When life deals you lemons, suck a lemon

Having had a relatively up-and-down lockdown until now, I have relied on the English media to give me most of my moments of horror. The misreporting of deaths, the lack of PPE for front-line medical staff, refusing to take part in a scheme that would have given access to ventilators and saved lives, ministers laughing when being caught out in lines of questioning… this was all anticipated.
Let’s be honest, who actually thought that a government led by a man who got stuck on a flying while waving a Union Flag was going to do a good job of anything, let alone something as monumentally important as successfully negotiating a crisis? Who actually thought that Liz Truss, the British Conservative Party’s equivalent to Homer Simpson, is good for anything other than staring at a camera and giggling nervously? It’s all gone pretty much according to how we thought it would go: abysmally, embarrassingly, shamefully, scandalously.
This is why, when I learned something today that normally would have sent me into paroxysms of rage, I actually had to stop for a second and think how upset I actually was. (In fairness, a little more reflection these days would not come amiss, but I’m writing this, so let’s pretend this is a new discovery, shall we?) Today I learned something that sent shivers down my spine and made me realize that numerous horrors go on behind closed doors in the UK, horrors that are unnoticed and unwitnessed, horrors that will have lasting effects well into future decades for those caught up in and victims of the nefarious acts.
Wayne Rooney has been homeschooling his kids.
It’s not so much that Wayne Rooney is a bad person or even a particularly stupid one (even if he is), it’s just that having been privy to details of Wayne’s educational parcours at Croxteth Comp., the idea of the man homeschooling a goldfish would be a frightening concept. Who is looking into this case - that is what I want to know? Who will think of the children? Is it possible to think of a good outcome from this situation?
I am, of course, being slightly irreverent. Wayne is, from all accounts, a decent man – and is certainly someone who has matured beyond all recognition over the past 15 years (a charge that cannot be levelled against me!) – but he is without a shadow of doubt, an idiot savant. As a footballer, he is fantastic; he has learned how to marshal the English language into recognizable sentences over the past decade; he has shown restraint and the value of “taking one for the team” on several occasions; and, most significantly, he is making efforts to get involved in the education of his kids.
So why, in the name of God, is this news? Why has the English media decided to inflict this story on us at a time when the Panorama programme excoriated the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis? Why, when a crank eugenicist pushing a crank herd immunity theory has been shown to be participating in the SAGE meetings? Why, when … oh, I could go on. But the answer is, of course, patently obvious. That fraud Johnson’s classical history training is coming to the fore once more: it is the bread and circuses approach to politics. The English won’t give a flying fish about anything if they know that one of theirs is once more taking it on the chin for the team. Good old Wayne in his mansion, coming down to the level of the common man and teaching his kids colouring and ball control.
I decided after a minute or two of sober reflection to not throw my laptop out of my office window. Instead, I went down and made dinner. It was a day spent being busy, filling out forms, making phone calls, dealing with the fact that all schools will now be closed until May 31 (at least) and realizing that even if the Premier League starts again in June, we in Canada will be stuck in this mode – most wisely, in my ‘umble opinion – for some time to come.

If that isn't worth a gin and tonic, I'm bollixed if I know what is.

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