I dare you to try and steal my asparagus when the End Times come…
WE’RE ALL STUCK at home because of the Coronavirus, even though none of us is remotely ill.
My son’s school closed due to – Covid-19 related – staff shortages yesterday, while my wife’s firm has told all non-essential staff to work from home.
My daughter’s lecturers – who’ve just come off a three-week strike anyway – are teaching online and me….well, I’m always here.
So far, being in semi-lockdown has been lovely, particularly because none of us has to get up early any more.
I’m normally roused at six by the wife’s alarm and then stagger up to make cups of tea, feed cats, clear up last night’s mess and make Ready Brek by 7.15.
But today, since Her Indoors didn’t have to spend 90 minutes commuting in – and because The Lad could get his own breakfast – we slept soundly until 7.30.
And my first thought was: It’s all so quiet.
There was virtually no sound outside for a while, which is almost unheard of in our ends.
I’ve said before that, this being London, you can always rely on an ultra-early supermarket delivery, or some c*** with a drill, to ease you from your dormancy.
This morning, there were no sounds. No-one was walking in the street. There were no trains. Hardly any vehicles passed”
But, really: this morning there was nothing. No-one was walking around in the street. There were no train noises, as they’re running a Coronavirus-reduced service. Hardly any vehicles passed by, whereas normally we’d expect a cacophony of angry horns.
I wondered for a while if the primary school next door had closed, too, but then their caretaker pulled the ripcord on his leaf blower – despite there being no leaves to blow, currently – and the beautiful stillness was shattered.
Within moments, we had a triple assault – some c***s in orange Hi-viz started chainsawing trees by the railway line and some other f***er fired up a drill across the road.
Because, even at the height of a global pandemic, some things remain eternal.
If the Last Trump resounds across London, the noise will probably resemble The Last Bastard On Earth starting up a power tool of some description”
Even if the Coronavirus wipes everybody else off life’s chess board, and if the Last Trump resounds across London, the noise will probably resemble The Last Bastard On Earth starting up a power tool of some description.
In fact, what the Covid-19 crisis most resembles in our family is something close to the Easter holidays. Both the kids won’t be going back until after the break, anyway, and it seems like the lazy days are already here, bar the chocolate.
Both our teens are constantly in the kitchen – making hash browns and semi-successful cakes, being profligate with clean tea towels, and arguing with me and their mum about how much revision we can expect.
The only difference from Easter is that we adults have to do a bit of work at some point although, happily in my case, I can start when I want, finish when I want, and do what I like in between.
This morning, for example, I spent running and triumphantly hunting down a whole kilo of penne – and I’ve just distracted my wife from a phone-in meeting with the Big Cheeses by dancing with a furry hot water bottle down the front of my shorts.
This can only be the calm before the storm. Pandemics aren’t supposed to be so pleasant, and things are changing so unbelievably fast”
But of course, this can only be the calm before the storm. Pandemics aren’t supposed to be so pleasant – and things are changing so unbelievably fast.
Every minute or so, there seems to be something else not happening because of Covid-19.
Glastonbury was cancelled today. And Eurovision… Every Parkrun, everywhere in Britain is off, and all schools in Wales will close by Friday (Oh…schools in Scotland as well).
It’s difficult to know how the Coronavirus crisis will end – economic collapse? Rioting? Plague pits? – or, hopefully, a gradual drop-off in cases followed by a return to normality.
But, of course, it’s only human nature to expect the worst.
Ocado won’t take our used shopping bags because of Coronavirus. Her Indoors suggested using them as emergency bog roll but I thought: Naah – too slippy”
In my time, I’ve started writing various dystopian novels where I describe starved survivors of a nuclear winter slaughtering one another for a mouthful of lethally irradiated allotment vegetables (in fact, now I think of it, perhaps the allotment backdrop is why my work has no publisher as yet).
But, though I am a prophet without honour at the minute, I feel I may yet be proven right by events.
Given our current problems with panic buying – when shelves are stripped of everything from eggs and hand sanitiser to rigatoni and Charmin Ultra Soft – the anarchic food combat and breakdown of the social contract I described are surely near at hand now.
Ocado has just emailed to say that they won’t risk bringing stuff into the house tomorrow because of Coronavirus – although I’m not expecting much, in the current circs., and would be happy with two Xmas puddings and a bag of Haribos.
They won’t take our used shopping bags either, which begs the question of what we’re going to do with them. Her indoors suggested using them as emergency bog roll, but I thought: Naah. Too slippy.
Given that we are heading for the End Times, however, what might work is this: shitting directly into the bags, tying them off, and keeping them safe somewhere, maturing…
Then, when the looters come over the garden fence, we’ll be waiting for them with our steaming, organic Molotov cocktails, if they really want our asparagus so very badly.