On the cutting edge of the crisis.

Oh, the news. It giveth with one hand and taketh away with the other. I am hooked on the BBC but that doesn’t mean I think they’re anything special. You have to take what you’re given. Those neighbours I get the paper for are lovely, lovely people but they read The Daily Mail; I don’t think any worse of them but I do worry that the staff at the Co-Op now think I’m a Daily Mail reader. Still, in times like these who really cares?


There are things worth knowing and things better left unsaid but sometimes the news judges it all wrong and tries to make an issue of something that really would be better hidden under a rock. Ideally on Mars. For instance this morning they are right to highlight that some students are being asked to pay for accommodation next term that they may not even use. This will no doubt be dealt with swiftly and leech like landlords will be slapped of wrist because there’s nothing like a murderous pandemic to get politics that normally take forever, or never happen at all, to suddenly whip through to sixth gear in a blink.


On the other hand, with all the pain and suffering and worry going on there has to be a line and it has to be drawn at the correct place. I clicked with a sliver of interest on a feature about a family who aren’t being given a refund on their ski chalet. At first I felt a tiny droplet of sympathy, and then I read the article.


“IT consultant Alex Hilton and his wife Jenny had planned a skiing holiday in France with university friends they had stayed in touch with over many years.

Last July, they made a booking for 20 people to stay at the Chalet Amelia in Val D’Isere this April.

The total cost of the chalet alone came to £17,000 .”


Two words immediately sprang to mind. The first being boo and the second being hoo. Boo hoo. Boo fucking hoo for you. Boo hoo you poor IT consultant Alex and boo hoo for your wife, Jenny. And let’s not forget to send out a big extra boo hoo to your two kids Joe and James. Who the fuck marries someone called Jenny and then names their two kids Joe and James? Please meet my wife and kids – Jenny, Joe and James. Alex could change his name to something beginning with ‘J’ too and the cloying rainbow of smugness would be complete. Jackass springs to mind. Or Jism.


We should also spare a thought for the other 18 pretentious pricks who are very, very special besties from university and who all love each other so much that they’ve kept in touch all these year. What a bunch of troopers, and so resourceful, being able to keep in touch “over many years”. Unheard of. I thought at first that Alex and Jenny and Joe and James had lost £17,000 alone but when you start doing the maths we’re talking less than a grand a head and if you know anything at all about skiing, and particularly family skiing, you’ll know that it is not a poor persons game. They’ll get their flight money back and they’ll get their ski money back but on this occasion they might have to swallow the rest. I find it hard to believe that this will cause such a financial trauma to the Hilton family bank account that Alex will have to earn money trialling dangerous news drugs for pharmaceutical companies, while Jenny turns to prostitution and poor Joe and James get sold off to become chimney sweeps.


And as for those keepy in touchy feely friends of theirs, I doubt they’re flirting with the poverty line either. One of them will run their own organic granola company and their partner will sell soap products at craft fairs. Another will manage a gastro-gin bar and their partner will provide an online exercise programme to help build up vagina muscles and pelvic subtlety after child birth. Another couple will have just published their second book (illustrated) delving into the joys of tantric anal sex and amongst the rest will be someone who runs a charity for people with compacted gonads and someone else who has made a fortune ‘in the city’ but has now sold up and moved to the country to run a farm and make their own fucking cheese. Just how awful it would be to sit next to the whole lot of them in a restaurant I don’t even want to imagine


Listen to me very carefully Alex and Jenny and Joe and James, and this includes you too Mr BBC. Just because there’s only one news story out there it doesn’t mean you have to fill the gap with non-news boo hoo shit like this. People are dropping dead all over the place and millions are losing money left, right and centre and so the trials of the Hilton family and all their ‘let’s Face Time at the weekend’ university bum chums and their ski chalet calamity shouldn’t get anywhere near the news. Besides, you’d bet that Alex is probably one of those flash twats that would get to the bar just before you and put in a large and complicated cocktail order, and I’m afraid that this assumption alone is enough to condemn him to the bottom of the problem bin. There. I think I’ve made my point.


G B Hewitt. 09.04.2020

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