Lockdown Five and a Half: Zeroing In

And so it is.  After coming through lockdown five, we find ourselves in lockdown six.  To be honest, I don’t think we can honestly say the curtain had fallen on lockdown five – if you can’t visit family, you’re still in lockdown, even if can get a flat white at a café.  Besides, using the ‘Police Academy Theory of Relativity’, this would put us in ‘City Under Siege’ territory that, although aptly named, holds a zero percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

It’s no easy thing to get a ‘zero’ on Rotten Tomatoes.  It’s a rating reserved for pieces of cinematic filth for which no one on the entire planet could find a kind word to say.  Movies for which there is no redeeming feature whatsoever. Where critics could not bring themselves to say as much as ‘at least the on set catering was good – half a star’. In that sense, ‘Police Academy Six: City Under Siege’ joins an elite but diverse group of movies, bound together only by their sheer putrescence.  

‘Jaws: The Revenge’ worked hard for its zero rating.  It followed the spectacularly poor ‘Jaws: 3-D’ which, as the title not so much implies as it does boldly declare, was a three dimensional experience with the notable exception of the script.  Let me say right now that I accept that I am partly to blame for the existence of ‘Jaw: The Revenge’ as I am one of the unfortunate few who went and saw ‘Jaws: 3-D’ at the cinema.  Forgive me.

Amazingly, the film features Michael Caine.  Not just someone called ‘Michael Caine’ but the actual, ‘what’s-it’s-all-about-Alfie?’ Michael Caine.  He claims never to have seen the film but has, he says, seen the house it built which he describes as ‘terrific’.  It was an opportunity squandered.  It would have been better had bits of previous Michael Caine films had been incorporated into ‘Jaws: The Revenge’.  Had it featured a scene where Michael Caine flees the shark whilst driving a Mini Cooper, a huge, stinking ‘zero’ could have been avoided. If the shark had been blown up, as in the original film, it would have given Michael Caine the chance to say, ‘You’re only supposed to blow the bl&@dy doors off!’  That’s the kind of genius cross-promotion the members of the Academy love.

Also in this elite list is ‘Look Who’s Talking Now!’, which was the third, highly unnecessary installment so totally devoid of merit that it can only have been dreamed up for tax purposes.  Once more, I must take my share of the blame, having borne witness to the preceding ‘Look Who’s Talking Too’ at the cinema. Also in the list is ‘The Ridiculous 6’; an Adam Sandler picture.  I haven’t seen it, but I will say that Adam Sandler is capable of great things and I’ve seen lots of his earlier work.

There’s a pattern here.  One in which I have given creative succor to those who, perhaps, didn’t deserve it.  If nothing else, it tells me that I should start making better choices. My choices in lockdown, however, have mostly been pretty good.  I guess, in the end, whether this is lockdown five or six probably doesn’t matter that much.  Regardless, the question I ask myself is this: will this be the lockdown where the wheels officially come off?  

For me, there’s been no ‘quarantini’ at the end of the day, nor have I morphed into a ‘before’ picture.  With so much chaos, I’ve over-compensated with structure and stopped drinking altogether.  I’ve also gotten (properly) dressed every day, without fail.  Wearing pajamas only to slip on a jumper for conference calls doesn’t appeal to me at all.  Not one bit.  

I’m running sixty kilometres a week.  Which, with a five-kilometre limit in place, means I’m spending a lot of time running in circles.  So much so that it’s beginning to effect the way I walk.  I am spinning around whenever I move.  Say what you will, but it’s off-putting to see someone pirouette into a room, even if you’re watching them from the safety of Microsoft Teams.  

As well as I’ve done to now, everyone has their limit.  Will this be the lockdown where I let loose?  Having kept it together through structure, maybe I should treat this lockdown differently and, for want of a better way of putting it, let it all hang out.  When you spot me at the supermarket, don’t be surprised if all you see in my trolley is ice cream and potato chips.  It’s been a long time coming.

Having now purchased thirty litres of ‘Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food’ and my own body weight in salt and vinegar, I have barricaded myself indoors where I intend to stay for the rest of the lockdown.  Taking up position on the couch, I have just turned on the television.  

Netflix, in an attempt to be helpful, has selected a range of movies for me to watch based on my viewing preferences.  For some reason, these are the only programs I can currently access.  Scrolling through, the following movies are in my Netflix list: Police Academy Six: City Under Siege, Jaws: The Revenge, The Ridiculous 6 and Look Who’s Talking Now.  It’s official: the chances of me enjoying this latest lockdown are best described as follows – zero.