Although the world has changed unimaginably since the global pandemic began, one glorious tradition continues unabated.
Global warming may be playing havoc with the seasons and social media may be destroying democracy but this week the ancient ritual of people calling for books they haven’t read to be banned, returned to the national airwaves.
It started when a woman who declined to give her name, called for a book she hasn’t read to be banned, because somebody else felt it ought to be.
As ever, such people are strangers to logic, every bit as much as they are to embarrassment.
The woman said she read a blog that said the book was unsuitable for the school curriculum because it features the ‘undisguised joys of lesbianism’.
Shortly afterwards, Liveline presenter Joe Duffy had to appeal to the public to stop calling the switchboard asking for the name of the book. “It’s called The Lauras by Sara Taylor,” he said.
“I suppose that’s one book we’d all have read,” Duffy then joked, “if it was on the curriculum in our day?”
Shortly afterwards he was forced to apologise for appearing to trivialize the issue.
Duffy then asked the woman – who claimed she was ‘no prude’ – what she meant when she said she would only read the book once she could “enjoy it”.
“When it’s banned Joe,” she explained, “then I’ll be able to enjoy it properly, knowing teenagers can’t read it”.
Later an eyewatering row broke out between two callers over which was the most explicitly lesbian novel ever.
The argument over which book had the most graphic scenes, prompted Duffy to wonder in an unduly high pitched voice, “B-b-but where has all the romance gone?”