Life & Culture

Save the Rosengard brow!

Peter Rosengard's eyebrows are under attack - and flying is full of worries



I’m having a barbecue party on my roof deck for one — me. Or, if you include Xerxes the cat, for two.

I find a bottle of what I think is barbecue fuel and squirt it straight on to the coals to speed things up a little. (I’m not an impatient man but I make toast in the microwave and shout “hurry up!”.) And then I throw a lit match on to it.


Three-feet-tall flames almost burn off the legendary Rosengard eyebrows. Another quarter of an inch and they would be barbecue history (Groucho Marx once tried to buy one of them). This is avoided only by my lightning reaction — jumping back and landing on Xerxes.

He’s recovered but I just caught him on the phone to his lawyer.


The Government says we can fly to France. After last night’s eyebrow escape — not to mention 15 weeks of lockdown — I decide London is far too dangerous and book the first flight to Nice.

The airport is deserted but my flight is full. At the gate, an announcement: “Will all elderly and vulnerable passengers come forward now for early boarding.”

I’ve always felt I was 18 years old. I try not to burst into a run but manage a limp.

On board, the man next to me is wearing a visor, a mask and gloves.

I glance round. Everyone is wearing their masks but two rows behind me a man wearing a yarmulke — who clearly has no problem keeping it on his head — has pulled his mask down under his chin to talk to his friend in the next seat.

I push the button for the attendant. Getting into a sealed metal tube for my first Covid-19 flight with 150 strangers is scary enough without having a Jew being blamed for causing us all to end up sharing one French ventilator instead of lying by the pool in Beaulieu-sur-Mer.

I don’t want to be accused of antisemitism so I fold my spare black velvet mask and put it on over my bald patch (which I’ve always suspected is why balding Jewish men suddenly seem to become religious).

“How can I help you sir?” the masked attendant asks.

“Ah! Please just call me Mr Goldblum,” I say. “You see the man behind me? The one with the little hat on … just like mine?”

”Yes, I see him, sir.”

“He keeps taking his mask off, putting you, me and everyone else on board at risk of catching …”

“I’ll keep an eye on him, sir.”

We’ve got enough problems with Wiley the rapper — not to mention the conspiracy theory that a “global elite” (who just happen to be fond of yarmulkes) are behind coronavirus in the first place — without a yarmulke-wearing Jew refusing to wear his mask on a BA flight to Nice.

Twenty minutes into the flight, I take another look. The unmasked man is still chatting away.

I hit the button again.

“I’m an elderly vulnerable man. He’s endangering the lives of everyone on board.”

The attendant leans towards me.

“Sir, did you take my photo a few minutes ago?”

I’d taken a few pics of the masked attendants serving drinks.

“Is there a rule you can’t take photos on a plane of the crew?”

“Data protection, sir. Do you mind deleting me?”

“Wait a minute. YOU ARE WEARING A MASK. Unlike the man behind me — who isn’t! Data protection? Nobody could recognise you. You’re a masked man! You could rob a bank and get away with it!”

“Please delete me, Mr Goldblum.”


I start to write this column but there’s a small problem. The keyboard is jammed and allthewordscomeoutinonelongline.

I try hitting the keys with a flipflop. Nothing! I try rubbing a little Chardonnay on it, that usually works for me. Nothing! I try squirting my hand sanitiser on it. Nothing! But all I’ve done is succeeded in murdering 99.9 per cent of all known bacteria on my keyboard.


I take the laptop into the shower and try a bar of Palmolive soap on it. Twenty slippery seconds on the keyboard, singing Happy Birthday.

“Monsieur, maybe you should have tried to sing in French,” Maud the chambermaid suggests.

“Maud! Please get out of the bathroom.”


At dinner the waiter is lighting the woman at the next table’s cigarette when his lighter explodes.

WHOOOOSH!!! Flames shoot up in the air.

I immediately throw my carafe of iced water over her.

Merci, monsieur!” she says.

I think her eyebrows are intact.

Social distancing saved my life, or at least my eyebrows — which have survived a second assassination attempt on them in one week.

Is a global elite conspiring to corner the world’s eyebrow market ?

Now I think of it, the unmasked man in the yarmulke behind me on the plane had no eyebrows.

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