Friday, May 29, 2020

It's a Hard Lock Life

"Describe your lockdown life. Has it had any unexpected sweet spots in it? And what are you most looking forward to doing again afterwards?”

By Abir

Friday again eh? I could have sworn it was Wednesday. 

Topic of the week is lockdown – specifically lockdown life. 

I’m not going to lie, compared to millions of others, my lockdown life has been relatively easy. We’ve had no family members come down with the virus, not even my mum who a) thinks she’s invincible and b) being Indian doesn’t believe in the concept of personal space, let alone social distancing.

Rather than run through my daily routine though, cos it's dull, I’m going to simply give you some of the ways in which my life has changed.

1. I am a prisoner in my own home (other than when I’m not)

Right so my wife has decided, based on the flimsiest of evidence, that I am more at risk of getting the virus and dying than anyone else in the family. Why? Because:
 a) the virus is racist (it hates BAME people more than whitey);
 b) I’m no longer a spring chicken (I disagree); and 
 c) because getting ill and dying is just the sort of thing I’d do to upset her. 

I objected to the above and, it's fair to say we had a full and frank discussion and then she decided she was right. This means I’m not allowed to go to the shops other than the big Tesco, and then only by car, and only to pick up groceries which have been pre-ordered on line. I am supposed to wear a mask whenever I leave the house, but this has proved difficult because the first time I wore one my glasses steamed up and I almost crashed the car.

I’m also allowed to go to the park, but only under strict supervision. I used to look forward to these daily outings, but then the weather got warmer and my hay fever started and now I’m constantly sneezing and I don’t know if it’s covid or a cold or a reaction to the pollen and it's frankly easier just to sit at home.

What this means is that car journeys are precious – whether it’s to Tesco or, a once a week trip to the car wash  - the car is sparkling, by the way. It’s now covered in enough wax to make a dozen candles. It hasn’t needed a wash for over a month but I still go to get it cleaned, just to get out of the house.

A rather strange side effect has been that I now make an effort to look smart for these trips. I wear cologne to go to the supermarket (even though I don't even get out of the car) and even considered wearing a suit to the car wash last Wednesday. I’m not even making that up. 

That leads me on to my next observation:

I’m Buying more stuff

One of the curious things about lockdown is that my credit card bills had started to decrease in scale. I mean, they were still stupidly big, but suddenly less big than before, possibly because I was saving on travel costs and pretentious London restaurants where they charge you £100 just for the supercilious attitude (theirs, not mine). I was of course pleasantly surprised by this sudden upturn in my finances, and, for several moments contemplated a sun-lit, debt-free future. I then went online and proceeded to buy loads of crap from Apple and Amazon that I don’t need but which seem to fill some gaping hole in my spiritual and emotional existence which Covid seems to have caused. And indeed, for a few days, the new shiny things made everything feel better.

It’s not just the shiny things though. There’s the panic buying too. Remember back in March where we all thought we were about to run out of toilet paper? Well I didn’t panic. I just looked on smugly as the world went mad and shook my head at all the idiots out there. Then I went to the shop and couldn’t find any toilet paper. I came back home and after several stiff cups of tea to steady my nerves, I succumbed to peer pressure and went online and bought enough toilet roll for a family of ten. Most of it is still in storage. I'm using it to insulate my loft. 

I wish I could say that was the worst of it, but alas, it's not. In a moment of what I thought was sheer genius, I bought this:

Don't judge me

It’s a portable travel bidet. 

That’s right, you heard me. 


Don’t be fooled by the picture on the box. It’s not just for cleaning babies’ bottoms. It has an adult setting too. I’ve not used it, only read the instructions, but it’s comforting to know that should there be a second spike, me and my portable travel bidet will be ready for it.

Anything else I want to tell you? 


Spending time with the kids isn’t actually so bad

I’ll admit it. I was worried about spending quality time with the kids. Don’t judge me. You haven’t met my kids. Seriously, it’s like living with Donald Trump and Boris Johnson.

No. I’m joking. They're more mature than that, but I was worried about how home-schooling and all the extra changes to our schedules would affect my work routine. After a few dodgy weeks at the start of March though, things have been going pretty well. Luckily my wife is basically Superwoman. She educates them, entertains them, feeds them (and me), all while doing a full-time job, fielding work calls and Zoom meetings from the dining table. I’ve helped out a bit, mainly in the Nintendo department, educating my five year old in the intricacies of Super Mario and Luigi’s Mansion. I even bought the new game, Animal Crossing, which everyone under the age of 35 seems to be raving about. It sounded idyllic. You get to make a home on a desert island, spending your days fishing and building your dream home, but after playing it for a few days, I realised it was basically just an education in unfettered capitalism, where you, the player are in perpetual indentured servitude to a racoon-type character called Mr Nook. I’m not kidding. The only way to progress in the game is to take out bigger and bigger loans to buy more and more stuff so that you can show to other players on other islands.

I have banned the kids from playing it and we’ve all gone back to Super Mario, who as a plumber, I feel better represents my political philosophy (though I admit I have trouble with his infatuation for a character called Peach, who is a princess). This seems to be a betrayal of his working class roots and a significant setback in the class struggle, but hey, it’s lockdown. I’ll cut him a little slack.

Finally, Haircuts

So I finally took the plunge, bought a set of hair clippers and persuaded my wife to cut my hair. I was worried. After all, there are so many stories doing the rounds of wives who've cut their husbands ears off or chopped their heads off, while attempting a simple short back and sides. But the truth is, after watching a few youtube videos, she did a fantastic job, at least from the front. I can't see what she's done to the back.

So I'm thinking, after lockdown is over, I'm never going back to the barbers again. That £7 a month saving is really going to come in handy in paying down my credit card.

Take care folks, and stay safe.


Dietrich Kalteis said...

Thanks, Abir. You had me laughing.

Abir said...

Cheers Dietrich!

Terry said...

Abir, this is hilarious. Whatever else it has done, lock-down hasn't squashed your sense of humor.

Abir said...

Cheers Terry!
If I didn't laugh, I'd cry!

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