• neil

Day 48 (4 May): Clapped Out

A flurry of activity

The clap is a slang term for the venereal disease Gonorrhea. Clearly something to be politely refused if offered. But it is another form of clap which is causing a flurry of activity in the accident and emergency rooms of hospitals. It is the weekly clap for carers. Some people are over exerting themselves and others are falling over and injuring themselves.

The over exerters

Week I: You participated and clapped heartily;

the most heartily you have ever clapped since your Mum read ‘Peter Pan’ to you and suggested you clap so that Tinkerbell wouldn’t die. Personally, I clapped so hard for her that I have only just regained full use of my nose picking finger.

Week 2: The smart Alec next door came out with frying pan and spoon and completely smothered your very best “Don’t die Tinkerbell, You can have my unicorn! Please don’t die!” clap.

Week 3:

You came out with a 6.3 kilo, 6 foot diameter cast iron paella pan and a four foot stainless steel serving ladle and you gave it everything. This resulted in two sprained fingers, a fractured wrist, a suspected heart attack and a ride in an ambulance; but at least they caught that gonorrhea before it was too late.

The fallers

As for those who fall over and injure themselves, I suspect one need look no further than the desire to rid oneself of the virus. These people listened to the President, searched the house from top to bottom for drinking disinfectant, found nary a drop of Green Apple Dettol Spray and had to fall back on Johnny Walker Black Label, the rest of the Christmas sherry and a quart of advocaat. It is a surprise they remained standing as long as they did.

The Tampax Effect

Today is an exciting day! Here in Belgium we are taking the first small steps towards an easing of confinement restrictions.

Outside physical activity is now permitted with two other people and those who live under the same roof. Social distancing still has to be respected so you can cross off most sports apart from tennis and pétanque.

I am better at social distancing than social climbing so I’ll give the tennis a miss.

Pétanque it is.

And this is where we come to the Tampax effect. I have briefly alluded to this before. Nowadays ads for sanitary products are becoming simple, straightforward and helpful. But such was not always the case. In the bad-old-macho-sexist-deep-down-scared-of women-and-their-mysterious-bodies days TV ads used to present sanitary pads and tampons as having nothing whatsoever to do with the perfectly normal 28 day cycle affecting half the population for a good portion of their lives. The ads for Tampax avoided their raison d’être completely. They typically started with lab-coated technicians pouring blue liquids from test tubes onto sterile pads of unknown function and then segued to a smiling young goddess high diving off rocks, horse riding or waterskiing backwards.

The message I got, aged 10, was that if you really wanted to be good at sport, with a great smile thrown in for free, what you needed was a Tampax.

So you bring the boules and I’ll pop out for some tampons.

Other developments

A friend has phoned to tell me we are allowed to go kayaking but we are not allowed to rent a kayak, which in my case involves kayaking without a kayak, and of course, you cannot drive to a river.

He added that we can go horse riding "But only for the benefit of the animal" . Doubtless the police will seek confirmation from the horse. According to Enhanced Police Guidance you can still be fined for walking an insufficiently energetic dog.

And finally: haberdasheries will be allowed to open. Yeh! Open that bottle of disinfectant!

This is so that we may buy the material to make our own masks. Perhaps that is also the logic behind the pharmacies remaining open. We can buy the material to make our own vaccines.

Think of someone who isn’t doing too well and phone them today.



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