Something in the air is off. Did you notice? Something’s gone quiet. Everything’s stopped. Springtime in Europe is glorious this year. It’s a delight to be outside in the fecund air.

Oh, what’s that? Just a moment, as I walked out of my front door something – a delicate nagging feeling – caught me.

As if my watch is stopped.

Or I have forgotten to hang up my washing.

Perhaps next time.

Why has the news stopped?

These new apps – ‘Skype’ with trendier names like Houseparty or Zoom (no endorsement implied) – why they have become so popular I cannot tell. Once, there was news.

Stuff motherfucking happened.

Each day at around 6, two people would sit at a desk and tell us things.

What the weather had been like, which politician had fallen over in front of a crowd, why ManchesterPool City were better than Roger Federer at tennis or how a small dog had learned backflips.

Alas it’s all gone. Now it’s just some small men behind podiums, or on those tedious selfie-cameras. Sweating, choking. What on earth is wrong with them? Probably can’t be arsed to meet people in person.

Next we’ll hear that the glad-handing monarchies have fallen.

And drinking?

Bereft of the news, I wonder whether other staples survive.

Alas not.

No-one fancies ‘a pint or two’, or a ‘cheeky G&T’, or a depraved sexploit in the corner of a sticky nightclub.

It is as we have forgotten the joy of a pub.
I hope my barman is keeping busy. I wonder who is left propping up the fruit machine or ordering a beer.

All the best shops are shut too – what a disaster.


Drone police

And how have our black and white overlords revelled in their power? Chasing the hoi polloi up hills with drones as if they’ve not suddenly been given extra time to play whichever Call of Duty game is current.

Boom and the Peak District or the Black Forest become just another exotic locale in our real-life recreation of American Sniper.


The Elephant arrives

And then it crashes through the plate-glass of my expensive middle-class conservatory. This gigantic grey mass of legs and swinging trunk is the great-damn-leveller, we’re told.

Hard to believe that it is a trunk, and not some great wrecking ball.

But what the fuck do we call this: The flu? Or else a modern day plague of, what is going on again?

Cover Photo: by Luis Tosta on Unsplash

  • retro

    Angus Haynes is an American. He enjoys old-school journalism, good investigations, irish whisky, and talking about the city of Baltimore.

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