In the past few years, thousands of twenty-somethings have begun to disappear from bars and restaurants all across the city, leaving the owners baffled. Most are no longer able to serve food beyond the end of their early bird special, claiming there is simply no one around to benefit from later opening times. Others have had to shut down completely, forced to concede that there is in fact an age limit to the consumption of fried chicken.
The mass disappearance of an entire generation has certainly sparked concern amongst remaining citizens – and for good reason. In dark pockets of the East End there have been ominous whispers of late; fleeting words that seem to eerily coincide with the last sightings of these young couples. Fortunately, information is slowly surfacing and, now, we may finally be able to shed some light on this series of sordid events.
One unsolicited question appears to tie all these disappearances together; overheard mere moments before each one occurred. If this question appears on your mobile screen in the coming weeks, then we urge you to simply throw the phone in the Thames and carry on your carefree life without it. Go home. Lock the door. And, under no circumstances, ever agree to Netflix and Chill.
From an outsider’s perspective this may seem like an innocent request. After all, Craig David chilled on a Sunday and he has long been regarded as R&B’s answer to Mother Theresa. However, the scenario that youngsters are faced with today goes beyond a bottle of Moet for two. In the past, a chilled night in meant putting on The Wire and shamelessly tonguing the pizza crumbs from the folds in your pyjamas, alone. Back then, the only threat to your Tuesday night ritual was the neighbour’s cat, but now a far more intrusive species is looking to bury its head in your cleavage and parade its arsehole in front of your favourite show. The sad truth today is that the average 25 year old has seen more strangers’ scrotums than episodes of The Sopranos. It seems that Netflix is no longer just the UK’s most powerful streaming service; but also its most powerful aphrodisiac.
Even on the rare occasions where millennials have been able to escape the sweat-stained sheets of modern courtship, they have only been temporarily relieved from it. Young men have been sighted in tube carriages, desperately seeking the girl of their dreams, rifling through profile pictures as if they were garden furniture in an Argos catalogue. Most only have moments before their stop – but they are no less determined to find their future wife, furiously swiping to gain her affections, in between fistfuls of sausage roll.
Details are hazy on the moments between this initial encounter and the ‘chilling’ one to follow, but there does appear to be plenty of intimate Facebook to Facebook interaction throughout. What’s clear though is, at some point between the autocorrected dirty talk and the automated confirmation of your patio table delivery, the request for a joint Netflix subscription will be made. Unfortunately, there seems to be no discernible pattern to when the question will be popped, with incidents of initiation ranging from three weeks into the courtship to three minutes after the first text. Romance never dies, only battery life does.
The innocuous nature of these messages has made it all the more difficult to separate the Casanovas from the criminally insane.