The Damp Squib

What is a squib?

I thought the easing of lockdown would, at the very least involve BJ, standing proud, hair combed, side by side with our beloved HRH Lizzy; hands poised above an over sized, game show-esque, button with a “3.. 2..1…lockdown is OVER” Then it’s all ticker tape, fireworks and Jools Holland. Alas no. Total anti climax. Smudgey and blurry edged.

All that seems to have happened is you can now take your nan out for a stroll (providing she is stable on her feet because if she’s a wobbler you can’t assist from 2 m away) and a few random establishments have opened.

As they “ease lockdown” it’s all become very weird. No one really knows wtf is happening, the guidelines have now become mere wisps of suggestion and therefore there is a weird lockdown limbo seeping through. I understand BJ’s sound principle of people using common sense but common sense is reliant on the individual in question having any sense at all never mind applying it correctly. Some, it seems, have none of the sense that I, myself, consider common. In the last week I have had a front row seat at the What Were You Thinking Circus.

This is a rubbish circus

Act 1

I had to drop a letter at the doctors and outside there is a run up of huge posters

STOP!! One said.



That’s ok, I surmised . I was told to come today with the letter and I’m not unwell. I, however, was incorrect. I was on step 2 through the door when the receptionist bellowed at me “STOP!” wildly gesticulating she shouted “GO BACK!” I duly ceased my approach and took a step back to the door “NO. ALL THE WAY OUT. KEEP GOING” If I had a stick of TNT between my teeth her reaction would have been just but alas I was merely wielding a Basildon Bond envelope. She then insisted I post the letter through the letter box next to me. She approached, scowled at me, extracted the letter from the basket beneath the letter box (1/4 of a metre away from where I was still rooted to the spot, terrified), turned and triumphantly returned to her desk as if she had just disarmed a large incendiary device. If she had commando rolled back to her position I would have been unsurprised.

Act 2

I have an rather unfortunate malady. I have a cough. It is just my sinuses but I am aware of the disfavoured nature of the humble cough so try to stifle my affliction. I was, in the socially distanced queue at the post office, berated by a gentleman who, with no hint of having his tongue in his cheek, told me I should be self isolating. Mumbling to himself about how inconsiderate people are as he left the shop. Mr Jansing in the post office in now giving me a wide birth.

Act 3

Shops are allowed to open on June 15th. I’m not going to lie, the thought of taking a trip to town for a meander around TKMAXX et al, is a day out I have planned in great detail. I’m talking breakfast-shop-lunch-shop-coffee n oversized muffin-shop-home. You cannot, however, shop in this louche manner when social distancing is still at 2 m. I’m not queuing to mooch. Mooching is a relaxed affair. Some places opened a little early; a trial run to test the waters of the River Ridiculous possibly?

…4 hour queue to get into IKEA?? Who needs 500 tea lights and a desk lamp that badly? Thousands seemingly, as they opened last week. Human beings are peculiar creatures; you see a queue that is 2 miles long and decide to join it anyway, then take to twitter to admonish the people standing in the queue that you are also standing in. Insane.

90 minute wait with those nuggets sir? Yes please said squillions. How desperate have things got? There is nothing to be gained here people. It’s just food and mediocre food at that. Not that I have ever done it but waiting outside Wimbledon all night for tickets on Centre Court has meaning. A purpose. Camping on the pavement all night outside the Apple Store to get their brand new phone before everyone else is … well, it’s sad actually so I don’t understand that either. I digress, McDonalds: I love their chips but I have chips in my freezer …. the’ll do. Wait an hour and a half to get a McFlurry? Nah, I’m ok thanks. Dumb.

So, it appears that you cannot rely on sense to be common amongst all. Stupid people don’t know they are stupid. Selfish people don’t think they are selfish. There is no test that you can get from the chemist that you pee on and it tells you “Uh oh … yup, sorry, you’re grade 2 stupid”. No one really has any clue what is happening on the Good Ship Planet Earth. All I know is that “this too will pass” and when it does you will find me in town and if I see you you’re going to get an uncomfortably long hug…I’m going to make it weird.

Till then why not stay in, stay away from lots of people and wash your hands… loads – we’ve been doing it for months anyway. Why not carry on for a bit longer?

Question… The Telegraph online have a 24/7 grand total of covid deaths/cases just rolling over the screen like it’s the results of the Eurovision Song Contest. Why?

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