A Ding-Dong over Duvets

14 July 2015

Dear Professor Reynaud

We were most delighted to receive your recent request to fund your proposed research into the origins, management and future development of the duvet. As one of the largest manufacturers of duvets in Europe, we understand the importance of the duvet in modern life and we are keenly aware that, as yet, very little effort has been made to understand this vital pillar of Western civilisation.

I'm sure you can imagine how pleased we were at the prospect that this situation should finally be redressed, and our joy in being able to play a part in this exciting and necessary project. I am happy to tell you that the directors have approved your request. We shall be advancing the requested funds to you presently and look forward to receiving reports of your work.

Yours Sincerely

Gordon Potter

Comfytog Duvets

 

23 January 2016

Dear Professor Reynaud

I hope this letter finds you well and that your important duvet work is progressing on schedule. We had hoped that we might have heard something from you by now, as it is six months since this fascinating project started. We are acutely aware that we lack experience of the academic world and that we are unfamiliar with the pace at which such work is expected to progress. It might be useful, therefore, if you could provide us with a brief update on the project and give us some idea of when you are likely to publish your preliminary findings.

I am sorry if this letter makes us seem a little impatient. We do appreciate that you must be very busy but we are all really excited here and I hope you will forgive our over-enthusiasm.

Yours Sincerely

Gordon Potter

Comfytog Duvets

 

2 February 2016

Dear Professor Reynaud

Thank you for your brief note in which you informed us that 'everything is going ok'. Our board of directors had hoped for something a little more detailed, but I did explain to them that it would be premature to say more at this early stage.

We were also pleased to receive your application for further funding and appreciate that the recruitment of two full-time research assistants would advance the project significantly. After a long and somewhat tense meeting, the details of which will be of no concern to you, I have the great pleasure of informing you that your request has been granted and that you can go ahead and engage the former underwear model Miss Berverley Trubshaw and Mr Jacob Phillips, whom you describe as your 'brother-in-law'.

Yours Sincerely

Gordon Potter

Comfytog Duvets

 

16 July 2016

Dear Professor Reynaud

Hi, it's us again. Sorry to be troublesome but there seems to have been a slight misunderstanding which I'm hoping you may be able to clear up. One of our senior managers recently paid a visit to Durham University, where we believed you were based and to where we have been sending all our correspondence. The visit, I hasten to add, was not sanctioned by the company and we would not presume to intrude upon your work at this delicate stage. Our man was in the area and did not think that there would be any harm in dropping in unannounced.

Curiously, however, our representative was unable to locate you. According to his account of the visit, no one he spoke to seemed to have heard of a 'Professor Reynaud' and when he asked where he could find the Duvet Department he was told that the university did not have one, that it had never had one and he was instead directed to a nearby department store.

I am certain that there is a very simple explanation for this and if you could provide some clarification it would be most helpful in resolving some of the anxieties that are being felt at our end.

Yours Sincerely

Gordon Potter

Comfytog Duvets

 

18 July 2016

Dear Professor Reynaud

Many thanks for responding so promptly to my previous enquiry and I am indeed grateful that you were able to so satisfactorily clear up our confusion. It never occurred to us that Durham has two universities, but now of course it all makes perfect sense. I must admit that none of us here had realised that 'Durham University' and 'The University of Durham' were two separate entities and I suppose it's reasonable that our man would have visited the larger, more well-known establishment rather than the smaller, specialised facility at which you're based.

Our senior manager was keen to rectify his error when next he visits the area, and felt sure he could have found the right address, but I note your request not to be unexpectedly disturbed and have managed to dissuade him. He was disappointed, of course, but excited, as we all are, by the news that you are about to make an important announcement. I am sure that next time I write, it will be to congratulate you on a breakthrough.

Yours Sincerely

Gordon Potter

Comfytog Duvets

 

28 July 2016

Dear Professor Reynaud

We are all absolutely over the moon at your recent announcement regarding your new mathematical formula describing the optimum method for putting on a duvet cover. We are not sure that we properly understand it, and certainly can't comment on it from a scientific point of view, but everyone here is ecstatic that your press release was picked up by no fewer than three national newspapers and the BBC!

In light of this extraordinary success the board has no hesitation in acceding to your request for further funding to investigate the use of duvets in the Maldives and surrounding area, and we look forward to many more fascinating discoveries to come.

Yours Sincerely

Gordon Potter

Comfytog Duvets

 

14 March 2017

Dear Professor Reynaud

Just a brief note to say that we're all still very excited here about your duvet cover formula, even though it was eight months ago. We're sure you must have settled in to your new base in the Maldives by now and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours Sincerely

Gordon Potter

Comfytog Duvets

 

3 August 2017

Dear Professor Reynaud

The board are getting a little concerned that we've not received any word from you in the last year. I feel sure that you must be on the verge of some important discovery and I've asked them to be patient, but if you could send us an update, that would be great.

Yours Sincerely

Gordon Potter

Comfytog Duvets

 

20 September 2017

Dear Professor Reynaud

Come on mate, help me out here. The directors are going crazy and who do you think is getting the blame? Exactly, yours truly - how about you drop me a line, give me a call, send me a postcard even? Please, something, anything...

Yours Sincerely

Gordon Potter

Comfytog Duvets

 

6 November 2017

Dear Professor Reynaud

Or should I say 'Martin Wingerworth'? Remember me, Martin? I was senior manager at Carter's Quality Curtains when you tried to pull this same 'research project' stunt with them. Well, Gordon Potter's gone and you're dealing with me now. And guess what? The gravy train has pulled into the station and you're not getting one penny more. So you enjoy yourself out there while you can, because when the money runs out you'll have to come home. And when you do, I'll be waiting Martin. Oh yes, I'll be waiting.

Yours Sincerely

Michelle Strand

Comfytog Duvets

 

Taken from The University of the Bleeding Obvious Annual 2018.

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