Peter Rhodes on early drinking, queues of lorries and a happy ending in Venice

Read the latest column from Peter Rhodes.

Tom Hollander in Us
Tom Hollander in Us

The Government is warning hauliers that post-Brexit border controls starting in January could create queues of up to 7,000 lorries and delays of two days. But it's all a bit of a guesstimate. Wise truckers will keep themselves informed about the latest Covid-19 precautions and be aware that if you're at the back of the queue, the lockdown rules may be different from at the front of the queue. That's because the front of the queue is in Dover and the back of the queue is in Scotland.

Still in Scotland, three new cases of the virus have been linked to one party in a hall of residence at St Andrews University. The more accurate this tracing becomes, the sooner the lawyers will pounce, with a rash of civil claims. You might want to check whether your household insurance covers plague-spreading.

A ferocious new household device at Chateau Rhodes comes with stern instructions and no fewer than 21 separate warnings in order to avoid burns, leaks and choking. It is a hot-water bottle.

I particularly enjoyed Warning No 16: “Using the bottle every day for prolonged periods of time can shorten its lifespan.” Whereas if you leave it in the bag, it'll last for ever.

If I wrote the TV drama Us (BBC1), it would all be over in a couple of episodes with Douglas (Tom Hollander) strolling off into the Venetian sunset with Freja, the divorced dentist from Copenhagen. She's lovely company, adores Douglas - and just think of the savings on his next fillings. Why should Douglas slog on with his loveless marriage to a hatchet-hearted wife and a son who shows nothing for him but contempt? Life is too short, Freja is willing and there is a world of romance to be explored at the richly exotic frontier where affection meets dentistry. How does the old saying go? If love didn't hurt so much, all the great songs would be about root canal.

Sadly, there is no place on telly for jolly little two-parters with a happy ending and a great Dane. Everything has to be relevant and ground-breaking with loads of daring issues to be examined, and definitely no denture jokes.

Meanwhile, how is forcing pubs to close at 10pm, as part of the latest anti-virus measures, going to change anything? It's the proximity, not the time of day, that counts and if the pubs close an hour earlier, the regulars will simply start boozing an hour earlier. Just like we used to in the days before late-night boozing, and all the thuggery, violence and pavement-pizza throwing-up that goes with it, was foisted on a suspicious nation. Twenty-four hour quaffing was allowed in the name of what politicians call “consumer choice” and the rest of us call “bigger profits for the brewing industry.”

Indeed, you may wonder why the pubs are open at all during a pandemic. Make mine a pint of Rich Old Political Donation, thanks.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News