After a week or a couple of weeks of flu (it is difficult to know exactly) everything has returned to normal for me.
Well, actually, I am not too sure.
My Grouchy Club co-host – comedy critic Kate Copstick – posted on her Facebook page: “I had a strange dream about John Fleming last night. He had a head of hair like Boris Johnson and we won a trophy which was made of glass and I filled it with water and it fell over and shattered … thoughts ?
One Fred Fletch visualised the concept (above) and I think caught the essential me.
Meanwhile, Anna Smith, this blog’s occasional Canadian correspondent, kept me up-to-date with happenings in our North American Dominion. She sent me an email headed: NAKED FEMALE FOOT FOUND IN SHOP.
“It was attached,” Anna added rather disappointingly, “to a naked woman… A customer walked into a Wind (mobile phone sales company) shop in downtown Vancouver and spotted a naked woman’s foot on the floor sticking out from behind a counter. She called the police who sealed the Robson Street shop and, on further investigation, they found two men with the naked woman.”
Sergeant Brian Montague of the Vancouver Police said that, when his men arrived, they found the door locked but spotted a naked woman and a clothed man walking around inside. Neither of the individuals, he said, were co-operative and they refused to open the door for police.
The good sergeant said negotiators and an emergency response team were then brought in and officers were stationed outside the store’s front door, with guns drawn, while more officers were located in the alley by the building’s back entrance with rams, ready to force a rear entry.
Fortunately, after about an hour, the two men opened a back door of the building and they were arrested. Police then asked the woman to come out of the building, but she was “reluctant”. After some time, police were able to enter the building and escorted the naked woman out wrapped in a white sheet.
Why the police were wrapped in a white sheet remains unclear to me.
“She was unco-operative,” said Sgt Montague, “but she also appeared to be under the influence (of drugs) at this time.”
“As you know, John,” Anna further added – a little mystifyingly – in her e-mail, “this was an unusual case, as most of the feet found on this coast are neither alive, naked or female.”
Which brings me to Philosophy.
A couple of days ago, I went to Hay-on-Wye in Wales with musical comic Ariane Sherine, a woman for whom the term ‘multi-talented’ seems an extreme understatement.
That morning, The Spectator had published a piece commissioned by them from her and, on the train from London to Hereford, a magazine asked her to do another piece for them within the next week which she sent to them within two hours. They were suitably impressed.
Ariane is an education. We were in Hay-on-Wye because she had been invited to be a panellist in the big opening debate of the 11-day How The Light Gets In “philosophy and music” festival.
I had never before heard the phrase “God of the Gaps” – in which gaps in scientific knowledge are taken to be evidence or proof of God’s existence. She brought it up in the debate, which was titled The Weird and The Wonderful and discussed how, in Europe, belief in organised religion continues to decline as science advances; yet, strangely, interest in everything from ley lines to solstice rituals is increasing.
But it is not just Ariane who is an education. So is her 5-year daughter, whom I occasionally look after when Ariane is at gigs. I am now an expert on My Little Pony and the land of Equestria. But, more relevantly, I also watched an episode of cartoon series The Octonauts with her. It was about jellyfish.
As part of this particular episode, the Octonaut team was fascinated by an adult jellyfish which spontaneously turned into a baby jellyfish when (in this case) a sea turtle was chasing it… No wonder they were fucking fascinated!
It was said to be an ‘immortal jellyfish’ because, when it gets old, it can revert to being a baby again and thus, indeed, is immortal.
I was so amazed by this concept in the middle of a children’s programme filled with what appeared to be legitimate educational jellyfish information, that I looked up Wikipedia (always a place to check if something is true!)
I was astonished to find that there really IS an immortal jellyfish (Turritopsis dohrnii) which can, indeed, continue to live by reverting to an earlier stage of its existence and by repeating this process can continue indefinitely.
According to Wikipedia, the immortal jellyfish is believed to have originated in the Pacific Ocean, “but has spread all over the world through trans-Arctic migrations… Turritopsis is believed to be spreading across the world as ships are discharging ballast water in ports. Since the species is immortal, the number of individuals could be rising fast. We are looking at a worldwide silent invasion, said Smithsonian Tropical Marine Institute scientist Dr Maria Miglietta.”
Apart from the risk of our entire world being over-run by a rapidly-increasing population of immortal jellyfish, why is this not an ongoing major news story on the immortality and medical fronts? The billionaire bosses of the Silicon Valley cyber companies all seem to be turning their ageing eyes to slowing down or stopping the ageing process. Is there already some Google Jellyfish program in existence that I am unaware of?
Or am I still delirious from the flu?
Or has surreality become the new reality?