Who remembers that great actress Greta Garbo? Nor me. I’m far too young to remember that frown, except from in her movies.
The sad-looking star of stage and screen is said to have first uttered the immortal words: “I want to be alone.”
I do remember seeing her movie, Queen Christina, which was made in 1932. Very unusual for the time. The women had thick make-up and did a lot of kissing – they even kissed the men sometimes as well. It portrays the life of Queen Christina of Sweden, who took over as monarch at the ripe old age of six. That’s true.
Other big stars have also sometimes wanted to be alone. The usual response to them was: “Fine, dear. You do what you like. We’ll carry one without you.” When grumpy thespians are told that, they tend to get over the blues pretty quickly and rush back into the spotlight.
I mention that because I got a Greta Garbo message the other day from my neighbour, Peggy. Her social media profile said she was not at home, but in Norway.
Has my neighbour moved to Norway?
That’s excellent, I thought. A Norwegian acquaintance once gave me a wonderful present from his home country. It was called rakfisk. It was a piece of trout which had been fermented in a jar for a few months. You just unscrewed the jar and you ate it straight off. Down the hatch. It was yummy. I wonder if Peggy will bring home some rakfisk for me.
After accepting her friend request, I asked why she was up in Scandinavia. Peggy replied: “I want to be alone.” OK, Greta. Fair enough. Ten minutes later, she announced: “I am lonely. Wanna come over?” That really confused me.
I asked if she was really in Norway and she curtly replied: “Forget it. I will come to you.” Er, I can’t forget it, Peggy. What would Mrs X say if you barge in here saying you are lonely?
So I had to tell Mrs X that someone from Norway, or somewhere, was pretending to be Peggy and was after my body. She was engrossed in a detective show. She watches Sherlock Holmes and the grisly Midsomer Murders. No response. So I shouted: “I think someone is after my body.” Without looking up, Mrs X said: “I know what I would like to do with your body.” Oh really, honey? She said: “Yeah. Identify it.”
This isn’t our Peggy. She’d been cloned. Our Peggy was actually next door the whole time, probably doing her knitting, and unaware that her fake namesake was chatting me up
Sometimes I think she wants someone to have me gunned down. No shoot, Sherlock.
So I studied Peggy’s Facebook profile. That was her cheeky grin, alright. Is she coming over the fence or over the North Sea? When I asked, the reply was in song titles like: “Don’t you want me, baby?” That was Culture Club. Then it was: “I Will Always Love You.” Whitney. That’s when I thought of a Beatles song. Help.
No way, Norway. This isn’t our Peggy. She’d been cloned. Our Peggy was actually next door the whole time, probably doing her knitting, and unaware that her fake namesake was chatting me up. Other friends fell for the fake messages too. It’s OK, folks. Peggy’s here. I’ve just been talking to her across the fence.
Hey, Peggy. Does this mean I am not going to get my rakfisk?
Anti-vaxxers are everywhere
Social media is so dodgy nowadays. It’s full of false promises. There is an advert on there which keeps coming up in my feed. It says I can lose 18 pounds and six inches in just a month. Losing 18 pounds would be fine but I don’t want to be 5ft 1in.
It is worrying when idiots on social media try to persuade people to do unsafe things, like avoiding Covid vaccinations. These anti-vaxxers are everywhere now – even in Uist.
I have just been told about Christine in South Uist who apparently has announced she is anti-vax too. Her neighbour remonstrated with her and said she was spending too much time on Facebook. Christine replied that she wasn’t on Facebook or any social media.
She said: “I have always been against them. They are too noisy and they are smelly.”
The poor neighbour was completely bemused. Christine explained: “There is nothing wrong with a good carpet cleaner. If it gets too dirty, just shampoo it. That’s why I am anti-vacs.”