During lockclown, other people get bored. He never gets bored. It gives him more time to talk about his favourite subject— You know the type, we remember them from school. Jesus got crucified, but he would have you think that he got crucified twice, on two crosses, because one of them broke. And he’d have fixed it anyway because he was a great joiner-in. And, Christ, if that wasn’t bad enough now there was this corona thing. He’d the corona virus three times or four. It started off as a slight cough and within minutes he was spewing up bat balls. (Do bats have balls?) No, he wasn’t Chinese, but he understood what the Chinese people were going with existential question about biting the balls off bats. And things like that because he was brought up watching David Carridine hot-footing on BBC (before it was sold off) being Chinese in Kung Fu and reading Animal Farm. He knew, of course, knowing all that Kung Fu stuff didn’t save Grasshopper from dying. And Grasshopper wasn’t really a grasshopper, or he’d have been eaten, pronto-hopper.
Boxer, the horse in Orwell’s classic, was also the name of a Chinese revolution. His wife got so bored with social isolation she grew a beard, shaved it up for charity, made millions of pounds and knitted it into a jumper that the Queen wore when addressing the nation.
He didn’t watch it, but Her Majesty said what we were all thinking—why’s the Chip shop closed—it can’t be that serious. Where do all the fish go now the fish shop is shut?
He said he was brought up on a farm—and no, he wasn’t Chinese—and he knew how to treat animals. Eat them a bit at a time and always masticate. He’d one of those big American freezers, you know, like the Tardis. It looks bigger inside and outside. When you go inside there’s enough fish fingers to stock the Atlantic Ocean. If they can invent a vaccine for Covid-19 then they can bring fish fingers back from freezer hell, because viruses are smaller than fish, it should be easy—just a bit of re-programming, cut and paste genotypes, but don’t lick your fingers.
Unemployment is looming but he’s multiskilled and multiscaled and has multiple packets of Golden Wonder crisps. It’s not stockpiling because they’re necessities. It’s not like the bathroom stocked with boxes of handwash or the bath’s overflowing with toilet rolls. Pandemic splices two words. Pandemonium and epidemic. Both of them give you the shits. Hence the need for toilet rolls. You need to wash your hands with all that shitting. So it’s not stockpiling. That’s splicing— two words—too.
Lockdown…word beginning with? On a quiet night you can hear the neighbours screaming at each other…’ya, cuntin’ cunt.’ He doesn’t like the language, not because it offends him, everybody is a cunt is his firm believe, but it becomes clichéd and leaves little room for descriptive hyperbole when describing yer typical Tory…fucker.
Maybe the neighbours are drunk, he thinks. But isn’t there some kind of law against that now? Nobody can be out and about enjoying themselves or smiling or they get arrested and fined. He wandered, grim faced enough for it to be a natural glummer, so that folk he never knew, no longer remarked, (apropos) ‘It might never happen, mate’ but that was before the coronavirus, when obviously it has.
Anyway, as he wasn’t saying, just remarking. He was promenading to the shopping centre to buy some much needed libations and he looked into the darkness of an overhanging tree and there was a guy with a bottle of wine. Since he kinda knew all the drunks in Dalmuir by osmosis he had to stop and ask him, ‘what the fuck are you daeing in there, mate?’
‘I’m socially isolating?’ he said.
‘Things are bad when even Tarzan’s socially isolating,’ he said.
‘You gettin’ funny, mate?’
He said, ‘I’m never funny, and I know Davy Brown.’ That soon shut Tarzan up.
‘Away back to your jungle,’ he shouted, but worried if that sounded racist. But the guy was white (pinkish) and Polish sounding. So it would only have been racist if he’d shouted ‘Away back to Poland’.
But he’d never do that because he was a great believer in Polish Popes and Polish people being able to balance like birds on the branches of trees. He did, however, think he heard him sneeze.
The laws of socially isolating outside were unclear. He’d need to rush home and go onto Fakebook and ask concerned people that had insider knowledge about what to do next? We could probably get a GoFundMe to raise money for protective equipment, face masks, gowns, gloves and pointy hats like the Ku Klu Klan wore (but in blue to go with the gloves). And if we raised enough money, and did it quickly enough, he could lead a posse back to the tree (well, more of a big rhododendron) and shout through a microphone, ‘We know you’re in there, stop socially isolating—on your own—and come out without sneezing, which carries not only the virus, but also a two-year-mandatory-sentence.’ Made up on the spot, by politicians to sound tough. “But don’t worry. ~Although most of here are Tory sounding scum, we’ll let you out early. And gi’e you your bus far hame, because all planes have been grounded.’
‘No, we were only kiddin’ about being Tory. Nae Tories live in Dalmuir. But we werenae kidding about the planes.—if you don’t believe us, Tarzan, look o’er there, that’s Glasgow Airport.’
‘See, nothin’. You can almost taste the fresh air. But you’re an alky, you’ll no’ be able to taste nothin’. And, aw-aye, tell Lech Walesa, Arthur Boric and the Pope I was asking for him—and no hard feelings. Come out with your hanky, clamped to your mouth.’
You know what happened next, don’t you? Because you were there. You know everything. There’s just no telling you. What happens next? Pray tell.