I like to think that there’s a force field around the little flat I share with Saffy and Amanda. Kind of like the one that surrounds Wakanda. You only get to enter if you know the correct entry points. This restricted right applies to all kinds of things.
Like Brexit and Donald Trump.
If you were a fly on the wall of our flat for 24 hours, you’d never know there was any political unrest in either the UK or America. Our news channels are hard coded to anything to do with the Kardashians, Marie Kondo and Dr Pimple Popper and nothing else. On social media, we only follow cute bulldogs running around in the snow and every utterance of Oprah.
We never watch the news, unless it’s Perez Hilton’s latest Instagram announcement.
“What! That’s news!” Saffy once said to a stranger at a party who’d asked her what she thought about the devaluation of some currency in some country she couldn’t pronounce (it was actually the Japanese Yen), and she replied that she only followed Perez and the person said, “Yes, but what other news do you follow? Doesn’t the state of the world concern you?”
Saffy gave the question some thought. “Actually, there is something that I’ve been thinking about. Which is why the Kardashian sisters don’t come up with their own cookbook! They’ve already got everything else,” she pointed out, not noticing the look on the person’s face. “It only makes sense for them to do a cookbook, even though I’ve never ever seen them cook anything. They only ever seem to eat take-out food, have you noticed?”
By this point, the guy had begun to look desperately around the room, hoping perhaps to see someone who might rescue him from this conversation.
“And you know what?” Saffy said, moving in closer as she dropped her voice into a whisper. Or to be more accurate, her bosom, inflated like a ship in full sail, moved forward. “I have the best title for the book! It would be, are you ready for it, ‘Kooking with the Kardashians’! Do you get it? Cooking with a ‘k’! It’s genius!”
As Amanda later said, after Saffy had told her all about it, some people really need to lighten up. The world, she concluded, is just too uptight about too many things. “It’s why there’s so much unhappiness. Everyone should just take a chill pill. I mean, so what if you don’t know your GDP from your NLB? Who cares? Are you going to sleep any better knowing that the polar ice caps are melting faster than ever before?”
“Nightmares for a week!” Saffy said with a shudder, having just watched again The Day after Tomorrow because she’d suddenly had a craving for a young Jake Gyllenhaal.
Amanda nodded. “Exactly. So, it’s best not to know too much!”
“Don’t you think,” asked her friend Joanna at lunch a few days later, “that you might end up isolated and ill-informed about the issues of the day?”
Amanda waved a fork-full of coiled spaghetti aglio olio at her. “Not at all! If it’s really super important, someone will tell me about it. Or that’s all anyone will be talking about. There are just too many unpleasant things happening today to keep up with,” she told Joanna. “I mean, what’s the point? How did the quality of your life improve today after reading the newspaper?”
Apparently, it was a question that stumped Joanna into silence.
Saffy says she’s got the best name for this approach to life and news. “It’s Bird Boxing! We’re Bird Boxing crappy, scary news! You daren’t look, because if you do, it’ll make you do crazy things.”
“Like ask a complete stranger at a party what she thought about the devaluation of the Yen!” Amanda said.
Saffy turned pink and her bosom puffed up. “Yes, exactly!”
“Although the fact that you didn’t know that the Japanese currency is the Yen really is quite bad, Saf!” Amanda told her.
Saffy shut her eyes and shook her head. “Bird Boxing! Bird Boxing!”
A few days later, someone from some government agency came knocking on our door. Saffy opened the door. “We’re here to inspect your flat to see if you have dengue spots!” said the woman with the clipboard and flashlight.
“Bird Box!” Saffy said to her.
The woman blinked. “What?”
The woman tried again. “Ma’am, I’m from the…”
“Uhm… actually, it’s mosquitoes I’m checking, not birds. If you have any places that collect water, that may breed…”
“Uhm…. Maybe I should come back when your husband is…”
“Bird Box!” Saffy said, closing the front door.