…Mutiny on the Sofa….

A few weeks ago I had the misfortune to find myself shopping in Asda. No one deserves this especially me on a Saturday afternoon but I was forced in by proximity rather than choice. The Saturday ‘big shop’ tends to involve me these days as I have little to do on a Saturday morning and I kinda like watching people function as, well… people. Most supermarkets are horrific places to visit but Asda takes the crown for a particularly virilant strain of the human soup so I was keen to experience some hard core scumbaggery first hand.

We trundled towards the doors with our trolley and as ever I have chosen one with a dodgy wheel. I usually get a twitchy wheel but today I have chosen one with part of a carrier bag caught in it so it is acting like the break is on. Being too lazy to go and get another one I ploughed on regardless fighting the fucker around the aisles like Judah Ben-Hur after a collision in a chariot race for the next 40 minute. Once inside I am greeted with a sign that is bound to raise the spirits of even this luckless trolley grabber.

“Corona Extra, 2 x 12, 330ml bottles for £18”

Happy. Days.

There is loads of it, crates of it, untouched and unloved due to the announcement of a virus out East (not Ilford) with a similar name to this and the fear amongst the populus that anything with a similar name must induce certain death if purchased, drunk, eaten, licked, talked about or even looked at.

As I look at the ludicrously priced beer (I can never recall this being under a quid a bottle ever) I am filled with panic and concern the like of which I cannot recall in adulthood. It’s not that I believe I will be taken by the virus but more the possibilty that my trolley might not be big enough to take advantage of this moment. In a flash I am filling the trolley with boxes of this amber treat only to be thrawted by Jen who limits me to a mere 24 bottles. She’s probably right, I barely drink beer at home and judging by the amount available and the clear stupidity of the punters in this place there won’t be a run on it any time soon so there should be no panic either from being Corona Extra free or Coronavirus riddled.

We mooch about the shop buying the food for the week being avoided by other punters set on filling their trolies with ‘Frubes’ and ‘Wotsits’ due to the booze of death I have on board and once we have our fill we find the busiest and slowest checkout (my speciality) manned by what appeared to be a very pleaseant middle aged women. As an expert of conveyor belt ettiquette, I lift the 2 crates of Corona up first in order to get them scanned and and out the way and am met with a face of horror by the prevously pleasant checkout operative.

” Why are you buying that? (* points at box), you know what this is right?” she says.

I nod.

“…but you know why people aren’t buying it don’t you?..” she continues

I nod again, “..It’s because they are stupid..”

She wrinkles her nose in disgust and bleeps the boxes through barely touching them.

We have no further interaction and so Jen and I escape the shop with our IQ’s intact and our beer supply boosted.

When I told this story on my Facebook at the time it was a bit of a laugh due to the fact that this level of fuckery wasn’t wholly normal. Look at us now. I am currently self islolating and the country is in a 3 week lockdown, mostly targeting those not intelligent enough to understand why we are doing it at all.

Coronavirus. A very nasty flu like virus which primarily affects the old or those with generally serious underlying health conditions. The rest of us seem (from the information dripped out so far) to get either no symptons, mild symptons or bad symptons, basically anything can happen from nothing to death. Clearly this is a very serious unpredictable situation requiring cool heads and inspiring leadership.

Ahh…. Here’s the problem.

The wheels have come off and the mob in charge have no chief mechanic, have no effective tools and the garage down the street is shut due to a change of management. It’s not my intention to be political here but I’m afraid it will almost certainly go that way even though no party would be any better than the other given the magntiude of the crisis. Having said that it is hard to fathom how a morally bereft smirking bumbling Oaf and the ‘Megamind’ Sorcerer-in-Chief de facto leader can be trusted on any level to assist the common cuntery of this country regardless of them holding up a very large bag of cash for us all to see but not touch, open or obtain the delights within.

Even before this crisis kicked off the Tory party had failed. Years of neglect of the very organisations that will get us through any life threatening global crisis (whether war, pestulance or famine) are now coming home to roost due to policies of greed and self interest….. but enough about me, let’s start with the repsonse from the Leadership Team.

There is nothing more British than a man in an ill-fitting suit, with a mop top hair style waffling on, smirk fixed, using language only a small proportion of the nation can relate to in a wood panelled room flanked by two dour experts as decoys. When this all started Johnson was bumbling through it like the Etonian he is at a 6th form debating club. When the daily briefings started it was all bombastic soundbites and cheeky grins with the tough bits, the ‘hard yards’ as it were, being carried out by other people who I’m sure most of us welcomed as they were proven bona fida experts as oppossed to parliamentary bluffers, special advisors and, lets face it in the case of Matt Hancock vacant terrified idiots.

Initially Johnson burst out of the gate and gave it large on the ‘we will beat this together’ lecturn thumping cobblers much the same as he did with ‘Get Brexit Done’. Unlike Brexit this is an issue that will affect everyone rather than a few ‘peasants’ in a council estate in Grimsby and so Johnson needs to acheive the impossible feat of national love which is only really reserved for NHS workers, GBBO and Stephen Fry.

As the briefings went on Johnson visibly shrunk and the cheeky quips (‘Operation Last Gasp’ when talking about ventilators) disappeared as the realisation dawned that you can hoodwink some of the country on Brexit but not the majority when people start dying from a virus you know fuck all about. This was well above Johnson’s ludicrous pay grade and so he started to take more of a back seat leaving the important stuff to slicker, more believeable machines like Sunak, Vallance and Whitty.

When Johnson was in front of the camera he adopted the persona of a reluctant prefect or corridor monitor who instead of insisting chaos stopped he kind of asked politely. He did briefly forcefully ask but instantly changed it to apologetic as he looked into the camera and saw the reflection of ‘good old Boris’, the jovial knob ‘bursting with spunk’ instead of what he should be, a man leading what was once the 5th biggest economy in the world in a moment of global crisis.

As I say, Johnson left the big stuff to other people. Rishi Sunak, the Cummings appointed ‘assistant’ Chancellor was rolled out and delivered a very slick Private sector speech whilst holding up a massive stinking bag of filthy cash no one seems able to access. The bag apparently contains £330bn in unmarked bills stolen in advance from your future taxes and is greater than the GDP of the Republic of Ireland. It is a huge amount of cash but at present just a soundbite as people have started to get laid off and businesses are folding due to delaying the process of obtaining anything tangible at speed. It all sounds great in a moment of panic and to be fair the Tories will get away with it if they partially pull this off as Labour effectively don’t exist anymore regardless of the belief that their policies have been nicked. If you wear no crown you aint the King and anyway we’ve all worked with bosses who stole our ideas in front of our very eyes moments after we suggested them and we all know no one cares if you complain.

After a few days asking politely for the public to listen to him we were finally subjected to a national address which only the thick really needed.

Johnson took to the airwaves with a speech so dull that I’d be suprised if most people didn’t simply switch off or at least leave the room to put the kettle on in preparation of ‘Masterchef’ and another gurning shag macjine Greg Wallace. Johnson deleivered the bad news of ‘lockdown’ (with multiple exceptions exploitable to his Brexit mates) through a face previously only used by him when realising the public actually voted to leave the EU. He engaged the startled face with wide eyes look reminicent of Alan Partidge whenever he gets found out or shouted out by ‘Susan’ the Receptionist in the Linton Travel Lodge. My only surprise was that as the broadcasst ended and the screen faded to black we didn’t hear “…Errr….Sorry…” like like a fat Hugh Grant apologising in a Rom Com when he’s done nothing wrong but feels he has because he’s English.

So ‘Lockdown’ it is and if you don’t comply the police will have no power to do anything about it. Hardcore.

Under the new life rules you can’t have a beer in a pub but you can get on a tube train. You can’t have a haircut (what a time to be bald, they are now the Princes of this land) but you can go to Tesco’s to buy the beer you can’t get in the pub…if you can find any. You must keep a distance of 2 metres between you and other people unless they are in your household where you have unwittingly been involved in a backdoor version of ‘herd immunity’. You can leave your house to excercise but probably not a 10 mile run. You can’t have a BBQ on a council estate with a load of toothless, lottery obsessed professional smokers drinking cans of Breaker but you can join the online queue for ‘Ocado’ with 78,000 other people who also have no prospect of getting a delivery slot.

A bigger problem than the politicians is the people. This virus has highlighted the fucking state of intelligence not only in this country but in the wider world. To be fair at present I couldn’t give a Wuhan food market Monkeys about the wider world so I’ll concentrate on our good old British Bulldog, John Bull, Lovely pint of Bitter and a roast dinner spanners instead.

The levels of stupidity shown by this country since this crisis started is incredible.

Food shortages, hoarding of toilet roll (fuck knows), NHS staff being mugged, food supply trucks being firebombed, the inability not to go out in large groups. The list of the stupid is endless. I’ve been self isolating for 9 days now and I have adhered to all the rules. Of course it’s dull, of course it’s a pain in the arse but it is necessary. Luckily I’m one of these tragically dull model citizen types and so I do what I’m told. I’ve always worked, always paid my taxes, never claimed a penny, never been arrested and never been involved in a public disturbance. Turns out a lot of people don’t do this. It turns out that when it all comes on top people are selfish and greedy from top to bottom.

The hoarding in particular has been a national embarrssment. When old ladies can’t get any food because some massive Lambert and Butler fat necked savage has taken all the milk and eggs you know the world has ended. The repricing of goods in local shops must be remembered as should the big firms either sacking people or forcing them to work under these circumstances so shareholders and fat cats can still prosper.

This should be what is remembered by all of us. The strokers who took the piss. Remember them and we might actually get somewhere after all this that will be for the better. It’s not ‘entrapreneurial’, it’s taking liberties. Villians are entrapreneurs and we mostly dislike villians because they prey on the weak and the vulnerable. So if you remember nothing else in our islolated bubbles over this remember the piss takers and forget the £3.29 pint of Guinness in a Wetherspoons, forget the Lonsdale t-shirt sale in Sports Direct, stop using the local Pharmacy with the £20 Calpol and £15 hand sanitiser claiming ‘market forces’ and ‘I’m a local trader trying to earn a crust’ excuses and use somehwere else. Remember the Greed.

None of us will though. Wetherspoons will be banged out within hours of any reopening and be filled with pissed toothless oafage and if you need some jogging bottoms you’ll be heading into Ashley’s warehouses with the surly staff and fake discount labels like a shot. The local Pharmacy will get away with it and continue to thrive as we can’t be arsed to seek out the next one closest to our houses. We’re lazy and they know it.

The Government also know that the public are stupid. They know as they have to really drill it home with ludicrous rules like ‘Stay 2 metres apart’ which is clearly bollocks of the highest order. If two metres is the government stipulated distance you can guarantee that it’s really 2 feet as they have created a margin of error for those of a more challenged brain.

Due to being incarserated for 9 days I’ve soaked up as many ‘facts’ as possbile about this thing in order to come to some sort of consensus on the truth. I’ve listened to phone-ins, Governmental Briefings, Scientific briefings, chat shows, information bulletins and news specials and it would be fair to say that they have mostly said the same stuff but you do get the odd error made by an expert which strays from the party line. There was one instance inparticular relating to the 2 metre rule that hit my earholes. The expert was asked to reiterate the guidance but added the clearly unwanted sentence of ‘so long as you don’t stand talking to someone for 15 minutes within 2 metres you should be fine’. I’m not into conspiracy theories but this was a chink in the armour for me.

If you think saying this is a little bit irresponsible of me then fair enough. I’m not breaking the 2 metre rule because I’m a stickler for rules but people will. All Governments have to preach to the lowest common denominator in society and the test sample is usually the dim or the message will be lost.

This situation isn’t really that hard though is it?….or at least it shouldn’t be. What we are being asked to do is pretty basic at present:

  • Wash your hands regularly and try not to touch your face
  • Stay home where possible – make no unecessary journeys
  • Stay at least 2 metres from people outside of your household

To be fair the Government have stuck with this but it still doesn’t get through to proportions of not only this county but also around the world. I should also say that I’m aware that these 3 simple steps won’t help everyone but the majority can help those individuals who are ill or simply old by adhering to these basics so is it really too much to ask? You’d have to be pretty selfish to not be able to do follow these three instructions for an extended period of time if it could save people from suffering or dying.

In this house we are lucky. Jen and I have always been able to work from home (rarely at the same time however) and the kids are at the middle age of not needing us to entertain them nor are they loose on the streets of London yet, they are at the mid point of teenage life where you are merely poking your head out of the family home rather than having to be reigned in.

Working from home sounds great but it truly isn’t. In recent years I spend most of my days with limited contact with work colleagues as they spend there time’out there’ but I do need an office as a focal point. Mostly working from home is a brilliant option for getting a specific, concentrated task completed but it’s no place for general work as distractions are everywhere even when you are alone.

I find that I can be working away and suddenly have an overpowering urge to fill a bird feeder or perhaps repostion the bins. Another task on my patrols is checking the cupboard to see if we have enough snacks to get us through the day and if not I may need to head out to replenish the dwindling stock of ‘Rocky’ bars. The dishwasher isn’t emptying itself and those plates in the 16 year olds bedrooms won’t magically float down the stairs so I’m all over that too. As as good citizen working from home it is only right and proper that I check that ‘Homes under the Hammer’ has started and that talent vaccum and full time prick Dominic Littlewood is still employed by the BBC with my licence fee feeding both him and the many offspring he has produced to be future employed, fucking me off on daytime TV for the rest of my life. If I don’t carry out these tasks when working from home who will? I can’t risk leaving this shit to Jen as she is far to diligent and focused.

Working for home will lose it’s novelty fairly quickly in this house as we never do it simultaneously and particularly with two teenagers mooching about chucked into the mix but I see little chance of it not continuing for some time to come as it’s the easy, safe option for maintaining some form of basic societal stability in a lockdown. All you can prove when jointly working from home is the strength of your relationship as you haven’t really spent this amount of time with your partner and kids without a swimming pool, large Gin and Tonic and a fawning waiter looking for a few Euros. If you aren’t solid as a pair it will become a nightmare pretty quick I’d imagine.

The real issue in all this upheavel is the youth of this country. I feel for the younger generation. This will harm them and especially those who, like my kids, were on the cusp of venturing out to experience life in full for the first time. That has temporarily gone and so when this is over, and it will be end, we need to unleash the freedom.

Will my life change drastically? Not really. My social life has dipped to a horrific level over the last few years with only regular outings with two of my mates taking up the bulk of it. The rest of my circle are two or three times a year meet ups at best so a lockdown aint killing me too much. I’m sure we’ll all hear the old ‘we must meet up’ sentence in the wake of this but like the rats in my garden that I’m engaged in an ongong ‘working from home’ war with, we are creatures of habit and will simply lapse back into the normal partial social isolation we had before all this started soon enough. Sadly that is the life we lead and I am no different.

So we are now all isolated in our houses, trapped with resrictions unheard of outside of a Cruise Ship. We are all now pensioners on the all inclusive cruise where you see the same people everyday for meals. The garden (if you have one) is the deck where you can take short strolls and get fresh air, you have access to unlimited entertainment at your fingertips in the form of TV channels you never knew existed or even needed. The menu is on a 7-10 day rotation (subject to availability) and the bar has nothing new as you did the lot in the first 3 days at ‘sea’. Your cabin seems smaller than when you arrived and every day you are under little pressure to do anything except hurtle toward older age. There’s no point complaining because you are the Captain of your own shipwreck if you do and mutiny is pointless as you already control the fucker from the sofa. It’s a Saga holiday for the lot of us. We are trapped on the ‘Lavender of the Seas’ with only the stench of piss and digestives to revive us from an afternoon nap.

As I write this Johnson lies in a pool of his own effluent eating pizza and toast as that is all they can get under the door of his private apartments in Downing Street. I’d imagine the chances of him being able to function without his dormatory ‘Fag’ Gove dabbing his brow with a wet flannel while dropping lightly buttered toast into his mouth are slim to none. I did see a moment of sympathy for Johnson since he tested positive with ‘minor symptons’ but to me he’s in a better place than the rest of us who mostly know nothing with regard to whether we have had it, actually have it now or might get it. He’s had the test and is now under the microscope so he won’t be allowed to suffer in self isolation to the point of requiring a ventilator before he can rock up at an over burderned A&E department. As for the fact that he can’t see his pregnant girlfriend well let’s not waste any more time worrying about that as he’s spent most of his child producing life actively avoiding both the pregnant and the beings his filthy spongle created.

Prince Charles is also in the ‘Mild Symptons’ boat and like Johnson he won’t be opening a tin of beans with a rusty nail in a confined space either. When I heard that he was self-isolating at Balmoral my initial reaction was less ‘Poor sod’ and more’ lucky fucker’. There’s plenty of space for him to walk about up there, lots of food available to shoot and a long list of expendable footman willing to risk a snotting nose for a Knighthood even if its posthumous.

Rubber lipped glove puppet Gove currently seems to be the last jub standing after Hancock also fell ill. This means that he’s possibly running the country at present because I don’t believe Dominic Raab is capable or trusted to actually wash his own hands let alone insist that others comply. Gove’s first act wearing the black hanky on his head this morning was to issue what seems to have been a threat to the nation in his customary CBBC bedtime story manner that if we aren’t all good boys and girls more stringent restrictions will follow. This probably seems like a good idea given all I’ve ranted about above but as a nation we don’t respond well to threats and so this one, from the last bloke out and up over the top of a blood and guts filled trench, seems more like a challenge. To be fair I’m fully prepared for more draconian measures but like I said I’m a trained soldier prepared to follow orders. Gove needs to be careful with this one as policing such a measure will need a robust response likely to fuel the fire.

And what of the architect of Chaos hismelf? The ‘Cunt-in-Chief’ as it were, La Grand Fromage, the Professional Agitator, the Grima Wormtoungue in this Tolkeinesque story of desolation at the hands of an unseen enemy?

Where is Dominic Cummings?

From the start of the outbreak he lurked in the shadows with all the other misfits and weirdos wielding great power with absolutely no fucking responsibility. Then he arrogantly let slip with a modern verison of the fantastic Scrooge quote to ‘reduce the surplus population’ by suggesting that money and the economy is above the deaths of a few pensioners so best we crack on with. Now he sees his Sorcerers power fading as his ‘host’, the ratty haired fop, lies stricken with the virus. Upon hearing the news that Johnson was suffering from the fatal ‘mild symptons’ Cummings was seen fleeing number 10, in a run that only the non-athletic are capable of, like the Rat he is. Gone in a flash, scuttling, slithering away to ‘Castle Huge Cranium’ hopefully with his self created ‘career’ hanging in rags.

If any individual in this current human tragedy needed a dose of reality (other than Trump) in the form of the devastating ‘mild symptons’ it would be Cummings as he needs to realise that you cannot stave off a virus like this with massive self importance and an absolutely unrelenting belief in your own huge intellect and the use of ‘mind bullets’.

We all hope that this will end sooner rather than later and that it will leave us with a better planet to live on. Perhaps a place where empathy and sympathy (not two traits in my cannon to be fair) are the new human emotions. We all want a world of caring and sharing and this moment has highlighted it like no other. Of course we’ve had wars but in wars you can instantly fight back in most circumstances. This is a war without bombs, a war without sides and so we just have to do the simple stuff and help each other until it is under some sort of control.

The tradegy is that this is unlikely to change much or at all. Even in the current situation the greed is overpowering and all the promised cash to save the country isn’t free and will need to be found later. The greedy still function just like criminals will. The news were reporting yesterday from the briliant that ventilators now cost $40,000.00 dollars each instead of $25,000.00 as there is a shortage. Imagine that? Imagine ramping that up when there is a life saving need.

In this country we have seen that people would rather throw food away knowing they had it than share it. Inevitably we will now see increased flouting with regard to the social distancing rules as the ‘Fuck this shit’ society tries to break free. Looting is a distinct possibility even if you think no one would do that at present. Crime continues regardless of the situation and in most cases it grows. Shootings are still happening and are in fact rising, Gang war stabbings still happen but only some of us are aware of that. I had this conversation a few years back with regard to the Grenfall Tower tragedy when I suggested it would be exploited by fraudsters and was met with complete outrage. Those frauds are still being uncovered and people are still going to prison for it. The scum rises to the top in these situations as the good people are preoccupied with prevention and rebuild with no extra benefit other than a sense of duty to assist.

As I said earlier this is a time to remember and although we will forget the profiteering, the personal billionaires needing bail outs, the Celebrity Chefs sacking their staff, the landlords turfing people out so they can raise the rent what we must remember the heroes of all this.

Primarily remember the NHS who have been dismantled for years by numerous Governments but now selflessly put themselves in danger for us. Remember how emotional the round of applause was in your street last week. That is heartfelt stuff from the people to the people.

Remember the battered and abused shop worker, and cleaner who gets fuck all in the wage packet for proper hard graft way beyond the capability of a soft palmed old Etonian like the now almost invisible Rees-Jub locked in the kind of filthy upper class hovel these eccentric lunatics live in when they are resposible for their own hygiene.

Remember the Police, Fire Service and Paramedics underfunded and under resourced yet still out there helping us while risking their own health. No one is immune.

These people are the Heroes.

Tough, Tough times ahead I’m afraid so do your bit…Wash you hands, Stay your distance, Avoid the unecessary for a while.

So as the isolation continues and I trundle downstairs to check on whether that talentless bald plum Dominic Littlewood is invading my viewing today I find myself in the kitchen which is like a scene from a 40’s melodrama directed by Noel Coward when life was simpler.

Jen has gone full pencils-up-the-nose’wibble’ and is doing a puzzle of an idilic English village scene and Boo is making a Lemon drizzle cake. In the garden the Rat traps are set as me and my neighbour continue to wage war on vermin content in the knowledge that at some point we may be forced to roast, boil or fry them to survive. The Boy remains within his enforced cell slowly going blind but who can blame him? He now lives in a the world vividly recreated in ‘WALL:E’ where rotund fat bodies sit in chairs with screens fixed to their eyeline as that is their only form of communication. Devices and the much maligned social media now rule the world or at least for a bit and if I stop the boy using it he suddenly has no form of communication with his own generation. That is why we need to crack this as soon as possible. The youth need their youth back as it’s gone too soon for a life of adulthood.

Anyway, enough of me, I’m a busy man. I’ll be out after dark selling powdered egg, parachute silk and Woodbines behind an abandoned Wetherspoons in Putney if you fancy it…

Onwards….

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