I’m exhausted from watching ‘Zombieland Double Tap’
I’m woken by a South African woman urging me to ‘keep going’ and the sound of panting in my right ear.
‘Don’t stop now.’
Don’t stop? I don’t remember starting anything and I’d much rather go back to sleep. It’s only 8.30am for Heaven’s sake.
‘Noooooh,’ I moan, two fifths awake. ‘Too tired.’
I only went to bed five hours ago after a marathon TV binge with my son: ‘Zombieland Double Tap’ followed by two back to back series of ‘Adventure Time’, the greatest work of art about pre-pubescent boyhood, an era which my family agree I’m an expert in.
Unfortunately, the woman’s has voice has latched onto me, like the protein stem on the covid19 virus on a human cell. Much as I’d like to, I can’t go back to sleep. I get out of bed and go to the window.
The family next door lie on their yoga mats
The young family next door are exercising together on their yoga mats and their South African fitness instructor’s voice is encouraging them onto new levels of personal well-being from out of a laptop.
‘And…Rest. Egg-cellent, you guys. Same time tomorrow?’ she asks.
‘OK,’ I mumble, staring at my bare feet and tired, grey pyjamas.
I shut the window and realise I’m being left behind. So far, my only achievement during lockdown is to work out how to use YouTube app’s new voice search function, which I did only because i wanted to save myself the effort of pressing the buttons on the TV remote. I must take a lead from my neighbours and shake off my covid lassitude.
Why isn’t covid turning me into a yoga freak?
Why isnt covid making me a yoga freak? At breakfast, I take my first step to redemption by apologising to the family for failing to be a positive role model.
‘All I’ve done is the same thing every day. Like the guy in the movie ‘Ground Hog Day. I have not done anything constructive to improbe myself or the family,’ I confess.
‘You’ve been eating like a ground hog too,’ says my son.
‘But today, I’m putting that right. I’m adopting a new faith, a new mantra: ‘Carpe Diem’.’
‘Is he converting to Catholicism?’ asks Mother.
‘No, he’s going to stop being a slob,’ says my wife.
Mother releases what could be a hiccup or a truncated giggle.
‘How will we recognise this ‘Carpe Diem’ stuff, dad?’
‘I’m open to suggestions.’
‘Try to get a bit fitter,’ pleads my wife, who has taken up Italian, crocheting and bread making in the spare time around doing her full-time job.
My wife thinks I should get fitter
Getting fit? I wonder if I could slip into our garden each morning and secretly work out alongside the neighbours? The instructor’s South African accent easily carries the fence.
‘Don’t even think about it,’ says my wife.
‘Think about what?’ I ask.
‘Joining in with the neighbours. They don’t want to hear you puffing away like an asthmatic sea lion and if you tried their workouts, you’d have a heart attack in five minutes.’
I know she is right but I don’t know how she knew I was thinking that. It would be unfair of me to disrupt my neighbours’ morning work out by having a heart attack. They’d be within their rights not to speak to us again, if I did.
‘What about yoga?’ says my wife.
‘Yoga sounds fun,’ I say, remembering yoga doesn’t involve running around or weights.
‘His father bought a yoga tape,’ Mother chips in. ‘Just after his first stroke.’
‘Tape means VHS video,’ I say to my son, not wanting him to be excluded from a piece of family memorabilia by old fashioned terminology. He shrugs his shoulders: WTF.
‘I’m not stupid you know.’
‘He often got very angry with the video player, didn’t he?’ I say to my mother.
‘I think the video player caused his second stroke, actually. I found a tape jammed stuck in the machine’s mouth and him puce on the floor alongside it,’ says Mother.
Father believed inanimate objects had evil souls
I believe it is possible my father’s second stroke might have been triggered by the video player because he often got very angry with inanimate objects which he believed had malicious souls and enjoyed frustrating him. If he thought the video tape was deliberately disrespecting him, he could have become so angry it could easily have triggered a heart attack. His belief didnt quite make him an animist, as it was really just a prejudice he adopted after years of failing at simple household tasks and DIY.
My wife gets up because she has work zooming looming. She looks me in the eye.
‘What’s it going to be, then? ‘Sitting on the Dock of the Bay’ or ‘Carpe Diem’?’
‘Bring me the yoga mat, I’m going to start right now’ I say, grabbing the moment by the throat.
‘Ha. Dad’s going to attempt yoga,’ says my son to his sister via Facetime.
‘She wants to know if I can film it? This could be our chance to become YouTuber millionaires.’