Pad Life: Protect Our Way Of Life
You know who I feel sorry for? Domestic burglars. Their livelihood has just disappeared and no-one seems to care. Of all the petitions I’ve signed in the last week or so, demanding that the government does something, anything, to support the people, not one has mentioned burglars.
I mean, no bugger’s going out. And even if they were, burglars have families. They have elderly parents and loved ones with underlying conditions. They’re not going to risk contracting Covid-19 from your Pandora charm bracelet. Burglars can’t work from home, you know.
Years ago, when the Scion was about three and the Princess a vague idea for the future, he and I came home from somewhere one afternoon and found a burglar in the house. I was just unbuttoning my coat and he was sitting at the bottom of the stairs commencing the laborious process of taking off his shoes, when we suddenly heard footsteps above us.
‘Oh,’ I mused. ‘Whatever is Daddy doing home at this time?’ Then the footsteps gathered pace to a thundering, and before I could think ‘That’s not Daddy’, someone young, tall and skinny came hurtling down the stairs with a bag stuffed full of what looked like my belongings.
In my shock, I might have just let him go, but he pushed the Scion out of the way. He laid a hand on my baby boy and shoved him against the wall.
I’m not quite sure what colour the mist was, but I do remember hearing a shrieking sound through it. ‘You bastard, you fucking bastard, coming inside my house…’ There was a little tug at my coat, which I ignored, and then I was pursuing the burglar into the kitchen, with a firm plan in mind. As usual, last night’s washing up was still patiently waiting, and a very heavy frying pan was still on the cooker. I would pick up the frying pan, and I would hit him with it. I would hit him over and over again, until he stopped moving. Probably as well for both of us he made it out of the kitchen window, which he’d broken on the way in, before I got there.
Back in the hallway, the Scion, completely unhurt, was looking all sorts of bewildered. The tug on my coat had been where the pocket had caught the door handle, and I’d just ripped right through the fabric and carried on.
I remember opening the front door and continuing shrieking, to the alarm of a neighbour washing his car. He came rushing in, thinking something ghastly had happened to the Scion, and it took a while before he managed to make any sense of what I was gabbling.
The young burglar had dropped his swag bag on the way, so we didn’t lose anything. He was obviously new to the game because he hadn’t even put the front door latch down, to stop just such a scenario. He was never caught of course. The only lasting effects were extreme jitteriness on my part, for quite a while, and a furthering strengthening of my already pretty strong aversion to private gun ownership. Because I know, with absolute certainty, that if I had had access to a gun that day, I would have used it. Just as, if I had caught him with that frying pan, he would have been in a pretty bad way by the time I’d finished. Fear and rage. Bloody lethal. You know what they say. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Not if they haven’t got a gun they don’t. Or, at least, not quite so easily. The frying pan might have required sufficient effort to make me come to my senses.
Then there was the occasion a burglar insulted me. We’d moved by that time, to Castle Pillock, of happy memory, and we had a nice and very large back garden. Bugger Lugs, my ex, had buggered off, so it was just me and the kids, and I will admit I struggled with that garden on my own. I am not a natural gardener. The Scion was of an age to meander round with a lawn mower by then, but you had to catch him in the right mood. So the garden got overgrown, the shed with all the gardening stuff resembled Sleeping Beauty’s castle, and the gardening stuff itself went various shades of rust. One morning, everyone in the street woke up to find their sheds had been broken into, and their gear nicked. Except mine. My shed had been broken into, and they’d left the stuff. When the police came round, to check what had been taken from us, I felt so sorely tempted to make a few things up. The humiliation.
I have particular concern for burglars because, as certain parts of the media tell us, we really need the blitz spirit now, and no-one embodies the true spirit of the blitz better than a burglar. Crime went up an estimated 57% between 1939 and 1945, and though some of this was due to the fact that there were more regulations to break, rapes and murders went up, looting was rife, conmen had a field day, people scammed the system with relish, and gangs multiplied like rabbits. All forgotten in the retrospective propaganda of carefully enunciated black and white movies, with their stiff upper lips and chirpy cockneys and undemonstrative patriotism, Lor’ luv yer, guvnor. All I can say is, thank heavens for the toilet roll hoarders and the panic buyers and the people shouting at shop staff because things aren’t as they should be. That’s tradition, that is. That’s the British way of life.
It’s quite disappointing, in this modern day and age, that some people are using that beastly social media to disregard all our traditional values, and actually be nice to each other. Helpful. Informative. Offering DBS checked volunteers to assist where necessary. Sharing things to cheer people up. I blame the EU. All that foreign demonstrativeness. Time we took back control of our upper lips, I say.
Some people are even letting facts get in the way of brilliant and exciting social media stories. I did so want it to be true that Trump said, ‘People are dying today who have never died before’. It’s so Trumpian. The essence of Trump. But, sadly, he didn’t. There are rumours that George Wallace, former governor of Alabama, said it about fifty years ago, but no actual evidence of that either.
One of my favourites in the Misinformation Stakes is the train in America with ‘COVID-19’ stamped on one of its wagons. ‘Better wake up, America’ intones one person passing the photo round as evidence that The Virus has been deliberately manufactured to…what, exactly? I’ve read suggestions that it’s the Illuminati’s latest effort to kill all the non-Illuminati and finally take over whatever bits of the world they don’t control already. All I can say is, the Illuminati need to have a shake-up in their team. Not only have all their previous attempts failed, which is a bit rubbish seeing as they’re all-powerful and all, but some twonk has actually stamped the equivalent of ‘Look, an evil plot!’ on the side of a train. Of course, Chris Grayling could be moonlighting for them, in which case it all makes perfect sense.
(In case you were wondering…the photo’s edited. As is the still from The Simpsons showing that the show predicted Coronavirus however many years ago. As is the snap from 10 Downing Street showing Boris Johnson as Prime Minister. Ah, sorry. Couldn’t resist. Your little face when you thought it might actually all be a dream…)
It’s a peculiar world at the best of times, but it’s the only one we’ve got, and despite our flaws the human race has its moments. So keep washing your hands, keeping your distance, not coveting your neighbour’s toilet roll. Fuck knows when it’ll all be over, and what shape everything will be in, but I’d rather be one of the ones having to cope with that than one of the ones who won’t be around to. Joking aside, my heartfelt thoughts go to those of you who have the real problems – the kids with no school or nursery, the elderly relatives, your own health issues, no work, no business, all the other myriad difficulties this has thrown at folk. Little Cat and I are damn lucky, here in the Pad, that all we have to do is dream up silly things to write about to pass the time. We appreciate it. We appreciate you.
Oh, and Happy Mother’s Day tomorrow, if you are one. We’re doing it remote this year, as both my offspring are in lockdown following Possible Contact. What’s App video it is.