The further adventures of The Deadbeat Apostles
Finding themselves locked down and bereft of all usual means of inflicting their unique cultural vision on the inhabitants of Oxfordshire, the noble company of Deadbeat Apostles are forced to assess their options. The golden couple of Michelle Mayes and Mike Ginger assume command from their Iffley bunker. Showing the cool sense of priorities for which they are legendary, several cases are immediately ordered from the Oxford Wine Co, and then plans are set in motion for the band to reconnect via the virtual world. Internet whizz-kid Garry Richardson sets to work on this. Internet dullard Hugh Garrety is told to figure out how to use Zoom. Desperate to feed his growing family of children, Alex Ogg roams the countryside seeking itinerant gardening work in isolation.
First horseman of the apocalypse (pestilence) is spotted in Iffley, pursued by residents with stockpiled pitchforks and flaming torches. With all gigs cancelled for the foreseeable future, the Deadbeats hatch an alternative plan to promote their new ‘Viva La Evolution’ single with the lockdown video to end all lockdown videos. Now happily reconnected by internet, Shell, Mike and Garry get to work on this, ably guided from afar by the chief sorcerer of Future Human Design Co, Ryan Quarterman. Hugh has now worked out what Zoom is, but doesn’t have a webcam. Alex is missing in action, possibly captured by orcs.
As darkness descends on our community, the Deadbeats lose themselves in displacement activity. Work on the video is going remarkably well. Released from the bondage of magical creatures, Alex channels his renewed energies into a stunning home-recording, combining drumming and childcare with virtuoso frenzy. Hugh barters flour and surplus Deadbeats merchandise with his neighbours for a webcam. Mike and Shell’s alcohol delivery now includes a full stock of cocktail ingredients. At the controls, a flustered Garry accidentally hacks into the Oxford City Council website and cancels all Garden Waste collections.
Second horseman of the apocalypse (war) spotted near Marston. Alex sets the kids on him, horseman retires, somewhat shaken. Once more united by the power of the internet, the Deadbeats have a video ready to unleash via the power of social media. But this is not achieved without cost. Mike’s personality has split into two distinct characters, one of which sports a very natty comb-over. Increasingly Garbo-like in headscarf and dark glasses, Shell can be heard muttering “I want to be alone…” and “What have I done to deserve this?” accompanied only by a soundtrack of Garry cackling maniacally via laptop. Hugh narrowly escapes lynching after accidentally coughing in Sainsbury’s.
Flushed with success (not to say hubris) at the public reaction to their ‘Viva’ video, the band embarks on a second video project. This time, nothing less than a shirt film of the Deadbeat Apostles so far, all the glories revisited, no dirty linen unwashed, no turn left unstoned. Director Garry has taken to sporting a monocle and jodhpurs and stroking a small dog in evil contemplation. Michelle eagerly sets to soliciting contributions from a virtual cast of thousands. Mike continues to produce costume change after costume change and demanding to be filmed for no reason. Still gardening, Alex discovers the remnants of a WW2 tunnel network near Garsington. Hugh’s lockdown beard is becoming quite disturbingly unattractive.
Work on the Deadbeats documentary continues apace. Of the many, many contributions received, one or two are complimentary. During a marathon editing session at his Cumnor console, Garry accidentally hacks into the Pentagon website. Receives e-mail from President Trump, thanking him for his campaign contribution. Mike and Shell’s Oxford Wine Co. delivery now requires armed guard. Hugh sits in the darkened rooms of his Grandpont mansion among tottering piles of old newspapers, composing depraved ballads. Extending his tunnel network, Alex chances upon an undiscovered race of mole people living somewhere roughly beneath Toot Baldon.
Third horseman of the apocalypse (famine) found stalking country lanes near Nuneham Courtney. Luckily, the mole people have elected Alex their King, and he leads his subterranean army blinking into daylight, pursuing the horseman to an unusual and disgusting doom. Thanks to long, feverish hours of work by Garry and Michelle, the Deadbeat Apostles’ documentary ‘On Record’ is almost ready to present to the world on 1st May. Whether that is a wise idea remains to be seen.