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  • Writer's pictureKeith Dersley

Chats in the Time of Covid: #13

They said on ‘You Must Remember This’, a podcast about Hollywood, that Van Johnson hated to leave the studio at the end of a day’s filming. He felt he was only alive there: it wasn’t as if everything was outside waiting on the street. For him, everything worthwhile was sticking to the celluloid. He was so uncomfortable in what we call ‘real life’, so out of it and short even of something to say, that he wore red socks because they were at least some sort of conversation starter.

Authenticity! To live to the full! Some years ago there was a rumour along our road that authenticity could be achieved by wearing the threads prescribed by the tribe. The guy in the house opposite, when someone laughed at his younger brother and held him of small account, had an answer ready: ‘At least he’s got Levi’s on.’ (Which the critic of the smaller youth had not: he had tried to be original by putting on a different brand of denims: ‘Jet Heavies’ I believe they were, or else ‘Saddle Bags’.)

Well, Britain has hailed the Pfizer vaccine as ready to go, and it will be given to care home residents and staff first. That means Mum’s place, Bluebell. And, being over 70, Joan and I will be getting it fairly early too, at Easter maybe.

Sophie tells me not to get vaccinated. She sees a nation of inoculated sheep emerging from this plague. But I suppose that I will accept the two doses. The hairy prospect of ending up in hospital with the bug is sufficient reason to roll your sleeve up.

This new song, 'Cat Girls', is finished now, with trumpets and strings. It will be launched on iTunes, etc., at 99p. I have also made an mp3 file with just the backing, so I can sing the thing onto a video clip. Because a clip is essential, I learn from YouTube, if you are going to push your music. I’ve never promoted it before. I’ve never promoted anything.

Sophie phoned just as ‘University Challenge’ was starting, so Joan couldn’t see if I beat my score last week of seven. Sophie is still concerned that we might accept the Pfizer vaccine that apparently Bill Gates has had a hand in. She had already phoned Mum at Bluebell, she said. ‘She better not have told Gwen not to take it,’ muttered Joan. ‘It’ll only worry her. At 93 years of age she doesn’t want to hear all that.’

Sophie is worried about a quantum tattoo in the vaccine which will enable the powerful who hope to inherit the earth to track us all. This ‘tattoo’ will be mandatory for anyone who wishes to buy or sell. She says the mark is mentioned in Revelations, Chapter 13. (I looked it up, and it is.)

Sophie said she would rather be executed that accept the mark of the Beast. Jesus will ‘rapture’ the righteous before long, anyway. (Most of us are going to think that this unfortunately may not include ourselves.)

i'll be booking a Zoom room on Sunday, to host Brian Cohen. The result of that will be his third guesting on the Red Wine Dialogues. My first three-time podcaster. I know he's got plenty of tales up his sleeve. He'll create another precedent too if he sings some traditional number, say about heavy horses or getting out amongst the shoals o' herrin'.

Have to get a Zoom room for Mum this morning. We keep these sessions pretty short because there's not a lot to say. It's nice just to see her. We always ask what she's got for lunch. Today I intend to take the webcam for a walk, to show Mum the flat. We even have indoor sanitation. At the moment we've got two bikes in the sitting room because there are no bike sheds. It's all right, we no longer notice them.

[Check out the podcasts, what we call the Red Wine Dialogues]

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