It feels wrong to masturbate at a time like this, but we must

An opinion piece by columnist Martin Bishop

THE UK is in lockdown. A deadly new strain of Covid is loose. Democracy is under attack in the US. But while it seems this is no time to masturbate, we must. 

It may feel inappropriate, at a time when the world is in flames, to manually stimulate ourselves to orgasm. Many will say ‘this is not the right time’. They have a point. Nevertheless, we have no choice.

Whether single, couples or families, we will be in our homes for months. And there is no argument that we will lack both stimulation and opportunity. Yet can we get through this without self-abuse?

Will we still be the same people when we emerge into whatever world is left? Will our core values as a society remain? Without wanking, will we truly be ourselves?

I believe not. I believe that to keep healthy, both mentally and physically, through this long, hard winter we must continue strumming ourselves off until things improve.

No matter how bad things get, it is our duty as a nation to keep pulling the pud, feeding the cat or, as our own prime minister put it, bugling the scientific cavalry until they breast the hill.

It’s never been easier. We are not peasants with worn bawdy woodcuts. The highest-quality pornography is piped into our very homes. We owe it to those who came before us.

So, however unseemly it may feel, wank. Wank like there is no tomorrow. And together we will get through this and never speak of it again.

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Aspic and four other 70s foods that should never make a comeback

LONGING for the simpler days of bell-bottom trousers, disco and good Star Wars films? Remind yourself how bad things actually were in the 70s with these godforsaken meals. 

Things in aspic
The culinary equivalent of freezing Han Solo in carbonite. For a whole decade people pushed the boundaries of good taste to the limits by sealing salads, eggs and entire fish in a jelly made of meat. It’s our public duty to make sure we never repeat this dark chapter of our history.

Ham and banana hollandaise
Even in the throes of bizarre food cravings, a pregnant woman would never dream of something as deranged as bananas wrapped in boiled ham and glazed with mustard and cream. We like to convince ourselves that we’re a developed society, but the invention of this dish should serve as a reminder of how uncivilised we really are.

Fish trying to look fun
Decorating a dead fish with broccoli florets and slices of cucumber doesn’t transform it into a cheerful character that deserves its own Disney film. Also deserving a mention is the 70s trend of thinking it’s a good idea to turn fish into a mousse. Serve fish in unrecognisable breaded finger form or don’t bother.

Spam cupcakes
There’s a reason you don’t see amateur bakers whip up cupcakes made of canned pork on Bake Off and that’s because the name alone is enough to turn your stomach. Prue and Paul would be vomiting beneath a gingham-checked table cloth before they’d finished the first mouthful.

Anything with prawns
Prawns are the biggest culinary casualty of the 70s. Putting some shrimps in a fancy glass and covering them with tomato sauce and mayonnaise is an undeniably classy idea, but everyone overdid it and now it can only be consumed with a large side serving of irony.