given up on his degree entirely.
My Editor loves it when the Soton Tab gets hits, she’s in her own personal little battle with all the other Tab pages. To keep her happy and to give me an easy life (remember, this is the one with blunt instruments), here’s a link to the Soton Tab Facebook page, please ‘like’ it.
Every like = One of my brain cells saved from clobbering.
Hey Francesca, I too am curious why Durham isn’t putting out quality content too – to be fair, I think amusing content at Durham is kind of irrelevant right now. Your student body needs to be unifying re the missing students, and good luck to you all!
This is all blowing up a bit now and I’m somewhat concerned that it’s just going to become me wanking myself silly over how great I am. Loads of you are adding me on snapchat, which is concerning – I hope you’re not expecting a high level of content. Maybe this is how that cretin Dapper Laughs got famous.
To stop this getting too self aggrandising, I should warn you all that normal life for me is basically The Inbetweeners on steroids. I once got crashed into by a busload of disabled schoolchildren, and before I realised the contents of the bus, had leapt out of my car and roared at the driver “are you fucking retarded?”. Laugh at me, not with me.
You guys crashed our site from being too interested in my mundane life. My ego is currently through the roof.
And hello to Malaysia, Pakistan and Slovenia! I feel like I should be pushing out much more fascinating and/or intellectually stimulating content.
Je Suis Charlie, I guess?
“Let’s get that trending” – internet savvy Connie Suggitt forms the other half of the Features dream team, but her idea of viral is Kim Kardashian’s bum, so let’s not get too optimistic for quality content.
“Are you bitching about us on the blog, Ed?” – feckless Features Editor Sarah Kyle tempts fate.
Actually, God’s work is these fellas, who I’ll be using at 8pm on the dot and enquiring as to whether this can count as time served for good behaviour. I’ll buy my way into heaven yet.
Already discussing how I’m going to exit this; anyone want to volunteer to give me a guard of honour as I depart? Make me feel like a BNOC.
ELEVEN HOURS. I’m past the halfway mark, which is nice.
Still 7.3 football matches, which isn’t.
Been told to find someone asleep, and then whisper nightmares into their ears. I’m tempted; if you find anyone sleeping snapchat it to me and I’ll go fuck up their day.
In other news, shoutouts to our readers in Finland and Germany (thank you, Google analytics!).
Here’s the next bunch of clues:
Literature in Medieval Germany by Salmon
Jernkontoret (WHAT A NAME) – Iron and Man in prehistoric Sweden (I think that’ll be the first time that book is touched in years)
Alix Fell Snap chats us with this, glad to know that someone’s having fun. Even if you do do Physics, and thus are cursing yourself to a life of not being invited to parties.
11 hours and 27 minutes to go. If this is ever made into a film, I’d like James Franco to portray me, and if he can gnaw his arm off at the end I’d definitely get an oscar. I feel it’s been done before, but that’s never stopped Hollywood.
The main thing you should take away from this is that the library is not a place you can reside in comfortably for prolonged periods of time.
And that I have little to no life, and desperately need your validation.
I hope you’re all having as much fun as I am. And by that, I mean having some form of fun.
Features editors Connie and Sarah have now arrived to keep me company. Both are annoyingly chirpy. I shall feed upon their souls.
A Guardian journalist described this as “the most thrilling liveblog of all time“. I see your sarcasm, but your 747 followers bring me great joy. You bastard.
This was never meant to be exciting. Here at The Tab, we do these things so you don’t have to.
Tweet us @SotonTab if you find any of the hidden chocolates! Or if you just want me to do really dumb things. I’m easy.
HALFWAY. 12 hours down, 12 hours to go. I have tea, monster and bananas. Do your worst, Hartley!
THE TREASURE HUNT FOR CHOCOLATE BEGINS, and here are the first five clues!
PN 2595 WOR
FOURTH FLOOR THIRST QUENCHER
JV 1011 – Paxman’s book the university keeps pushing
MORE COMPANY, in the form of different members of our editorial team. Not been told I’m famous yet, which is kind of a pity.
The treasure hunt starts in five minutes!
In other news, the Tab page is showing that one of you filthy animals used our search engine to search for “sex confession with family members”.
Editor in Chief Lucy has sent me this, with some pride. Apparently it captures the despair perfectly. I’ve never felt more like a caged zoo animal before.
I am but one hour from being halfway through.
Editors Lucy and Bish came to keep me company. I have driven them away with barbed insults and sarcasm.
I am my own worst enemy.
Lucy the editor has come to see me. Words cannot describe how excited I am for human interactions, I may yet have to start surprise hugging the library staff.
The cold light of day shining in reminds me of the futility of my travails. The library is an indomitable force and it is not to be trifled with, and I shall be punished by the library gods for my cheek.
I’m also quite disappointed because the library security guards have definitely changed, and I feel I missed out on a weirdly intimate moment. Buckingham Palace ain’t got nothing on Hartley.
But seriously I hope nobody got a recording of that, because I am definitely a snorer and that was the nearest I could get to an actual chainsaw. I want to say I feel rejuvenated and refreshed but I’ve gotta admit I woke up with a startled exclamation and I think I dribbled on my hoodie.
What I wouldn’t do for cloning right now.
Sleeping in the library isn’t even that hard, he says with the world’s most almighty crick in his neck. Ten hours in.
If I fall asleep at this desk I become everything I detest.
At the quarter mark, some reflections. First, the library is ridiculously empty at this time – whether that can be attributed to the exam season being almost over or testament to the relative sanity of Southampton students, I can’t say. What I can confirm is that the 24 hour opening is pretty sweet. It’s much more pleasant and quiet at this time, and if I had a morning exam I reckon it’d be quite helpful to switch my sleep pattern around, go nocturnal for a bit and sit an exam the next morning having woken up at about midnight.
However, I have not done this. This is because I am not an intelligent man, and so I am cursed to tread these empty hallways alone, fatigued and running out of cigarettes.
And if the light in this study room automatically turns off one more time in the “interests of the environment” I vow to drive home in first gear at 7000rpm tonight with the air conditioning on full. Consider yourself warned, polar bears.
Oh, and I’ve hidden a load of these around the library. Watch this space for chocolatey goodness.
Incredibly awkward moment where I went outside for fresh air, before attempting my return into purgatory. The barrier flashed up with this, and I gained the ultimate grasp of irony, imploring the security guard to allow me back in to the place I’d love to escape.
Goodnight, sweet prince. Gone, but not forgotten.
Entertainment Editor Jamie is calling it a night. I’m all alone again. It’s dark and sad.
The worst bit about this is I’ve been warned (read: threatened with a blunt object) that I can’t take advantage of Lucy being asleep and write anything too outrageous. I’ve been told to think like the editor of a national newspaper, and imagine that someone, somewhere will sue me.
Thankfully for me, I’ve chosen to channel Piers Morgan, so I’ve pretty much got carte blanche.
Although on the plus side, I do finally get to utter my favourite phrase from Brainiac (who remembers that, eh? That was a wonderful show.) – “do not try this at home”.
Seriously, don’t. It’s not big, clever or remotely pleasant.
I HATE THE TAB AND YOU SHOULD ALL READ THE WESSEX SCENE.
THIS IS NO LONGER FUN.
Awkwardly, I forgot to silence my phone when I took the picture – so if you’re the group of people on level 5 who just saw me take that, I promise I’m not some voyeuristic creep getting off to sleeping Chinese.
Unless you’re into that, I guess. Three and a half hours in and my morals are swiftly slipping away.
This whole ‘library past the witching hour’ thing has proven too much for one fellow already. A moment of silence for our fallen comrade, if you will.
TWENTY ONE HOURS REMAINING.
It is fast becoming a chore. Unfortunately, not fast enough.
The mirth remains unfettered.
The sound of excitable giggling has pierced the thick, silent air of Hartley. Somewhere, there is happiness. And it is my task to eradicate it.
I don’t normally like linking to clickbait tripe such as this, but it’s honestly too good not to share.
God, I’ve turned the Tab into that annoying Facebook page you liked when you were fourteen that now just posts inane links. Lucy’ll never forgive me.
Fatigue slowly creeping in now, 2:20hrs on the clock. I don’t think I brought enough energy drinks.
I am one twelfth of the way in.
…of course, SUSSC did it better.
If you’re a supporter of the “No More Page 3″ campaign, you’ll be disappointed with today’s Sun – they’ve brought back the breast bit of the whole paper, making anyone that prematurely celebrated feel like a right tit.
If anything, I’m almost impressed with that next level trolling they’ve pulled off.
Although Entertainment editor Jamie Hemingway has come to join me. He’s 2000 words into his dissertation, which is due in a fortnight. He looks in need of a hug, and doesn’t quite understand how desperate I am for any form of human contact already.
Jamie, if you’re reading this; spoon me like cheap ice cream.
Had my first experience of the outside world ninety minutes in. Afraid all I’ve got is gratuitous selfies at this point.
One of the security guards has walked past three times already, and he’s definitely giving me ‘the eye’ – grab my coat fellas, I’ve pulled.
IT’S BEEN AN HOUR.
This isn’t so hard.
If I don’t get a first on this exam, do special considerations extend to “I’m a fucking tool”?
On the plus side, I’ve managed to finagle a study room for the day, where I’ll be furiously trying to cram as much pointless knowledge about my degree in for an exam I’d quite like to pass. Bookies offering long odds.
On the downside, it’s on the fifth floor. Kim Jong-Il said it best.
Jesus H Christ, so it begins. Currently sitting here cursing my own stupidity – turns out, if you jokingly offer to do something, people kind of expect you to come through. Life lesson number one already learnt, and a further 23 hours and 45 minutes to continue on this steep learning curve.
What follows may yet be the most boring live blog in Tab history – I’m giving serious consideration to burning this infernal hellhole down*, as I feel the no further than five metres from the door rule might not apply in cases of mortal peril. But at least this gives me the perfect opportunity to study for my exam, which’ll be a matter of hours away once I finally leave this accursed place.
I’ll be updating my snapchat, which you can all use to send me ideas for things to keep myself occupied – set me an add at edmundbannister if you want to see into Hartley Library. And that might just win the award for “lamest sentence I’ve ever written”. Goddamn.
At some point I’ll be hiding all these chocolates around the library too, so if you’re unlucky enough to be stuck in here with a Friday exam like muggins here, there’ll be clues posted on here throughout the day to win bits of this delightful selection of diabetes.
*not really, GCHQ!