Lorelei Mathias: If I Ruled The World

Anna Walker 

Comedian and “proud ADHD-er” Lorelei Mathias is the founding member of Melon Comedy, whose Edinburgh TV Festival-nominated comedy series is online now 

I would end all non-biodegradable plastic production. I’m a massive idealist generally, which is part of having ADHD [Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder]. The very fact that compostable plastic exists blows my mind. By 2050, there’s going be more plastic than fish in the ocean and there’s now an island of trash the size of France in the sea, because we have this plastic that doesn’t dissolve. So that would be the first thing.

All schools would have compulsory neurodiversity education. And I would make it compulsory in the workplace too. When places don’t understand about neurodiversity, you end up feeling like a square peg—like you’re annoying people and under-performing, when really, [ADHD] is an absolute superpower.

I would ban Hollywood remakes. Or if that wasn’t allowed, I would make studios have to really justify why they’re putting millions of pounds into a production that’s already been made. My reason for that is that I find it a crime against creativity. There are thousands of talented screenwriters not being given a break. Instead, I would spend that money on training and mentoring up-and-coming writers. 

Lorelei Mathias jumping in the air

I would introduce “Broken Heart Day”. I don’t think the death of love has been given enough importance in our world. Heartbreak is something pretty much everyone goes through but no one really admits how hard it is. If someone dies, you get compassionate leave, but I would make it compulsory for all employers to allow compassionate leave if someone’s going through a breakup, or divorce too. 

All menstruation products would be free. Women have to spend at least £3 a month on sanitary products. And when you add that up the total cost is in the thousands, and it’s just really arbitrary that we have this expense and men don’t. 

I’d ban all automated phone and chat lines. I don’t think it’s ever helped me to be stuck in this kind of Kafka-esque loop of “Press one, press two, press three”. And it’s never ever got me through to the right person at the end of it all. 

I spent three hours on the phone to my bank yesterday just going round and round and round and round. There’s nothing quite like these things for fanning the flames of anxiety and rage, and it also increases our sense of isolation. Plus it’s taking away jobs!

All self-checkouts would closed. Big supermarkets have probably saved millions from the reduction in staff and yet that discount is not reflected. So shoppers are essentially being asked to do their own mini-shift in the supermarket at the end of a long day at work. I know it’s a very quick shift, but when I’m tired I actually can’t cope with operating the self-checkout machines. Let’s ban them!

I would implement COVID-offsetting. The effects of the pandemic have been really arbitrary. There’s people who ended up winning from COVID and earning loads because of their role, like food delivery companies and Zoom, for instance. But then the flipside is that people in industries like live theatre and comedy have really suffered.

There are so many people with small businesses who have had to close and it’s really tragic. So I would set up a new tax that ensured that anyone who has benefited over a certain amount through the pandemic paid into a fund. And that fund would then pay out to the people who have had their lives ruined by it. 

Melon Comedy’s new sketch show Batshit is out with Comedy Sauce, available online now. Visit @lemoncomedy on Twitter for more information

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