• Mr Humphries

Mr Humphries’ Isolation Diaries - Week 4

Have you heard of the Netflix? If you haven’t, then Ask Jeeves because it is absolutely brilliant! I’ve waved bye-bye to my Blockbusters card and am now a fully-fledged streamer.

As an English teacher, you can well imagine that much of my life is spent showered in Shakespeare, draped in Dostoevsky and covered in Cartland. And whilst I have been reading*, I have also begun to indulge in watching television series, sorry, seasons on the Netflix and so far I am thoroughly enjoying lots of it. Previously my television diet consisted largely of watching University Challenge with my Gran. This is more entertaining than it might sound, especially when you consider the jeopardy that we’ve worked into the Monday night date. Gran has to get one right every week to avoid us putting her in a home, although I must admit that sometimes I let her off with getting the same incorrect answer as one of the contestants. I know, I know, my heart is too full of compassion for my own good at times.

Anyway, I digress and if you’ve read previous editions, you know full well I like to stick to the script and cold, hard facts. My intial forays into the Netflix ended in confusion and disappointment. I was eager to re-live my youth by watching Tiger King but after an hour there’d not been a single Hakuna Matata. My inner Timon was crushed. “No worries!”, I cried and with the bouncebackability I preach to pupils, I have continued to plough through the Netflix like a hungry combine harvester gathering the five types of grain for Cheerios: oat, wheat, rice, corn & barley! What’s your favourite Cheerio loop by the way? I took part in a blind taste test this week to see if I could correctly identify each loop. It was fun and nice, but I was nowhere near as successful as Mr Squirrel, with who I am now reconciled. He guessed correctly 100% of the time until I snuck in a Honey Loop. He was befuddled by this sweet impostor but did find it tasty.

I showed the Netflix to Mr Squirrel, who was disappointed by the lack of Sciuridae representation amongst the offered content. His bushy tail up, I helped him pen a letter to Ofcom to raise this issue. It was fierce but fair and spelled out in no uncertain terms his feelings that there should be a squirrel family at the heart of a crime drama by 2022. We mused upon possible options. Working titles included:

  • The Flying Squad - Flying Squirrel Detectives, obviously

  • Red and Grey - two squirrely detectives. Red is a traditional by-the-book copper; Grey is a young upstart hellbent on taking over the force

  • PC Nuts - a crazy squirrel cop who investigates cold cases of squirrel murder.

We were all set to write treatments and advertise for auditions for all three shows when Ofcom sent us a terse reply:

“Ofcom has no power to regulate Netflix as it does traditional broadcasters like the BBC because the company is based in the Netherlands and falls under Dutch rules.


Oliver Francois Com

Head of Ofcom”

As Hemingway once said, damn.

With our respective tails tucked between our legs and tongues wagging in my block of flats about the legitimacy of flouting social distancing guidelines with squirrels, I waved goodbye to Mr Squirrel for now. I left him with my solemn vow never to watch the Netflix again until our demands are met. I hope you find it in your hearts to join us in this protest...

Well, that brings the ‘holiday’ editions to a close. I hope you keep reading when I return to pedagogical pursuits next time...

Keep faith,

Mr Humphries

*I just finished All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr - glorious. Now on A Man’s World by Donald McRae - loving it.

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