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S1E3:
Jules O'Brian

Originally not aired on ??/??/????

End the lockdown, or extend the lockdown?

That’s the question on everyone’s lips at the moment, including mine. But not only does the question linger on my lips, I also feel it on my hips; I feel it on my glutes, on my abs, on my biceps, on my pecs, on my nips.

That’s right, I’ve been getting hench in lockdown and I feel great. I’ve been exercising so much that my mind and body no longer feel like separate entities: a healthy body really does lead to a healthy mind. Although to be fair, the opposite isn’t true, otherwise The Beast off of The Chase would be an Instagram model. Poor Mark Labbett.

But anyway, my point is I’ve been working out and so has life. The dial on my anxiety has been lowered from 10/10 to a less suffocating 5/10 and my self-esteem has increased dramatically. Before this I was a little nerd who couldn’t grow a beard or lift his own bodyweight. Now I have hair on my chin and I can do four push ups. How can you hate yourself when you look in the mirror and see a bearded Adonis?

And now my worry is this: what if a return to normality means a return to my previous, less-disciplined self? What if it all slips away and I slide back into my previous unhealthy patterns?

It seems like a selfish thought when people’s livelihoods and lives are at stake. This is bigger than me and has serious consequences on people’s lives. I’ve even had to furlough my intern Pablo, which means he will now only get 80% of the packet of Revels I buy him to help me produce this show. Maybe it’s time to open things up and get the lad back up to a full bag again.

To discuss my worries, I decided to pick up the phone and ring the wisest person I know. However, they weren’t available, so I rang my friend Jules O’Brian instead, giving me a perfect opportunity to pump out another episode of my unrecorded podcast, “Comedians at Home Self-Isolating because of Coronavirus”.

Full-time teacher and part-time funny-lady Jules featured on the previous series of my podcast “When Eric Met Females” – a series that ended sexism once and for all – and now the busty blonde is back for more.

“Hi, how’s it going Jules?” I said, as we began our WhatsApp video call.

“Good thanks, how are you?” She replied.

“Yeah, not bad actually.”

“Great.”

A bland opening exchange if I ever saw one.

“Have you managed to get much work done during the lockdown, Jules?”

“Yeah, just been planning lessons really and making sure the kids do their work on Google Classroom.”

“Nice one.”

“Yeah.”

A bland secondary exchange if I ever saw one. Something was afoot.

“How are you emotionally? I said.

“Yeah, no complaints. Just been sticking to a routine, trying to eat healthy food, that kind of thing.”

“Yeah same.”

Right what the fuck was going on? I’ve done dozens of interviews with comedians now on my unrecorded podcast, and never before has it taken this long for something to happen. Normally some sort of mental health problem surfaces within the first few seconds, and the rest of the conversation’s momentum is generated from there. Any conversation between two comedians is normally a competitive game of “who’s the most depressed” with each side taking turns to one up the other.

I sighed.

“So you’ve got nothing to complain about, Jules,” I asked. “What about the fear of never becoming successful? Or never being loved?”

“I guess success is about doing things that satisfy yourself, and living on your own terms. And when it comes to love, we all want that, but it’s about being patient.”

“That’s how I feel as well,” I replied.

Ffs. We talked for ten minutes more, but nothing interesting came out. Just two well-adjusted, sensible adults catching up. It was disgusting. If this carries on, no one will ever be funny again, we’ll all just be a bunch of well-organised pricks pumping out wholesome drivel as content, or worse we’ll give up the pursuit of attaching our happiness to the approval of strangers all together.

I ended the call. Looking into my phone, I saw my toned body and happy face staring back at me through the black mirror. A true dystopia.

I need to get out of here.

Tune in next time! X