From Jester To King LXIX
By Simon Barget
You could tell by the little hole in the earlobe. First it was homes, the mass accumulations in stations. Everyone followed, no one blinked. No one moved an inch. The machine came on every evening and they took it for Boris. For all intents and purposes it was. The decline had been gradual. Suppression, PPE, 18 months, 2 metres. And when mandatory holding of breath was corroborated by SAGE, everyone allegorically and literally held it. Migrating to chicken coops - no resistance, superfluous limb removal - tell me which one I’ll do it myself. I remember the ban on enjoyment was the funniest, observing a stand-up row between a copper and father of a family of four in my supermarket. Outrage rewarded by a raft of statutory instruments. Then the discussions on whether officiousness was enough. The WHO’s suggestion of banning the sun wasn’t immediately dismissed though I couldn’t for the life of me work out how they would do it. No one noticed because the imposition was gradual. When did Matt Hancock stop being Matt Hancock. What constitutes a self, well who the fuck knows? I’m not saying I knew or to even to be mistrustful, it was just a bit weird that everyone followed.
Now it wasn’t the same when I used to be working. I think I told you about the interviews and not knowing when they were etc, well I did eventually secure myself employment, and mighty fine work it was, in one of the premier law firms of the good old US of A, not to say that there wasn’t the same old confusion before going there. I’d been off on furlough and when I came off it I couldn’t remember which place I’d worked at, and it had been such a long time, let’s call it years, that I knew that even if I went back some eyebrows would rise, but gloriously, I did remember, and when I did I was so chuffed that I’d worked there, what a grand place to work, and I go back up to the top floor of the tower, a dusty old building it is now, hardly state-of-the-art, and I hold my breath (excuse the pun) and stride straight in, and you know that moment you’re entering a room when you haven’t quite processed who’s in it, what it looks like, that gnawing anticipation, and then I look and I see and there are loads, I mean loads of people in this big open-plan room and I do not recognise any faces, oh shit, until I look round a bit to the left and then I see Clive and Godiva who look surprised but not hostile – good start! – so I walk over right around to the left where my desk is and would you believe it, there sitting down, plain as day, looking more like him than I ever remember him looking, is my own near and dear father. I mean there is my corporeal father at my workplace, my father who died more than twenty years prior, and he looks at me as if the most normal thing in the world, well I am in shock, and he doesn’t even move or get up to greet me, and you know what instead of being proud that my father can bear first-hand witness to what I can achieve, I’m peeved and put out that he’s working here too. I mean is there anything the man can’t do besides self-resurrecting and getting a job at a law firm when he’s not even a lawyer? Bloody pesk.