29/12/2020

Here's Why You Won't Do A New Year's Resolution

As the New Year gets started most of us are probably thinking about resolutions. We’ll be wanting to be healthier, thinner, less of a piss-head and more successful. Those urges will, on average, last for about three days but maybe it’s better that way.

If you were to try to improve yourself and it actually took you might become a right old twat.

A new piece of research has found that people who meditate or work to achieve a higher level of inner peace are more likely to be a right piece of work. They were found to have “spiritual superiority”. It’s ironic because all of that meditation and self-work is supposed to make you less judgemental. Imagine how big of a git the Dalai Lama must be.

We have all seen the type, someone who loves to mention how much they love yoga, alternative medicines and kelp. They seem like they are up their own arses and thanks to the yoga they can reach.

You can see where the trap lies. One of the goals of meditation is to let go of your ego, and if you get good at doing that you will feel a sense a pride, which will fuel the ego.

The logical conclusion is obvious. If you want to be a good person do very little. Self-improvement is a path to failure. Enlightenment will make you smug. The best thing you can do to be a force for good in this world is to stay flawed with your ass planted firmly on your sofa. It keeps you grounded.

In fact, if you are a poor excuse for an individual not only will you avoid hubris you’ll also make everyone else feel good about themselves by comparison.

So that’s my New Year’s Resolutions sorted and this year I might be able to stick to them.

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26/10/2020

[Video] Topical Comedy Steve - Bits of CSP S02E16 - Tiers and Bum Smuggling

Catch up with some of the news of the week with this topical comedy show. It's from the Comics Solving Problems web series.

In this episode it's the three-tier system of the UK that gets unpicked a news on how to smuggle gold.


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25/10/2020

6 in 10 Want a Circuit-Breaker

Six in ten people want us to have a circuit-breaker lockdown. This is according to a new survey in the UK, which might not be that accurate. There must be people who totally love to stay at home, so they’d be up for another lockdown and they’re unlikely to have been stopped in the street by someone with a clipboard. So it could be even higher than six in ten.

The survey says people with rather have a short, sharp shock than the current situation where England has split into areas in three different tiers of COVID lockdown.

Those against a circuit-breaker claim that it would simply delay the inevitable. That’s a good move if we are close to a vaccine, but an extra 28 days isn’t enough to get us the cure. If that were the case we could talk the scientists into pulling some double shifts and not taking any holidays.

If we hold back the winter spike by a month we could see more problems happen around Christmas. Already some people are saying Christmas will be cancelled this year. That’s only bad if you like your in-laws. There could be many people who would be grateful of a Yuletide lockdown. Six in ten, maybe.

It’ hard to know if we are in a worse situation than before the main lockdown. We have far more detected cases but back then we were only testing people who presented with symptoms. We’re now testing more people so you’d expect to see more official cases.

The steep increase in cases since we started wider testing is the worrying stat. Would the circuit-breaker be good? We could wait to see what happens in Wales.

In Wales they are currently doing a firebreak. I am not sure if there’s a difference between a circuit-breaker and a firebreak. Maybe the got a focus group and found that a firebreak sounds sexy but a circuit-breaker sounds like the kind of thing that annoys you when you’re trying to mow the lawn.

If it helps Wales maybe we should do the same. But if it brings the infection rate down in Wales, what is more likely is that the restrictions will be eased and loads of people from England will go there and cough a lot.

While six in ten might be thinking of what’s best for everyone, that’s means four in ten are all about themselves.

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07/10/2020

Is It Time To Panic Buy Yet?

 Have you done your panic buying yet? I do most of mine online, and spread it out over a few weeks.

Last week some shops asked people not to panic buy. That was probably the worst thing they could do. As soon as you hear that you think, “Does that mean other people are panic buying? I don’t want to be left behind, I’d better pop to the shops for a quick panic buy.”

The cynical part of me wonders if some shops are hoping for a little run on some products to boost their sales figures. If they’re struggling to shift a certain item, issue a press release asking people to not panic buy it all, and they’ll sell more. It’s the only reason I have so many tins of sardines in. I don’t even like sardines.

I thought we learned from last time. When the original lockdown came in a lot of us bought more than we needed. The most highly sought-after product in March was the humble loo roll.

We all saw the news reports of some corner shops charging exorbitant prices for a roll. With the price of toilet roll going up and the pound going down, put it this way, it’s a good job they got rid of the one-pound note.

I didn’t think I was a panic buyer but even I felt the urge to pick up some spares if I was near the shops. You don’t need too many details here but I haven’t had to buy any more toilet rolls since then.

Given that we have so recently been through a panic buying pandemic I expected better from us. The fact that we still have items from the first surge tells us we don’t need to do it. We saw images of people working long shifts for the NHS, saving people’s lives, going to the shops on the way home and not being able to buy the bare essentials.

No one wants to see that again and we can surely remember that we don’t have to be selfish in the shops. It doesn’t stop some. I saw a picture of a woman leaving a supermarket with bags of pasta and around 128 rolls. That looks like the picture of someone who doesn’t know they’re gluten intolerant.

If I can’t say not to panic buy without causing it, and I can’t tell you to panic buy, all I can say is this. I have loads of loo roll left if you need to buy some.




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[Video] Comics Solving Problems - S02E16 - Trump's Immune Response & BoJo's Mojo

When lockdown stated the Comics Solving Problems show began. Lockdown restrictions came and went and are currently coming back to say hi again. The new version of the show is still out there keeping up with the news for you. It's Comics Solving Problems.

Through the week you can send in the lockdown-related questions you have and during the show we will answer them to the best of the abilities two home-working stand-ups can.

In this episode they look at Donald Trump's dose of COVID, how to fight coronavirus like Trump and in UK news, what is Boris Johnson going on about?

Here's S02E16.


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05/10/2020

How To Mock Trump Now

What is a satirist to do with Trump?

The news that the President of the United States of America has contracted the coronavirus has left some of us in a difficult position.

Even though we have had to see some pretty shocking news in recent years, most of the topical comedians are still human. You know, deep down. When you hear the news of a man in his seventies contracting a virus that can be fatal to people in that age bracket, you have empathy.

Science tells us that the virus is really tough for those who are overweight. Now, some say Donald Trump lies about his height to bring his BMI down but viruses don’t check paperwork. It’s another reason show concern for someone who is ill.

If we were only listening to the angel that pops up on our shoulder that would be the end of it. But the devil on the other shoulder loves to point out the hypocrisy. When a man who has belligerently said the coronavirus would be gone by the summer catches it in autumn, it’s worth a mention.

When someone who has recently said publicly that COVID-19 affects “almost no one” gets affected by it, how can we not sarcastically say, “So you’re calling yourself a no one?”

He held rallies where his supporters defiantly refused to wear a mask. That’s because the wearing of a bit of fabric over your breathing parts as a small effort to help everyone else has become a political issue.

It was surprising as Donald has been known as a germaphobe for quite some time. Most germaphobes would like people to wear masks even when there’s no pandemic but the political capital to be gained by making the “do-gooders” seem bad was too tempting. And look where it’s got him.

Even the most sympathetic commentator must find irony in the man who said to use bleach as a cure is now in a hospital using proper drugs suggested by proper doctors. He suggested putting UV light in the body. Did he try putting a sunbed lamp up his botty before trying real drugs?

Just as the poetic irony of the situation starts to entertain there will be a ping on my phone from a news app telling me that doctors say the next 48 hours will be critical for him. That jolts me back to thinking that no matter what point of view someone has held, you shouldn’t make light of something that could cost them their lives.

Show sympathy. That can’t be wrong. And just as soon as I start to think that social media shows me the conspiracy theories that he doesn’t have COVID and he’s only doing this to get out of the future debates. His current narrative is that his opponent Joe Biden is old and frail. If Trump can claim to have had a case of the tough COVID but walked it off in a few days he can look fit by comparison.

Now I don’t want to fall into the trap of giving sympathy if it’s not due but I don’t want to accuse someone of pretending to be ill in case they go on to die.

There was another conspiracy theory that claimed the President was hiding a secret oxygen tank about his person and using a mask to cover the nose attachment. Several mainstream media outlets have claimed that’s nonsense but I remember someone saying those outlets peddled “fake news”. I wonder who could have said that?

What about all of those Trump supporters who claimed that coronavirus was a hoax? Do they see the contradiction of their position or do they think this proves that people can catch made up illnesses. Be careful when you pretend is real, some people could catch that. I’m terrified that I might come down with a case of The Phage from Star Trek Voyager.

I haven’t noticed many Trump supporters saying sorry for thinking this virus that killed over one million people was a hoax. They are too busy saying that Trump critics shouldn’t mock him. They ask how the left would like it if it was one of their figureheads who got ill. Maybe people replied with the clip of Trump mocking Hilary Clinton after we heard she had pneumonia. Even more hypocrisy.

Donald has been rude about people with illnesses and dismissive of the disease he now has. His actions may well have led to more people catching this potential killer. And yet, I still don’t want to mock him. He’s an old man who is ill.

Donald, get will soon, so we can get back to pointing out what a hypocrite you are.



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04/10/2020

[Video] Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems - S02E15 - Unpresidential Debates & Celebrity Lockdown Breakers

When lockdown stated the Comics Solving Problems show began. Lockdown restrictions came and went and are currently coming back to say hi again. The new version of the show is still out there keeping up with the news for you. It's Comics Solving Problems.

Through the week you can send in the lockdown-related questions you have and during the show we will answer them to the best of the abilities two home-working stand-ups can.

In this episode we look at the messy scrap that was the US presidential debate and in the UK some big names have been breaking lockdown.

Here's S02E15.


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28/09/2020

Back To The Home Office

Here we go again. It seems like only last week we were being told to get back to work. That’s because we were being told that last week. This week we’re being told to work from home.

Michael Gove was interviewed on the TV and he called it a, “Slight shift in emphasis.” It wasn’t that long we were told that if we didn’t get back into the office we might be easier to sack. Now they’re telling us to work from home again. It’s less of a slight shift of emphasis and more like a 180-degree turn.

I’d love t see Michael Gove commentating on rally driving. He would excitedly tell us about the moment the driver pulled up the handbrake as he went round the corner, performing a stunning slight shift in emphasis.

Even if this coronavirus hadn’t happened working from home should be allowed anyway. We don’t have to be facing a global pandemic to find a way to spend less of our lives in traffic.

The real problem is that home-workers don’t pop into a coffee shop for spend a tenner on a drink and sandwich. Those purchases keep the economy going.

I’ll meet the economy halfway. If I am working from home I will recreate a coffee shop experience. I can make my own coffee, I can try to force myself to have a muffin too and then throw seven-quid away.

I know it’s a shame for the towns. Whenever I go into the centre of Sutton it’s sad to see so many shops closed. It looks like Outram Street did a few years ago. I try to remember that if we head back to a full lockdown the situation will be worse and some of those shops will stay closed permanently.

If you went back to work, I am not saying it is your fault. You were putting the effort in and following the advice we were given. Don’t lose heart because at some point in the future will we need to have that attitude again.

It feels like a moment where the people who tried to get us back into the office should admit their were wrong but that never happens these days. Politicians insist they were right before and they’re right now they’re saying the total opposite.

If they get things wrong they deny it. If we get things wrong we risk a £10,000 fine.

I don’t know why I’m so angry about working from home. I don’t have any work at the moment anyway.

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28/08/2020

The New Baby Name List Is Out - Big Whoop

The list of popular baby names has been released again. Oliver and Olivia have remained at the top, which shows how uncreative we are. I am more impressed that we have the list at all.

At the start of the lockdown many people predicted another baby boom. If we were all stuck at home, unable to leave and only so many episodes of Tiger King available, the assumption was we’d get up to all kinds of naughty fun. An increase in the birthrate was expected to be nine months down the line.

It looks like we were wrong. There hasn’t been a noticeable increase in pregnancies but I saw one news story saying the number of couples applying for a divorce was double what you’d expect.

Having more time together doesn’t lead to more romance, it makes us notice what we can’t stand about someone.

People thought it would be like the baby boom of the mid-twentieth century but that was fuelled by men coming home from a war. Their wives hadn’t seen them in ages and couldn’t keep their hands off them. If they had seen their hubbies sitting around the house all day, with their unshaven faces sticking out of their food stained t-shirts, history may have been different.

It's also worth remembering that the post-war baby boom was in a time before the pill was invented. Even if couples passed their lockdown getting friendly it wouldn't always make babies.

Congratulations to you if you are having a post-lockdown baby. I hope you'll have a very happy family life, but when you get to the school gates in a few years time listen out to how many parents call their children things like, “Miracle,” “Longshot” or “Jesus,” because it must have been an immaculate conception.



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20/08/2020

[Columns] Eat Out To Help Out

Each week I write newspaper columns for a variety of titles across the UK. You can find then in London, Essex, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Wiltshire and Hertfordshire.

With the UK struggling to get to grips with the corona crisis, I have been using more of the columns to find the uplifting angles to the main news.

In this one, from a newspaper in London, I take a look at the scheme to get us to eat out more to save the UK.

Click to have a read.






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From Comics Solving Problems

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14/08/2020

Hmm, Schools or Pubs? Hmm.

Many parents will be thinking, “Oh, what I wouldn’t give to get these children back to school.” Now we are faced with actually answering that question.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that reopening schools is a “national priority”, which means other things may have to close.

The first time we heard of this ultimatum was when Prof Graham Medley from the London School of Hygiene and Topical Medicine spoke about it as an option. I always thought the name of that academic establishment really takes a leap half way through. “School of Hygiene,” sounds like wiping work surfaces down. “And Tropical Medicine,” is that Parrot fever?

Many people think that school children should be back to learning for the good of society but don’t make us pick between that and having a pint.

At first, I wasn’t sure why we’d have to shut pubs to let schools open. Is there a shortage of bouncers that are needed for both? The UK brought in a restrictions on opening hours for pubs during the First World War to stop workers in munitions factories drinking too much. Is that the problem with Year 7s now?

While open schools would help parents cope, some of them may need the pub too. Don’t make us choose.

Surely there are other types of shops that we close up again to open the schools. Tattoo parlours are open. If we shut those could we still have pubs open. In fact there’s an argument to be made that you shouldn’t have pubs and tattoos open at the same time anyway. It’ll stop people having the name of the person they’ve been dating for a week put on their back.

Shutting shops to open pubs would be a better solution. A lot of shops are shutting on their own. If we tally up WH Smiths, Debenhams, Pizza Express and Victoria’s Secret does it buy us a few classrooms?

I’d also nominate candle shops. Do we need so many? I haven’t had a power cut in years. I dated someone a while back who bought many candles but never lit them. She sad she bought them for the fragrance. If you can relate to that, try air fresheners. They’ll blow your mind.

Card shops could go too. In age of email we don’t need to send cards and during a pandemic we shouldn’t sell anything you lick and put in the post.

I think we could close some shops before the pubs, but knowing my luck the Government will agree with me and then they’ll pick the off licenses.
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30/07/2020

UK Government To Make Us All Look Fit

I am fat. I know this because I calculated my body mass index. I then tried to work out ways that I could prove BMI to be an unreliable measure. The classic case to mention is rugby players. Their BMIs are often in the overweight range but they’re athletes.

I, however, am not an athlete. And if the only sports person I can compare myself to are the ones known for downing pints, it’s a pretty weak argument. Deep down I know it’s right.

It’s something we might be hearing more as part of the Government’s new plan to get us fitter is to tell GPs to be frank. Our doctors should tell us, “You’re fat.”

I know what I’m like, I am oversensitive and I don’t take criticism well. When my doctor tells me I am fat I will probably retort with, “Well, playing golf isn’t exactly keeping you in shape either!”

Some people make the case that fat shaming, as it is known, isn’t going to help people. If something makes you feel bad you might turn to food to make you feel better.

I am not sure that your doctor would be fat shaming you in this instance. I presume your GP will only tell you the news and doctor-patient confidentiality prevents them from shouting, “Give way for fatso,” as you leave their office. They won’t post it on social media.

The only person who will know that you’ve been called out on your unhealthy size is you, so you could tell everyone in your life that you got a clean bill of health. If the doc every tells me I’m too large I’ll report back that he said I was in great shape for a rugby player.

While I don’t agree that these actions are fat shaming, I am not convinced that it will help. As a large chap I can tell you that we fat people are fully aware that we are fat.

You may think you’re bringing some new information to our attention but please remember, we see ourselves fresh out of the shower. We know what it’s like when we bend down to tie a shoelace and feel our stomach push one of our lungs into our neck. We were there when we had to undo our belt after winning at an all-you-can-eat buffet lunch. They are a competition, right?

However, I'm sure the Government's scheme will work and make us all thin. That's as long as they're not also telling us to “Eat Out To Help Out” at the same time.



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22/07/2020

Guess Who Just Got Richer (Hint: The Rich)

Are you tired of reading about how bad the economy is going to get? Sick of hearing about V-shaped recessions or U-shaped recessions, or a W-shaped one if there’s a second wave of infection? Maybe this will cheer you up.

There is news of someone doing well out of the pandemic. It’s Jeff Bezos. He’s the man behind the Amazon website and he’s the richest man in the world.

It’s actually an impressive achievement to be the richest man in the world when you remember that he has been through a divorce. He could easily have ended up with the title of “ex-husband to the richest woman in the world”.

In the space of one day recently Jeff got over £10billion richer. That should keep Jeff going for a while. He’s a long way off not knowing where the next meal is coming from. I’m sure he has Amazon Prime, so he could get one delivered within a day.

The reason he is richer is thanks to us. During the pandemic we have been staying away from shops and buying things online. I can understand why. If you shop online you don’t have to stand in a queue and you don’t have to wear a mask. Heck, you don’t have to wear trousers.

Many experts have been saying that this way of shopping will hit our economy. Well, now we know where all that extra money ended up. Jeff has it.

Mr Bezos is now estimated to be worth £148billion, which means his worth is only £11billion less than the GDP of Greece. To be fair, Greece isn’t that well off. Have you seen their tourist attractions? They’re in ruins.

I’m sure the news that Jeff Bezos is now even richer will make us all feel happier as we worry about our jobs.
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10/07/2020

Rishi, The Groupon Chancellor

Do you fancy going out for dinner? I’m not offering to pay, but the Chancellor is.

Rishi Sunak announced that we will be getting our restaurant or pub bills cut in half. He’s becoming the Groupon chancellor.

I hope this doesn’t mean that after we have used our Government voucher we will then get emailed all the time about cut price deals on waxing treatments. To the best of my knowledge I have never been waxed and yet Groupon have me on a list of people who might be interested.

The Government deal is that if you dine out in August, on Monday to Wednesday, you will get 50 per cent off. It feels strange to know that a member of parliament is buying us dinner. I remember politics in the 1980s so it seems strange to be getting a meal from an MP without it being part of some sleazy tryst.

The scheme is called Eat Out to Help Out and of all the Government plans to save our economy this is one I can do well at.

When they announced plans to get furloughed Brits to pick fruit I knew my back would give out. When they spoke of plans to get young workers back into jobs I saw myself in the mirror and had to admit I’m old now. When they planned to pause stamp duty I knew I wasn’t going to move house, I hate packing.

Eating, however, is something I am good at. If anything, during lockdown, I have improved my eating skills. I certainly put the hours of practice in.

When my grandchildren ask what I did during lockdown I can say, “I helped by ordering a starter when I didn’t need one. And that’s why I still get these waxing emails to this day.”
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06/07/2020

[Podcast] Corona Special 4 - Pret & Other Shops Closing

SomeNews podcast
It's the Steve N Allen's Week Podcast (with Steve N Allen), helping us through the lockdown. You can get the last episodes here.

In this podcast:

We look at the news that Pret will not open some stores and hear about the time they asked me not to be naked. Also we talk to Mark Machado about which shops are on the way out.

And if you're enjoying the content, think about leaving a tip. You can donate a coffee here.






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01/07/2020

Local Lockdowns Start In The UK

It's nearly P Day. After months of being stuck at home, the day of the pub is nearly upon us. I am getting ready for my first pub visit. I have my contactless payment card, my hand gel and I have stopped washing; that should keep people at least two metres away.

We have to be careful or we might end up like Leicester, and no one wants that. It's the first place in the UK to be subject to a local lockdown. While we're enjoying a nice pint the people of Leicester will be trapped at home once more.

Local lockdowns are strange because they have an edge. There will be a place where one street is in lockdown but the next street along is free. We could see a situation where you could find it easier to travel back from Spain than nip round to your neighbours.

On that topic, I am not sure I believe what the Government says about removing quarantine from some countries. When I had my first job in a factory the old guys working there pulled the classic prank on me. They sent to me the stores to get a glass hammer, a left-handed screwdriver and a bubble for a spirit level. I was young and foolish and I fell for it. I felt so silly afterwards. So when the Government starts talking about "air bridges" I'm not falling for that one.

The big worry is that people in a local lockdown will travel to other towns to go to pubs and restaurants. Keep an eye out. As we're enjoying a drink on the weekend, if someone is doing a bad accent while wearing a flat cap and eating a pork pie, it might be time to call the police.
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10/06/2020

[Columns] I Went To A Pub During Lockdown - So You Don't Have To

Each week I write newspaper columns for a variety of titles across the UK. You can find then in London, Essex, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Wiltshire and Hertfordshire.

With the UK struggling to get to grips with the corona crisis, I have been using more of the columns to find the uplifting angles to the main news.

In this one, from a newspaper in Essex, I bravely did research for you so you don't have to. I went to a pub!

Click to have a read.






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06/06/2020

[Video] Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems Ep17 - Trump on Race, Train Face Masks & UK Lockdown Sex Laws

During this enforced staying in there's a greater need for stuff to watch. We're always here to help. For the next few weeks we'll be doing live-streaming shows called Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems.

Through the week you can send in the lockdown-related questions you have and during the show we will answer them to the best of the abilities that two out-of-work stand-ups have.

In this episode we look at Trumps handling of yet another crisis in America, the face mask rule for UK public transport and the Government's rules on intimate relations.

Here's episode 17.


If you have any questions you'd like us to tackle on the show track us down on social media (on Twitter use the hashtag #CIQSP) and we'll see if we can help. We'll be back next week.
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31/05/2020

[Video] Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems Ep16 - Meet in Groups, SpaceX & Trump V Twitter

During this enforced staying in there's a greater need for stuff to watch. We're always here to help. For the next few weeks we'll be doing live-streaming shows called Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems.

Through the week you can send in the lockdown-related questions you have and during the show we will answer them to the best of the abilities that two out-of-work stand-ups have.

In this episode we look at the latest English rules of having 6 people in your garden, the launch of the Space X mission and Trump battling Twitter.

Here's episode 16.


If you have any questions you'd like us to tackle on the show track us down on social media (on Twitter use the hashtag #CIQSP) and we'll see if we can help. We'll be back next week.
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27/05/2020

[Columns] I'm Not Cut Out For This

Each week I write newspaper columns for a variety of titles across the UK. You can find then in London, Essex, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Wiltshire and Hertfordshire.

With the UK struggling to get to grips with the corona crisis, I have been using more of the columns to find the uplifting angles to the main news.

In this one, from a newspaper in Essex, I look at some of the solutions to crowds and gatherings as we come out of lockdown.

Click to have a read.





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[Video] Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems Ep15 - Cummings, Trump's Positive & Cannabis Cure

During this enforced staying in there's a greater need for stuff to watch. We're always here to help. For the next few weeks we'll be doing live-streaming shows called Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems.

Through the week you can send in the lockdown-related questions you have and during the show we will answer them to the best of the abilities that two out-of-work stand-ups have.

In this episode we look at the latest Dominic Cummings news, why Trump has tested positive and there are a few new cures for Covid19 coming out way.

Here's episode 15.


If you have any questions you'd like us to tackle on the show track us down on social media (on Twitter use the hashtag #CIQSP) and we'll see if we can help. We'll be back next week.
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21/05/2020

Is The Superdrug Antibody Test Worth It

Near the start of this coronavirus crisis people were saying we need to “test, test, test”.

Now we are seeing a new level of testing that completes at least one of those three.

Superdrug is selling an antibody test. That means it is the test that shows if you have had the coronavirus in the past. Seeing as Covid-19 can happen without the sufferer showing any symptoms, if you have had no symptoms recently, this test could be for you.

The fact that you can get it from Superdrug means you can pick one up as you’re getting your false nails and pregnancy tests. You’d imagine people would be happy about this but they have been upset by the price tag. You can get this test for £69.

The test itself apparently costs pennies to produce, so there is a large mark-up, but that’s how shops like that work. I’m sure it doesn’t cost much to make mint shower gel but they charge several pounds for it.

The Original Source ones boast that they contain 7,927 mint leaves. Round it up and put 8,000 in, you tight gits.

It is a bit steep. When I heard that Superdrug were asking nearly £70 for each test I thought, “What do they want, blood?!”

Then I read more about how the tests work and realised, yeah, they do - a small sample of it.

Many people are upset that we are not getting the tests for free on the NHS. It’s important to remember, you don’t have to have one of these tests. They only tell you if you were ill with coronavirus in the past. The fact that you’re not currently on a ventilator or dead should tell you it wasn’t that bad.

At the moment the scientists aren’t sure that having the antibodies will mean you’ll be immune to the virus. If that’s the case I’m not sure why we bother making them. If they’re just hanging round in our blood and not keeping us safe they’re just making us weigh more. And I do not need help in that regard.

If you pay £69 for this test and you find out that you had the virus the only thing you can do with that information is bring it up in conversation. And for a chance to talk about ourselves we’ll probably stump up the cash willingly.

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20/05/2020

[Video] Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems Ep13 - Quarantine, Trump Drugs & Boris Scores

During this enforced staying in there's a greater need for stuff to watch. We're always here to help. For the next few weeks we'll be doing live-streaming shows called Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems.

Through the week you can send in the lockdown-related questions you have and during the show we will answer them to the best of the abilities that two out-of-work stand-ups have.

In this episode we look at the 14 day quarantine getting into the UK, Trump on drugs and Boris Johnson's approval rating.

Here's episode 13.



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18/05/2020

[Columns] I Got A Face Mask

Each week I write newspaper columns for a variety of titles across the UK. You can find then in London, Essex, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Wiltshire and Hertfordshire.

With the UK struggling to get to grips with the corona crisis, I have been using more of the columns to find the uplifting angles to the main news.

In this one, from a newspaper in Essex, I bought a face mask and I am not afraid to you it.

Click to have a read.




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17/05/2020

[Video] Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems Ep12 - Garden Centres, New Normal People & Mouthwash

During this enforced staying in there's a greater need for stuff to watch. We're always here to help. For the next few weeks we'll be doing live-streaming shows called Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems.

Through the week you can send in the lockdown-related questions you have and during the show we will answer them to the best of the abilities that two out-of-work stand-ups have.

In this episode we look at garden centres reopening, the "new normal" may ruin the TV show Normal People, and can mouthwash help with coronavirus.

Here's episode 12.



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16/05/2020

Coronavirus May Cause... Possession

As if we didn’t have enough to worry about already. We have this Coronavirus thing, I don’t know if you’ve heard about it.

We also have the threat of murder hornets. Basically wasps that can kill. You think a normal wasp can ruin a picnic. It’s even worse when you have to carry back a full hamper of food and a corpse.

Now we have to worry about possessions. Not as in, “Please keep your possessions with you when you leave the train.” You shouldn’t be on public transport in the first place, you dirty git. It’s demonic possessions.

Exorcist and Buddhist priest Paul Devlin says that the “negative energy” created by the coronavirus pandemic is a “breeding ground for demons”.

On the bright side, I am already avoiding people, so if a few of them become controlled by evil spirits, at least they won’t be doing it near me.

This Paul Devlin chap apparently knows what he’s talking about because he has seen off some demons in the past. His said his first case was someone who had pointed teeth. And now everyone is wearing a face mask, they could all be on the turn and we can’t tell by looking.

In an interview with a tabloid newspaper Paul said that people in self-isolation may have negative emotions and those emotions could entice malevolent forces in. For some it may be the only way to get some company. It’s just nice to have someone to chat to, even if they’re chatting back ancient Aramaic.

I’m not sure if you can get an exorcism via a webcam. Will reading out an incantation in Latin still work if you’ve got yourself on mute? There are more questions than answers.

There may be a good point here. Negative thoughts and emotions are bad for us and they can be easily found during the lockdown with its isolation and worries. So here’s a bit of good news to help in the fight: “Don’t worry. None of this possession lark is real.”

Phew. Feels better already.

➡Read the source story



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15/05/2020

[Columns] Money, Money, Money

Each week I write newspaper columns for a variety of titles across the UK. You can find then in London, Essex, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Wiltshire and Hertfordshire.

With the UK struggling to get to grips with the corona crisis, I have been using more of the columns to find the uplifting angles to the main news.

In this one, from a newspaper in Essex, I look at the role of money in all this coronavirus lark.

Click to have a read.




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[Video] Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems Ep11 - Bryan Adams, Staying Alert & Stand-Up

During this enforced staying in there's a greater need for stuff to watch. We're always here to help. For the next few weeks we'll be doing live-streaming shows called Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems.

Through the week you can send in the lockdown-related questions you have and during the show we will answer them to the best of the abilities that two out-of-work stand-ups have.

In this episode we look at Staying Alert, Bryan Adams losing it, and crowds in stand-up gigs.

Here's episode 11.



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08/05/2020

[Video] Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems Ep10

During this enforced staying in there's a greater need for stuff to watch. We're always here to help. For the next few weeks we'll be doing live-streaming shows called Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems.

Through the week you can send in the lockdown-related questions you have and during the show we will answer them to the best of the abilities that two out-of-work stand-ups have.

In this episode we look at Meghan's reading skills, The Prof who had an affair in lockdown and rich people's baby names.

Here's episode 10.



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07/05/2020

[Video] Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems Ep9

During this enforced staying in there's a greater need for stuff to watch. We're always here to help. For the next few weeks we'll be doing live-streaming shows called Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems.

Through the week you can send in the lockdown-related questions you have and during the show we will answer them to the best of the abilities that two out-of-work stand-ups have.

In this episode we look at Alex Jones, smaller courts and Olly Murs.

Here's episode 9.



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06/05/2020

What Boris Johnson and Elon Musk Have in Common

Lockdown has taught me a lot about the effects of poverty. It’s worrying to see your career disappear, I’ll miss it, but I realise I was lucky before. Real poverty costs lives. The Office for National Statistics found that if you are more well off you stand a better chance of surviving coronavirus.

The ONS also found that if you are a man you have a worse time with the virus. If you combine those statistics it shows that women must be earning more than men now. That’ll cheer some people up.

The news has also shown that money affects the names you give to your children. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds welcomed their little bundle of joy into the world by naming him Wilfred.

He’ll be known as Willy Johnson, both words with a shared slang meaning. I’d be worried about my child being picked on at school with a name like that.

My working class education taught me that you have to have a solid bully-proof name. If your name rhymes with something rude you’re done for. If it sounds silly, you’ll be taunted by those sounds for years.

My surname is fairly safe but even I was called Fallon because it sounded a bit like a character in Dynasty.

Posh people don’t have that worry. Boris knows he is rich and influential so giving his child a name that’s up there with Richard Member is fine. No one will dare to tease his little Willy.

Extreme wealth makes this effect worse. Billionaire Elon Musk has named his new baby “X Æ A-12”. I’m being serious. He’s had a child with singer Grimes and they have named that baby something that looks like Teletext when you had bad reception.

If I named a child X Æ A-12 Allen it would be bullied everyday. It would known as Typo for short. The big boys at school would give it a wedgie as they shout, “Is that a name or a Battleships move?”

In theory X Æ A-12 Musk should be bullied more because that surname make it sound like a sex pheromone you can buy online. A billionaire as a dad makes all of that go away.

Strange names are the domain of the rich, successful and powerful. And thanks to the lockdown I’ve ended up with the career that fits being called Steve.



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02/05/2020

[Columns] The Things We Miss in Lockdown

Each week I write newspaper columns for a variety of titles across the UK. You can find then in London, Essex, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Wiltshire and Hertfordshire.

With the UK struggling to get to grips with the corona crisis, I have been using more of the columns to find the uplifting angles to the main news.

In this one, from a newspaper in Essex, I ask some questions about pubs coming out of lockdown.

Click to have a read.




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01/05/2020

[Columns] Looking On The Bright Side of Covid

Each week I write newspaper columns for a variety of titles across the UK. You can find then in London, Essex, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Wiltshire and Hertfordshire.

With the UK struggling to get to grips with the corona crisis, I have been using more of the columns to find the uplifting angles to the main news.

In this one, from a newspaper in Wiltshire, I look at the ups and downs of what we're going through.

Click to have a read.





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[Video] Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems Ep8

During this enforced staying in there's a greater need for stuff to watch. We're always here to help. For the next few weeks we'll be doing live-streaming shows called Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems.

Through the week you can send in the lockdown-related questions you have and during the show we will answer them to the best of the abilities that two out-of-work stand-ups have.

In this episode we look at the return of the pubs, the Covid contact tracker and face coverings from Boris.

Here's episode 8.



If you have any questions you'd like us to tackle on the show track us down on social media (on Twitter use the hashtag #CIQSP) and we'll see if we can help. We'll be back next week.
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29/04/2020

[Video] Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems Ep7

During this enforced staying in there's a greater need for stuff to watch. We're always here to help. For the next few weeks we'll be doing live-streaming shows called Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems.

Through the week you can send in the lockdown-related questions you have and during the show we will answer them to the best of the abilities that two out-of-work stand-ups have.

In this one we look at UFOs, Boris Johnson's return and celeb cocktail making.

Here's episode 7.



If you have any questions you'd like us to tackle on the show track us down on social media (on Twitter use the hashtag #CIQSP) and we'll see if we can help. We'll be back next week.
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[Video] Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems Ep6

During this enforced staying in there's a greater need for stuff to watch. We're always here to help. For the next few weeks we'll be doing live-streaming shows called Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems.

Through the week you can send in the lockdown-related questions you have and during the show we will answer them to the best of the abilities that two out-of-work stand-ups have.

In this one we look at lockdown sports, the latest on a cure for Covid-19 and flattening the curve explained.

Here's episode 6.



If you have any questions you'd like us to tackle on the show track us down on social media (on Twitter use the hashtag #CIQSP) and we'll see if we can help. We'll be back next week.
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24/04/2020

Trump To Detergent Coronavirus

Donald Trump has done it again. He is so often right that it should come as no surprise that he has done it again.

In a White House briefing he suggested we do some research into whether detergent could be used as a treatment for Covid-19, by injecting it or using it to clean the lungs.

A little bit of research shows that he’s right. Bleach will kill the virus. Sadly it will also kill other thing, like the people who have bleach injected into them. That means that bleach could be used to get rid of the virus if you’re OK with getting rid of the person too. It won’t help your death rate graph but it will flatten that infection rate curve.

By the same logic we should look into arsenic, strychnine and anthrax being potential ways to kill the virus.

He also said we should see if UV light could be used to kill this coronavirus. Again, he’s right, if we’re talking about being a vampire instead of coronavirus. They are easily confused; they both involve staying indoors all day.

As much as it’s funny that the most powerful person in the world has said this, it’s a worry that some Trump supporters will follow this advice. When it was hydroxychloroquine, people took it, risked some complications, but it wasn’t too bad. It was also harder to get hydroxychloroquine. Everyone has bleach at home, so it is a worry that people will try it.

Some will cruelly call this natural selection in action, but don’t be so smug. If Trump causes a rush on bleach, how am I going to buy mine to clean the loo? I had enough on when I couldn’t get loo roll. What is it about this pandemic that seems to be attacking our bathrooms?

I shouldn’t have to point it out but don’t drink bleach. And to be fair, Trump wasn’t saying we should drink it. He wasn’t even saying we should use it externally. He would never put bleach on his skin and ruin that perfect fake tan. And if he does, getting some of that UV cure could help. See, I knew he’d make sense.

➡See the source story

[Video]: Here's some video content about coronavirus cures




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[Columns] Oh Idris, You Don't Get Out Much

Each week I write newspaper columns for a variety of titles across the UK. You can find then in London, Essex, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Wiltshire and Hertfordshire.

With the UK struggling to get to grips with the corona crisis, I have been using more of the columns to find the uplifting angles to the main news.

In this one, from a newspaper in Essex, I look at Idris Elba's advice for remembering what have been through. Somehow I think I'll just remember it, or leave myself a Post It note, but each to their own.

Click to have a read.




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22/04/2020

[Columns] Staying In

Each week I write newspaper columns for a variety of titles across the UK. You can find then in London, Essex, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Wiltshire and Hertfordshire.

With the UK struggling to get to grips with the corona crisis, I have been using more of the columns to find the uplifting angles to the main news. In this one, from a newspaper in Wiltshire, I look at the kind of people who don't stay in like they should.

Click to have a read.




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21/04/2020

[Video] Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems Ep5

During this enforced staying in there's a greater need for stuff to watch. We're always here to help. For the next few weeks we'll be doing live-streaming shows called Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems.

Through the week you can send in the lockdown-related questions you have and during the show we will answer them to the best of the abilities that two out-of-work stand-ups have.

In this one we look at what the 19 means in Covid-19, why Trump has a bigger fear of malaria, and Idris's great plan to ruin the economy every year for a week.

Here's episode 5.



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The Traffic Light System - Our Way Out Of Lockdown

At the moment, no one knows when the lockdown will end. That is part of what makes it so hard. Not knowing is always a challenge. For some of us. There are some people who seem to take not knowing things to an extreme level, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about today.

Right now it is important to remember that, while we don’t know when it will end, we know that it will end at some point. These rules won’t stay in place for the rest of civilisation. We can’t go within two metres of people we don’t live with. If that rule stayed in place we’d stop reproducing within a generation. Yes, webcam sales would go through the roof, but we won’t be repopulating the planet.

In the UK, the Government has released some details on how the end of the lockdown could go. A phased release of the rules to get us back to normal.

They have introduced a traffic light system of red, amber and green. But these things never actually go by the traffic light rules. We won’t have red and amber at the same time telling us we can get ready to go. Amber won’t flash. They don’t think these things through.

RED PHASE

First up, “Red Phase”. I think it’s called that because of the Red Room in Fifty Shades. You’re allowed to do some things in there but there’s a very high chance you’ll be punished still.

In it we will see schools and hairdressers reopen. It’s a shame about the hairdressers. I’ve been enjoying all the tweets by people who are in desperate need of a trim. I was hoping that by the time the lockdown is removed people would walk out of their homes like the end of a 1970s sci-fi film.

The details say that in this stage the public will still be urged to avoid non-essential travel. That’s actually a good rule for life. If you don’t need to be anywhere else don’t go. That way you spend less time travelling and don’t end up where you don’t need to be.

AMBER PHASE

Then we move onto “Amber Phase”. That sounds like a woman in a Scissor Sisters tribute band.

In this phase companies with fewer than 50 staff can reopen. This is the first problem. After the big companies have laid people off they’re probably down to this classification now, and it also mean, if you work for a company with 51 staff. Ooooh, bye bye.

It says, “Restaurants will be allowed to take customers while taking action to limit person-to-person contact.” I presume that means they have to serve everything with onions and garlic.

During this stage, people on public transport will be told to wear masks. I think that’s right. I don’t know if masks help stem the transmission of the virus, but you look at some people on public transport and think, “Christ! Cover that face!”

GREEN PHASE

Ah, finally, we will get to the “Green Phase”.

Gyms will reopen, which means people can stop running like they have been every day and go back to being less fit in the gym.

Pubs will open too, and maybe the stand-up comedy world will come back to life and I can spend less time writing on here. See, we all win.

They say the pubs will have some restrictions but they don’t specify them. I’m hoping it will be based around keeping people apart at the bar. Maybe a queuing system. Yes, coronavirus has caused massive upset, but if it ends the system of people crushing to the bar and someone getting served before me, at least it has some positives

➡Read the source story

[Audio]: Here's some audio on coronavirus




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