Phonebox Magazine July 2021

By the time I write this, the PM – bless him – may have changed his mind again, but it does finally look as though we will return to some kind of normality after this ghastly pandemic. 

The light is surely at the end of the tunnel now.

I confess that I had to be dragged kicking and screaming to have my injections done. It’s not that I’m an anti vaxer. Far from it. I view anti vaxers in the same way as I view climate deniers and people who claim to have seen the Loch Ness Monster: Mostly harmless but not to be encouraged to leave home without a responsible adult. No, mine was just a fear of injections. So my wife booked the appointments, lured me into a hessian sack, threw me into the boot of the car and took me there. I was almost disappointed that it didn’t hurt at all. I get all keyed up and then it turns out there really isn’t anything to worry about. All that energy wasted for nothing.

I made the decision not to publicise the fact that I’d had both my jabs on facebook. I always think that promoting it on social media looks as though you’re claiming that you invented the vaccine. It’s similar with those blood donors who claim they selflessly give blood but make damn sure everyone knows about it. You older readers may recall Tony Hancock in ‘The Blood Donor’ asking if he got anything for giving blood – “Nothing ostentatious,” he said, “Just a little badge saying ‘They gaveth, so others might live’.”

Interestingly, one of the things I find hard is not shaking hands with people. I didn’t realise until we were stopped from doing it that it was important to me. I’m ok with elbow bumping and all that jazz, but it does tend to look as if you’re about to break into an eccentric country dance routine, whereas a handshake is very defined.

If someone had told me three years ago that you wouldn’t be allowed into a bank without a mask on I would have thought that they were probably about ready to be wheeled into the Biggleswade State Home for the Bewildered. Mind you, if anyone does manage to find a bank that’s still open, let me know.

It’s not only anti vaxers who are a bit loopy. It works both ways. You get people who are so obsessed with Covid that it takes over. I was standing waiting to pay at Sainsburys –all masked up – and reached over to put my basket of goods on a ledge in front of me. The man in front of me, dressed as though he wanted people to think he was an astronaut buying a Sainsburys 3 quid meal deal in between missions, barked out the order, “Stand Back!” My first thoughts were that he was either about to light a large firework, or the Queen was coming through. But it just turned out that he was concerned that my basket holding arm was breaking the two metre barrier. To help resolve matters immediately, I leapt back like a scalded cat thus putting five metres between us which is the distance I generally like to keep between me and loonies in normal times.

So normality beckons dear reader and although we will just have to deal with Covid in the same way we deal with flu, we can at least start worrying about insignificant things again.

Three pointless things worry me at the moment. The first is the amount of people who call themselves ‘Influencers’ as some sort of job title. What’s all that about then?

Secondly, I have three loyalty cards for three different garages for when I buy fuel for the car . I use them all. So am I really allowed to call them ‘loyalty’ cards?

Lastly there is a new news channel called GB News started by Andrew Neil. I have to confess to not having watched it, but I have noticed that some people seem very angry and shouty about it. Why the hell do they watch it?

Answers on a postcard  please…

I’ve managed to write an article without once giving away the fact that I’m on the town council, and so if there is no other business from the floor, I call this meeting to a close.

David Pibworth

David Pibworth | Phoneboxmagazine


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