Let me start by quoting E.M. Forster.
Ooh, tomorrow – some fool will start the Machine again, tomorrow.”
“Never,” said Kuno, “never. Humanity has learned its lesson.”
A Doctor friend of mine has been on his social media, pouring scorn on taxi drivers delivering alcohol to alcoholics. I meet Doctor Anon on my daily shuffle along the South Kensington pavement. He is usually with his socially distancing dog, Trevor. As Alan Keats once told me, “Never trust a dog with an unsuitable name.” How right he was. Trevor is hated by everyone who uses South Kensington High Street for their stay at home, get out, stay at home, alertness Boris walk. Doctor Anon said to me he meets no-one on his twice daily walks. I was quite frank with him and told him that South Kensington is actually quite busy until he and his pissing, shitting and yapping little ball of hate step out on to the walkway. You may think I am cruel in telling him that his bag of noise and faeces in a skin bag on a lead annoys everyone, but let’s be clear, it is from the heart, as all of what the good Doctor has done for me has been. When I moved back to London from Argentina with a new bride (my fourth or fifth marriage, I think), I had a sudden two day affair with a young crack dealer from Bermondsey. The Doctor immediately emailed my wife, saying, “I think you ought to know, Phil has been going to bed with Benedict.” “Why are you telling me this Doctor?” my wife immediately asked. “Because I consider it my duty as a friend, “ he said. So he and I have been honest with each other ever since, without any offence at all taken.
Anyway, I diverge. The Good Honest Doctor has caused consternation amongst Ye Old Cheshire Cheese clientele (we have been meeting up to glare at each other on Zoom). The Coronavirus has claimed a few. Lest we forget, we raise a tumbler to the fallen.
“What is an alcoholic?” Gorilla Bob asked. It was plain to see on our screens, really. Especially when Tig Barnes’ computer automatically connected, and instead of seeing his fine collection of leather bound classics and antique books in the glass doored bookcase he uses as his background in our drunken philsophical discussions, there was Tig standing naked in the said bookcase, shouting, “Evelyn! The fucking shower isnt working again!”
The coronavirus has turned us all into alcoholics… without the racing, we have absolutely fucking nothing to do but shout at the TV when Boris or Raab or Hancock splutter and verbally assault us. In fact it has become a drinking game. Last night when the “Stay Alert” message was published, Old Nadia was last woman standing in the rather quick, “take a drink when the message is repeated,” game. Funny how today the nervous utterings of the idiots thrown at the wolves to defend Boris’s spluttering, are barely giving us that lovely buzz you get with the first few quarter gills, or a well paced day at the bar. I predict the Stay Alert message will be a distant memory in the next week, replaced by something like, “Stay Apart Together,” or somesuch meaningless nonsense.
Well, I for one am not going out, unless it is to stop my legs from seizing completely. And timing my fresh air intake with Trevor the dog’s twice daily shit riot through the mean streets of South Kensington, mean a gasping, covid spreading rebondir, graisse, nouveau jogger marche libre à Waitrose for a bottle of Gin. As for the Taxi’s… if I run out of booze, I die. The DT’s would literally kill me, so London’s best are on call. God bless them.
No Royal news this time, just to say that our hard working Royals are all safe and sound behind their Farrow and Ball painted doors, clapping the essential workers dressing them and combing their hair.
Back to my opening quote from the Forster short story, “The Machine Stops.” In his story, the whole human race die when they are exposed to the outside. I thought it was an unnecessary last paragraph. He’d write it differently nowadays.
(Whispers off: If Boris is “Churchillian,” How the fuck did we win the war?)