My lovely wife has started an online writing course, and assignment 1 has already been sent off. Helen had to write a 500 word descriptive piece, and I have to say it was better than anything I have ever written or probably ever will. Part of assignment 2 is to write a ‘filler’.
Magazines and newspapers are always hungry for ‘fillers’, which generally run between 300 and 500 words. These short pieces are used to plug the spaces left in the overall design of a newspaper or magazine after positioning the main pieces on the page. Apparently they can be a good source in extra income for writers and journalists.
What does any of this have to do with the Zombie High Street. I had an idea for a short blog entry, which could, in theory, be used as a filler, if it’s any good, although I wouldn’t have a clue how or where to submit it.
Zombie High Street
For many people, after the hustle and bustle of a busy working week, Saturdays can become an easy going and pleasant routine. Lie in, walk the dog, have a coffee and then wander into town for some retail therapy, a skinny latte and a large slice of carrot cake.
Lockdown 2.0 has hit the UK, just as the shops would be gearing up for the festive bonaza. Only essential shops are open. In our medium sized market town this would be Marks & Spencers, Boots and Wilkinsons. Cafes, pubs, bookstores, charity shops, Lush, WH Smiths, etc, etc, all closed, their staff once again on furlough, worrying if they’ll have a job to go back to.
This Saturday, town was busy, and busy for no reason. Nothing was open, there was nowhere to go. The ‘essential’ shops weren’t unduly busy either, so why were there so many people?
The 1978 classic George Romero zombie film was set in a shopping mall. The place is full of zombies milling around. The undead were drawn to a place that had meant so much to them when they were alive. Have we become living zombies, drawn to town centres because they used to be alive? Is Covid-19 the beginning of the apocalypse?
Many High Streets had almost become ghost towns before the global pandemic hit. I for one hope that the High Street endures, thrives, becomes better with a greater array of diverse smaller shops. Use Amazon if you must (other online retail giants are not available), but the shopping local mantra should guarantee the survival of our towns and prevent us becoming living zombies, searching for what was there, but has gone.