Published on October 6th, 2011 | by Philip Leone Ganado8
SACES vs ELSA Waterfight: ELSA claim disputed victory
The road leading to the quadrangle today turned briefly into a fierce battleground as water balloons flew, water cannons were aimed, and a vast army in black clashed with an army in white – law students’ society ELSA renewed their fierce rivalry with architecture students SACES in waterfight held annually between the two organisations.
The Law students, led by President Tessa Marie Borg assembled at the end of the road closest to the quadrangle at 2pm, dragging their heavy artillery – a water bowser and high-pressure hose – along with the usual mix of water balloons and makeshift shields and catapults, as well as, inexplicably, what appeared to be a fire extinghuisher. As a crowd gathered on both sides of the road, ELSA got the mood going, chanting: “Tal-ligi, tal-ligi, ala bieb z****a” (“Law students don’t give a s***”) and “Monopulju assolut naqilghu flus iktar mil-Lhud” (“We have a complete monopoly, and earn more money than the Jews”)
At the other end of the road, by the ring road, the SACES forces massed, as two large cranes manouvred into position, the architecture students having clearly upped the ante from last year, where they marched into battle behind the protection of a beaten-up car. At around 2.20pm, the bulk of the architecture students came into sight, all donning black clothes and masks printed with the face of their President Sean Mayl.
And then the battle was joined, as both sides charged, retreated, and charged again. ELSA seemed to be gaining an early advantage until SACES regrouped and counter-attacked, their cranes giving them an aerial advantage that the law students found it difficult to oppose. Within fifteen minutes, everyone had been thoroughly doused and with ammunition mostly depleted, the battle resolved itself to a struggle around each side’s hose-pipe, and with SACES pushing forward inexorably, it seemed like yet another victory for the architecture students was on the cards.
But amidst the SACES shouts of victory, news broke that the ELSA President had, much like an erstwhile Libyan dictator, escaped from the field of certain defeat, and as the shouts changed to “Fejn hi Tessa!” (“Where’s Tessa!”), word spread that SACES President Sean Mayl had done the same.
With the unofficial rules of the event stating that the opposing team’s president needs to be dumped into a skip for victory to be claimed, it seemed like a stalemate had been reached. SACES, looking for the next best thing, grabbed prominent law student and SDM activist Mark ‘Guru’ Grech, who was promptly paraded down the road in a green chariot-cum-skip. But just as SACES began to celebrate their victory, there was one further twist in the tale, as a small number of ELSA members returned bearing Sean Mayl in a skip, having left the field of battle and found him sheltering from the conflict in a garage beside popular eatery “Meet n’ Eat”.
Arguments about who had actually won inevitably followed , but it was the law students who left the field with heads held high, having broken the chain of defeats that they have suffered in previous years. And then all that was left was for the combatants and their supporters to disperse, leaving only burst balloons, a torrent of water, and a brief wait until comments about how University students waste their time begin to flood online news portals.