Bring a tin of Roses, a tissue, as we all fall down… with flu
Last Thursday, as I was buying my first mince pies of the year in Marks & Spencer – while wearing my grisly skeleton Hallowe’en socks, by the way – it occurred to me that the traditional wave of flu jab propaganda seems to start earlier and earlier every year.
In the old days you never heard about it until after the clocks went back, but now the GP’s surgery, which has been so stand-offish the whole year up to now, is keen for us to get in touch and pop in, and there are enticing notices in all the chemists.
Flu is very much the next big thing. The first week in October will surely soon be designated the Influenza Festival, with special greetings cards, gifts and deals and meals and celebrations.
It’s time to send those cards saying “Congratulations granny! You are at risk”, and “the perfect gift for him” is a box of grandad-sized tissues. This week, children, dressed as germs, may go out in the evenings, ring doorbells and say “Jab or treat?”. Gastropubs may offer 10 per cent off the price of the special Sunday roast to anyone who has had the jab and is willing to roll up his or her sleeve and show the inflamed upper arm.
In the bars and nightclubs, the cocktail of the week is “Under the Weather” and consists of honey and hot lemon with a shot of tequila and paracetamol sprinkles. Just what the doctor ordered. The climax of the Influenza Festival, just as the symptoms are beginning to kick in, will be the first early crashes and flashes of the three-week Guy Fawkes celebration. Forget that splitting headache.
It is reported that nearly 6,000 items have been lost from museums in Britain. Stolen, perhaps, or misplaced or just “mislocated”. There is something piquant about this, as museums are places where they keep collections of things that have been found – dug up by archeologists, located in chimneys or extracted from tombs.
Many of these items may still be somewhere on the premises but nobody knows exactly where. The curators probably go through the same routine as the rest of us. “So where did you last see that flint arrowhead?” they say. “Retrace your steps to the Palaeolithic age and start again from there.” Or they will repeat “jawbone of a diplodocus” 50 times in the hope that it will do the trick. There’s probably a cabinet with a drawer full of medieval peasants’ socks where all sorts of odd things eventually turn up. Or they may seek guidance by consulting the portrait of St Anthony of Padua, only to find that it, too, is missing.
When the Georgian teaspoon (or whatever) is finally located, they probably, like the rest of us, say: “There! It always turns out to be in the very last century you look.”
Searching for these exhibits s is a job for the archaeologists. Send for or the excitable Tony Robinson and that Time Team TV programme. Let et them move into the British Museum m and dig a trench from the Elgin Marbles arbles to the museum shop and another her from the cafeteria to the Egyptian tian room. Fascinating objects will l be dug up, such as a crumpled piece ece of a drinking vessel with the wordrd “Costa” still visible on it, an Oyster yster Card still in use in 2013, a fragment ment
at telegraph.co.uk/ opinion of coloured paper, probably part of a child’s drawing dating from some historic school party visit. Eventually, with luck, they will turn up the mislaid Saxon hoard.
Here’s a fantastic idea: what about a TV food programme in which the contestants’ dishes are judged by a panel of gourmet pigs? The working title is The Swill is Brill and the eloquent grunts and squeals of the judges would make it perfectly clear who the winner was.
This occurred to me after I read that Prue Leith had the habit of taking the Great British Bake-Off leftovers to feed her neighbour’s pigs. She had to stop doing this after the vet warned they were becoming obese.
Pigs are extremely intelligent and also great personalities and I know I would gladly watch
Ma Masterchef if Gregg Wallace and John Torode were replaced by a couple of discerning Tamworths. There is potential here. I can foresee the day when a Gloucester Old Spot makes a really valuable contribution on Qu Question Time.