A Simple Soul....12th March, 2020

SCHOOLS: We all know that these days schools close for the slightest skittering of snow. Some are now closing due to some pupils having gone to Italy and possibly having contact with that coronavirus thingy. In the 50s, our schools were rife with mumps, measles, German measles, scarlet fever and maybe a few more I’ve forgotten about. I know — I had the lot. It seems there was no chance of our schools being closed in those days.
PHONES: Why is it that today most organisations assume everyone has a smart phone? It seems we are all encouraged to download app thingies, pay for car parks on phones, send photos, etc. The list seems endless. I’m told a phone could even tell me where I had parked my car, and I can pay at shop checkouts without using my bank card. Having just got past the stage of having a mobile with a pull-out aerial, which was on the blink, I ventured to buy a new one. Have you seen the price of some of these things, £800 to over a grand? As I only wanted a phone to make the odd call and send the odd text, I bought one for 99p plus a £10 top up, which will last me well into the summer. I also noted a reverse in trends — it seems mobile phones went through a stage of getting much smaller, but now appear to be almost the size of my telly, so much so that many people have them hanging out of their back pockets. A good invitation for the light-fingered brigade. Do these smart phones have an app that tells you who pinched your phone, I wonder?
URGENT: I heard on the news that Boris from No10 was to chair an emergency meeting of Cobra, to discuss the coronavirus. This was announced on a Friday, and the emergency meeting was to be held on a Monday. It seems Boris and his chums have a different understanding of the word “emergency” and wanted the weekend off. In such situations it seems people are encouraged to work from home — don’t the powers that be know that only a fraction of the working population can work from home? I wonder if the restaurants and bars at Westminster will be closed due to the staff working from home?
TINS: In today’s high tech world, why does corned beef still come in those rectangular shaped tins, that have to be opened with a key? On occasions you find the key is missing, dropped off in transit most likely. Even if the key is still in place, you get halfway around the tin and the metal snaps off, leaving very sharp edges, ideal for cutting your fingers. Now this means opening with a can opener which is ok, but difficult to get around the tight right angled corners. If this fails it’s a hammer and chisel. Yes I have done that. Even my dog’s food comes in pull ring cans these days, so why not corned beef?
HANDSHAKE: As I write this, it has been reported that the Premier and EF Leagues have banned players from shaking hands before the start of footy matches, due to the coronavirus. Will there be bodily contact during matches, kissing and diving on top of each other during goal celebrations etc? If so, it seems a pointless exercise. If it’s a bit chilly most seem to wear gloves anyway. I note there was no mention of all the spitting the players do. And what about the thousands of spectators that attend games? Will they all be wearing masks and gloves, and all wash their hands before and after their half time pint, pie and pit stop? Just saw the end of the Burnley/Spurs game and everyone was shaking hands, so could it be safe to do so after you have run around a bit.
SECURITY: I see there has been a bit of talk recently regarding who will pay for Harry and Megan’s security once they leave these shores for Canada. It could be that the British tax payer will have to foot the bill. As the couple will no longer be royals, it maybe a fair question to ask, “Why should we?” Could their own families not pay for them? After all, Harry’s lot are not short of a few bob and would not miss a few million quid here and there.
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Fact check:
Corned beef originally came in square cans because it was designed to be supplied to the army. Because square cans stack more neatly, there’s less wasted space inside a lorry-load of cans than there would be if the cans were round. As Simple Soul says, it’s harder to open square cans with a can opener, hence the key. Corned beef continues to be sold in square cans because it’s distinctive packaging and makes the product stand out. — Editor.