Opinion

Corona Starship voyages

By John Lewis

Personal space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Corona Starship Lockdown. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new conversations. To seek out new home-cooked recipes and new Netflix shows. To politely go (within 1.5 metres) where no-one has gone before!

Day 1:

Crew is nervous but excited to begin this journey into the unknown. First Officer Dr Mulch has big plans to redesign everything from the Cloud Garden to the flight control deck and the sewerage disposal pod. Lieutenant Suga wants to learn Japanese. Captain James T Steinbeck pledges to write the great Starfleet novel, be a leader for everyone and get his face out of his phone.

Day 12:

Ten tonnes of sugar cane mulch has now been spread around the Cloud Garden. Flight control deck has been swept and disinfected 35 times. Lieutenant Suga is reading miso recipes. Captain Steinbeck finishes the great Starfleet novel and calls it The Grapes of Wuhan.

Day 20:

Dr Mulch staying in bed reading gardening design books aloud to herself.

Day 28:

Lieutenant Suga becoming increasingly obsessed with watching marathon concerts of a seven-member South Korean pop boy band called BTS or the Bangtan Boys. She insists they are a global phenomenon with 10 million album sales and an army of fans from across all cultures and they sing about nice non-gender specific things and are much more influential than The Beatles. But when Steinbeck points out The Beatles have sold 183 million records and their songs were recently streamed 550,485,535 times in a single week compared to a paltry 1.42 million streams for BTS Lieutenant Suga becomes quite huffy and locks herself in her bedroom to watch more BTS concerts. Steinbeck has now watched Hard Day’s Night 153 times since lockdown began.

Day 35:

Yesterday Steinbeck tele-transported to a tiny planet called Little Music Shop on an emergency mission to find new guitar strings. He was told this expedition was against the federation’s lockdown rules but he was adamant it was necessary to stop him using a mix of old underwear elastic and baling twine to get the Hendrix effect.

He returned with valuable information on this strange culture. He said there was an acoustic guitar near the shop counter with a card jammed through the strings that said: Iso-Pack! With free gig-bag and tuner.

He was suddenly aghast at the looming disaster of the Lockdown mission. He said nobody was allowed to visit the Little Music Shop planet ever. He said in six months people could be jumping out of windows to escape the attempts of dads and uncles to recreate their lost dreams of stardom with loungeroom renditions of Slim Dusty tunes.

Day 50:

Lieutenant Suga ordered to get back to miso recipes and stop staring out of the porthole wearing a ridiculous pink face mask.

Day 90:

Captain Steinbeck trying to keep spirits up. He says what a creative lot we are. He says if anything remains in the future to remind us of these strange times — he hopes it will be the brilliant Aussie contraction “Iso”.

He says we can add it to arvo, avo, aggro, ambo, convo, metho and houso. Apparently, there are more than 5000 Aussie diminutives. He's starting a list now.

Day 158:

Mulch reading salvia planting instructions in a Lady Macbeth voice.

Day 200:

Steinbeck working on his "iso" list.

Day 250:

Suga searching for South Korean miso recipes and sticking BTS pictures to her porthole. Mulch disappears in Cloud Garden.

Day 365:

Steinbeck working on his "iso" list.