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The Wednesday Waffle Issue 47: Cough like Batman - the COVID-19 update

Really? Two waffles in one week? Well, what can we say, dear reader? We truly live in interesting times...

The "cough like Batman" meme

So. Further to Monday's post, things have moved on a bit. The UK government has advised people to avoid bars, restaurants, theatres, cinemas and other gathering places. We're not about to get political, but telling people to avoid businesses, rather than just telling businesses to close causes us all kinds of problems with things like insurace. On that level, we are somewhat miffed.*

However. As we stated in Monday's edition, we are not stupid. This whole virus thing is pretty clearly out of control and whatever the government tells us to do, it would clearly be irresponsible for The Everyman to remain open and encourage people to congregate in the current circumstances. We fully support their decision and would like to take this opportunity to thank the managers and staff of The Everyman for keeping us in the loop, and for acting in the best interests of our wider community. You're awesome, folks, you really are.

So, this is the situation. As of 3pm yesterday, Tuesday 17th March, The Everyman Cinema Harrogate is closed. Which means we are too - at least, the shop is not open to the public. The current plan is that we reopen on Wednesday 1st April (no, the date is in no way lost on us) - but I think it's reasonable to treat this as an aspiration rather than a fixed intention. We have no idea how this pandemic will pan out and so all plans must, for now, be considered both "fluid" and "under review". We'll keep you posted.

But Regie** is not about to leave you without comics. As of right now, we are an online comics supplier with free delivery to regular customers and new customers alike. "What's on the Rack" will be online tomorrow and next Wednesday, and our picks of the week will continue to appear on Social Media. We'll be contacting standing order customers to let them know what's in their box over the next couple of days. (We'll work through it all as fast as we can, but this is all new procedure, so we genuinely don't know how long it will take.)

Since Regie is not going to be chained to the shop counter for the next two weeks, he'll be delivering comics to whoever wants them within the Harrogate and Knaresborough area. Our previous blog post stated that we were defining that free delivery area as the postcode areas HG1, HG2 and HG5. While we're leaving those limitations in place for the purposes of guaranteeing the service, current circumstances allow for more flexibility, so if you're close to Harrogate but outside those postcodes get in touch, we can probably sort something out. If postal delivery is required all orders over £25.00 will ship free of charge so long as the Post Office remains open.

We can either send you an online invoice in advance of delivery, or we can take cash or card payment on delivery, whatever suits you. (For payment on delivery, card is preferred, just because it's easier to administer, but you're the customer, so we'll do whatever works for you...)

If you're working from home, or self isolating, we can deliver to your home. If you're still going in to work, we can deliver there. You're still the customer - we're still at your service. We can do recommendations too, so if you're stuck at home and fancy giving comics a try but don't know where to start, get in touch.

But - and this is the big BUT - we really do need you to keep buying your stuff. We're a small business with tight margins. We have very little room to manoeuvre. If we aren't selling stuff, we can't pay the next bill - and that potentially kills us. We depend on you, our customers. Without you, we are, very, very literally, nothing. Please, keep buying your stuff.

And having said that, I (yes, I'm dropping the journalistic pretence of referring to myself in the third person, because this is actually me, speaking from the heart) really need to acknowledge the support you lot have already given.

The customer who rang today to ask me to invoice him even though he doesn't want me to deliver anything because he's self isolating. The customer who offered to help with deliveries and brought me that holiest of grails, actual hand sanatiser "because you'll need it if you're doing deliveries" and all the rest of you who made a point of buying stuff or have been in touch with messages of support - thank you. It's humbling that you should take the time and effort to do that when you have problems of your own to deal with. You have no idea how much I appreciate your support.

The bottom line is very simple. Destination Venus only exists because you support us. I never, ever forget that.

I'm not going to lie. The current situation is sub-optimal at best. There is a very real possibility that we could go under. The response we've had from you lot has given me hope on a day that has been pretty light on optimism.

We will get through this. Together.

Thank you all for being there. We'll be there for you too.

As we say in our video and audio stuff: