By Michael Barker
Friday on my mind – Discombobulation, that’s the name of the game; As is Auslan
Yep, and in each generation they play it the same.
Two butterflies, casting their eyes, both in the same direction.
(I’d have said ‘each’ in the same direction, but Bobby Darin said ‘both’, and he has the songwriting credit.)
‘Multiplication’, that’s what it was. THAT was the name of the game!
Which has got me thinking. It will be interesting to see how the birth rate fares following covid, or at least how creative we were as a species from about the middle of March to the end of May 2020.
I’m a May baby, a Taurean. Once thought it was just me, and a few other strong-willed people with a yearning for luxury, with this distinction, but have since discovered there are proverbial hordes of us – and not all necessarily born under the Bull’s star sign!
But, as it turns out, there’s not so many of us Darling Buds of May as there are buds bursting in September and into October, when births apparently peak in Australia.
Strangely, or perhaps not so strangely, it’s the same story in the colder, northern hemisphere climes too, for example in the (former) Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. (Time for the words to the Star Spangled Banner to be rewritten, along with the title. ‘Trump Strangled Banner’ perhaps would be a more accurate one. But I digress.)
The preponderant view – that is, the blindingly obvious thing – is that babies are conceived when people are not at work, are enjoying holiday time, at home, feeling amorous, or at least frisky; or possibly just a bit bored, not sure exactly what to do during the long summer/winter days.
Sounds a bit like covid? Sure does.
So, applying that theory, the birth rate around Christmas 2020 and into the new year 2021 will be most interesting to monitor. Get ready for an explosion! We may have to set aside the former (let’s hope they are by then, former) covid wards in our hospitals as spillover birthing centres. (Not sure I like ‘birthing centre’, let’s stick with ‘maternity ward’). There could be a whole lot of new birthrate records set.
Which further leads me to wondering, will covid lead to a new baby-naming frenzy? After the First World War, for example, there was the odd ‘Anzac’ produced. And one senses there were more than the odd ‘Elizabeth’ named so following the coronation of QE 2 mid last century. (Michaels, by contrast, have always been named for the archangel, the leader of god’s forces against those of satan.)
One doubts that ‘Scomo’ will become fashionable, but you never know. ‘Scott’ maybe. (Funny name ‘Scott’, why two Ts?) Certainly can see ‘Mark’ being popular. But not so much ‘Annastacia’. More so, ‘Gladys’ – which is long due for a comeback, along with Sheila and Bruce. Possibly ‘Dan’. ‘Donald’? Nup. Nor ‘Ruby’. Nor ‘Art’, or ‘Tania’. No Mortimer kids will be called ‘Greg’, that’s for sure. What about Covy or Covvy? I know, plain silly. But, … You never know! They convey a certain warmth, no? Even a little wizardry or witchyness? I can definitely foresee, though, a new Super Hero called Viro-kid. (Just remember you read it here first.)
I seriously suspect however, all lightheartedness aside, the winner hands down of the baby-naming stakes will be ‘Auslan’. Nice ring to it, hey? Or should one say, nice colour and movement, nice shape, to it?
But what has this got to do with being discombobulated, you ask?
Well, not a lot.
I was though quite discombobulated before I started this sequence of random thoughts. But, now I’ve got to the end of them, I’m feeling quite settled again. As if I can now face the impending re-opening of the world. And take a small step for a man, and a giant leap for mankind, into life AC.
I had been wondering how I was ever going to be able to take this step. For example, whether I’d ever be able to go into a cafe again, to eat, with all those other (19) folk seated near me; whether I’d be freaking out over whether the servers should be wearing gloves; and whether there are any sniffling sous chefs in the kitchen; where the temperature gun, that the maitre’d aimed at my forehead as I entered, was made, and whether it was faulty, and whether I was closer to 38 degrees than 35, and whether I always feel this faint after my GP takes my temp; whether I should have taken the train to Cott, to the cafe, and back, just to catch up with old friends; whether my old friends are as well as they assert they are; whether webinar-style funerals will still be in vogue when I pass this mortal coil (actually, I think they have a real future, along with virtual cemeteries); and so on, and so on.
But, as I say, I’m feeling quite settled again. (Or I was before the ‘so on, and so on’ just appeared from nowhere – no, I didn’t say ‘from on high’ – on the tablet – and no, it’s not a stone one. It won’t have escaped your attention that archangel was entirely lower case.)
Now, everything these days has to have a ‘takeaway message’. Today’s?
‘Auslan’ – don’t forget it!
Until next time …
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