Social Distancing

Day 22

A bit late with the post today, sorry, but sure youse got a double dose yesterday, even if one of them was in a language only approximately 5.67% of the blog’s readers can understand. Blame the Kerfuffle. Not on the abnormally high percentage of Irish speakers hanging out in here, but on the lateness of the post. I was out foraging again. For a non-essential phone this time.

Like truffles, it is hard enough to find a smart phone in the wild. Doubly so now that the Kerfuffle has closed almost 77.46% of my previous happy hunting grounds in this field. Car parks outside nite-clubs and pubs were, traditionally, the most successful places to pick up a free, second-hand smart phone, though you needed to be out early in the morning before the lossees realised they were phoneless and used the tracking device to find out where it was. Then a quick trip to the dodgy guy to unlock your ‘new’ phone for you because you had forgotten your password, and Robert was your male relative. (I never really ever found any phones in a field, and I do not know why I said that up there.)

On that point [faut-il? – Ed], the phrase ‘loved ones’ is getting nearly as much mileage these days as that other source of irritation (to me), namely ‘existential crisis’ (for which see previous post). It’s ‘loved ones’ in danger here, ‘loved ones’ on the front line there every time you switch on the news – which I don’t anymore, except at night; by that stage all the people who have been contradicting themselves and each other during the day have come to some sort of a compromise position, and lobbed in a few facts for good measure. Now when I was picking up daisies (being closer to the ground than I now am), the phrase battered into our heads by our teachers for this scenario was ‘friends and relatives’, and I sincerely wish it still was. As a phrase, it is not that much longer than the new abomination, but, and more importantly, it is also more accurate than the new-comer and carries none of its presumption and assumptions. While it is a bit of an ipso facto that some measure of affection must attach itself to one’s friends (otherwise why would they be friends rather than acquaintances or enemies or people you work near?), who does yer woman on the news think she is upping the ante like that and declaring it to be full-blown love? Cheek of her! And while you can at least choose your friends, there are a fair few of my relatives for which that interloper of a phrase could only be described as less than apt. Bring back into use ‘friends and relatives’ is today’s message for the masses, and I also note [in passing? – Ed.] the strict distinction between the two categories inherent in the conjunction placed judiciously equidistant between them. It is not ‘friends and friends who are relatives’ as that would be an incomplete set. Those currently reading this know who they are.

Can we ban also the use of all this war terminology when talking about the Kerfuffle? We are not at war. Had you been in a war, you would notice the difference. Yon virus is not some sort of evil genius with plans to invade the Sudetenland and then move on to the rest of Europe as an encore. In a real war, you need an actual enemy to fight against, an enemy with aims and plans and stratagems designed to frustrate your defences and make a hames of your best-laid plans, and, coincidentally, those of the resident mice. And an unconscious virus does not cut the mustard in this scenario any more than an abstract noun did. (War on Terrorism, anyone? Who won that one?)

Look, I’ll have to go here. Because of the late start, it is now lunch followed by Ibero-Hiberno siesta. I’ll tell you the outcome of the phone forage tomorrow. Maybe. The position of Finance Director of the blog is still open for applicants, by the way, as are the two temporary future posts as pall bearer. And the future is probably temporary. CVs not accepted.


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