How not to go mad : Go madder...
Updated: Jul 20
I want to make a point with this blog, but I fear it will fall upon deaf ears, nevertheless, I will go ahead and say it anyway - just because I can.
I think madness is something you can catch, like a cold or that other thing that's floating around just now...
And the reason I am saying this is because I have noticed people behaving...oddly. Now people doing strange things is a fact of life. You only have to take a quick peek online to know this. My son yesterday persuaded me to have a look at something called 'Near misses' or something similar which consisted of a series of short (some very short) videos filmed by nutcases, acted by lunatics and then uploaded by certifiably insane individuals (who were nevertheless gifted technophiles).
They involved people variously throwing themselves off clifftops with tiny little parachutes that failed to work as intended, other people jumping in front of trains/lorries and other heavy and fast moving objects and a few people throwing themselves onto tables/ chairs/ barbed wire, thereby proving that doing these things will hurt and if you are doing it properly it will hurt a lot.
Injury, personal or otherwise, has never amused me but I stood stoically watching scene after scene of idiots doing idiotic stuff whilst my son guffawed his way through a cavalcade of blisters, broken bones and severe windings.
But this is not what I mean about madness. This was just a bunch of people with nothing better to do. No, what I mean is that ever since this Covid-19 thing started leaching into society, people around me have started doing things they didn't do before. I will give you an example: Driving insanely on the road.
There is definitely an upsurge of drivers who are hellbent on dying and attempting to take you with them. This manifests itself in cars roaring up behind me (within a couple of feet) waiting until we reach a blind bend and then overtaking in a cloud of exhaust.
Pulling out of junctions a few milliseconds before I reach it is another little thing guaranteed to get my heart going. This particular pastime truly has me on my toes because it happens every time I go to town. I mean, really: Is it that they do not see my shiny car approaching? Are they blind to the fact that their speed/distance calculations are all wrong? Or is it something else, a game perhaps?
The guy sits at the junction. He's bored. Allright, he's managed to escape the confines of his house for a bit to go and do 'essential' shopping, but he has lingered much more than the official guidelines say he can and he can't put off returning to his cramped little abode, screaming kids and demanding wife any longer. He sits for a wee while, quietly fuming and hoping that his beloved won't notice the dozen or so bottles of wine he has purchased for 'essential' drinking later on.
Then he sees a small car approaching sedately, a lone male in the driving seat. 'Smug bastard' says the guy to himself. 'Look at him, driving all carefully like he's got all the bloody time in the world. I bet he lives by himself, too, in some bloody great house, pottering about whilst people like me have got a family to look after! Well, I'm going to show him...'
The guy waits until the approaching car is about 15 feet away before making eye contact. The other driver glances back, secure in the knowledge he has been seen and is not about to collide violently with the waiting vehicle. Time slows down. The distance between the two cars is narrowing, but now at a snail's pace.
10 feet, and c o u n t i n g . . .
The other guy times his move well. This isn't his first time and he has carefully calculated speed, trajectory and stopping distance of a Renault Clio versus his Beamer's ability to accelerate out of trouble. At precisely 7 feet, he acts, throwing his car into the path of the oncoming smug git, grinning with satisfaction as said smug git's face turns first grey, his eyes pop out like stalks and his body sprawls across his steering wheel in deceleration. Then with a spin of the wheel and a brief wave, the guy is gone in a cloud of dust (although this being Scotland it is more usually in a shower of rain) leaving an irate person behind, no longer smug but issuing profanities silently behind the windscreen.
This is perhaps a more extreme example of the crazy things kids get up to these days. I briefly wondered if some other twit was recording it and I too would end up on 'Twits in cars' or something like that.
HA, ha - most amusing.
A less extreme, but worrying, example is everyone's current belief that wearing a mask and plastic gloves will render them inviolate to a certain nasty virus. Please listen. Plastic gloves worn all day just spread germs around. OK, they make not be your germs but they will nevertheless be various forms of bacteria or viruses that one is neatly plastering over everything touched, and that includes the interior of your car and your house. The only way to avoid this is to use about 50 pairs a day, place used ones in a sealed bag and then incinerate them.
The same goes for masks. And just for the record, a piece of curtain tied with a couple of bits of string across your face is not going to give a realistic hope of deterring airborne particles.
Despite this, masks and gloves are all the rage, a practice that my pharmacy has taken to extremes by including a face shield. So buying a packet of aspirin is now like having a conversation with Darth Vadar.
'So, that is 2 packs of, '...shoowish...,'aspirin. Will there be,'... shoowish...,'anything else, Rebel Scum?'
The other odd thing I have noticed is people going to extreme lengths to get the required two metres distance from me. One method is to throw themselves violently into the bushes and the other is to walk in the middle of the road, unheeding of other things that are already using it, like cars. I assume that their aversion to the small risk of me coughing at them is so great that they would rather take on a speeding vehicle. Another person I saw carried a broom, presumably to ward off anyone who chose to come closer (this is called giving them the 'brush-off').
As I said, I feel that this madness is catching so I have looked at the situation as a whole, taken some solid advice online and made sure that my resulting anti-virus tin-foil hat fits perfectly.