Among my favourite questions ever directed at anyone came this week when billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates was asked ’in 2015 when you warned us of a pandemic and no one listened . . . what else have you said recently that we haven’t listened to?’ That question from Stephen Colbert made me guffaw loudly. Moving from genius to a different type of intelligence, President d’Orange stepped up his attempt to stop the masses cashing in their unemployment cheques through advocating using disinfectant to clean lungs. Unsurprisingly the Trumpter in Chief refused to answer any questions in his next daily briefing, which was very brief indeed.
Sticking with the United States, so long a beacon to the world of freedom, technological advancement and florid, brazen obesity, they’ve continued to make the world feel better by being an unmitigated disaster. The country will soon have a million cases of COVID, which makes my investment in fifteen pairs of underwear online seem prescient. The only disappointment is that they’re not made of rubber and don’t come up to my nipples, as the extra reinforcement may be needed as the months draw on.
Remaining upbeat, the second series of After-Life, about a man continually crying and contemplating the point of living, began on Netflix. Viewers should be warned there are scenes of an explicit nature such as people gathering in pubs enjoying themselves and strangers shaking hands in public. Perhaps wait for the children to go to bed first. In slightly better news for beleaguered parents facing serious challenges in home-schooling, the BBC have bought education to the masses by creating programs covering the school syllabus. A collective ‘thank god!’ was heard from the mothers and fathers across the world. ‘If we’d known that one day, we would be responsible for the education our own children, we would never have had them!’ they didn’t add.
Taking advantage of the quieter times, I have tried to improve general fitness and lumbar lordosis i.e. having a back like a rippled carpet. Recommended by a good friend, I have found Athlean-X superb for home-exercise videos. Another warning: the host is ripped to fu** and therefore spends an inordinate amount of time with his top off. Send the kids to bed again. I have also found this week that if you do as many push-ups as you can whilst holding your breath, there is a period where a deep, unsettling blackness envelopes your brain. Suffice to say, the Wim Hof Method is taking its toll: seven more weeks to go. I have to admit that the minute-long showers in cold water, intermittent hot then another minute of cold have become easier to tolerate as the week has trudged by. I am fairly certain though that my counting has picked up apace: oooooneee, twwwwoooo, threee . . . thirty-six . . . fiddy-ate, fiddy-n, sxty and out!! The emasculation process has not improved.
Leaving on a high-note, Bill Gates’ response, by the way, was bio-terrorism. Not all doom and gloom eh? Stay home, stay safe, help others.
As we quickly approach midway in 2020 (less than six weeks away!) it’s heartening to know that time travel is possible. Thank fuck for that, I thought we were going to be screwed! Yes, it does involve some graft, granted, but a few weeks in the shed with some strong Yorkshire Tea should about do it. In theory, if we travelled out from Earth for five years at the speed of light then back again (u-turn at Proxima Centauri), although 10 years would have elapsed on the spacecraft, 29 years would have passed here on Earth. It’s an effort, I grant you, but Trump would definitely be out by then. But looking at the basics, for a year to pass . . . Yorkshire Tea, spacecraft, speed of light, four months. Send donations to my Kickstarter page #LetsGetTheFuckOutOfHere
Talking of time moving more slowly, I’m at the end of the second week of the Wim Hof Method, the amazing Iceman performing ‘superhuman’ feats in sub-zero nature. Wim comes across as an honest, scientific, energetic man, but I’ll be honest and say that starving myself of oxygen to start my day isn’t as appealing as it sounds. It’s almost as if our bodies want us to breathe! Two weeks down, cold showers embraced, breath holding for two and a half minutes. As a pick me up I started Sam Harris’ End of Faith, which is shaping up nicely to ruin all religion if Tom Paine’s Age of Reason didn’t stamp any last scintilla of faith already. Incidentally, cold showers leave much to be desired and have a time-travel experience all of their own: if I wanted to recall what I was like when five years old, all I have to do is look down in a cold shower. Totally emasculating. Am barely a male.
Taking advantage of spending more time at home, I’ve started drawing again, with the aim of adding cartoons to the blog. Bear with me! In trying to get more exercise over the last few weeks, I’ve started running, beating my personal best around a local track of four kilometres. It sounds great, but near the end I was passed by a tub of lard, shuffling along eating ice-cream. I had a sprint finish, thrashing my nemesis by inches. As I panted for breath at the last post, my heart climbing out of my mouth to get some fresh air, he just kept on plodding, lighting a cigarette. Utterly demoralising.
What am I listening to? The Grudge by Tool.
What am I watching? The occasional Steve Colbert and Have I Got News For You
What am I wearing? Same as everyone else, nothing from the waist down.
Does anyone else hold their breath when passing others in the street? A glimmer of sunshine and everyone is out, so I’m wheezing like an asthmatic set of plump bagpipes out there! Trying to remain upbeat as death-tolls hit 100,000 worldwide is, admittedly, a challenge. On the other hand, all those times I woke up and declared loudly, “God, I don’t want to go to work today!” Well, it seems the Lord heard me. It may have taken a while, but they were listening. For most the act of physically going to work has been eradicated, go Jesus!! Also, you may have in fact lost your job entirely. #MysteriousWays
The current situation around the world is remarkably shit. I admire British Prime Minister’s Boris Johnson’s undercover investigation into the NHS, although for a minute he looked like he would be a bit too undercover. Health services are on the brink, cities and parks are abandoned or being used as makeshift cemeteries, governments struggle to piece together pay-relief for the unemployed, and I am down to my last three sheets of toilet paper. Should be all right for another week, if I clench. But there is good news! Firstly, covid is all lies, so . . . phew, ammarite! Secondly, there has never been a better time to buy into stocks! Or hold. Or cash-out. Basically, no one knows. As legendary hedge fund manager Ray Dalio confirmed, we’re in the worst situation humanity has encountered in ninety years and although the current situation feels bleak, things will only get worse. Awesome.
Being sickeningly optimistic, I’ve been keeping myself busy: starting Wim Hof’s 10 week course to become a snowman, which essentially involves holding your breath a lot so far, which the world is collectively doing anyway; writing daily to finish the second book; running again (away from COVID, mostly); reading about the Blitz to understand my father’s childhood; and surfing the internet for a plethora of crap I will never need or use or even want, but purchase anyway. The latter is about 90% of my day. However, the remarkable rise in unprecedented global philanthropy hasn’t escaped me: thousands of free ‘get-fit at home’ videos flood the internet; neighbours across the globe introduced themselves, apologised for ignoring one another for the last ten years, and asked if they needed anything; Jack Dorsey donated $1bn to Covid-19 relief; celebrities sang a song as a nice gesture; the world was repulsed by said gesture; British comedians in true fashion set fire to it, danced on its ashes and used the remnants of the idea as loo paper.
Apropos of nothing, I am down to two sheets. Fortunately, I won’t be shaking hands with anyone for a while anyway. Or ever. Always a bright side! Stay safe everyone x
It’s hard to see positives in a pandemic, but there are some. A bucketload of negatives, naturally, but here are my Top 5 to bring some sunshine!
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