BLOG - Committed an unpardonable sin this week. An adulterous affair? At my age, don’t be daft. And I’m certainly not a frisky David or Solomon. Envying my neighbour’s new Maserati? Can’t stand the new design. Fingers in the till? I’m no politician. OK, maybe a little in my Heidi’s purse for biltong money.
No, it’s a new offence nowhere found in sacred writings. It was brought about by lockdown.
While queuing in a packed supermarket. Unforgiveable. Out of the blue I developed an irritation in the throat. Probably caused by a particle of dust stuck in the mask when my DIY-mad brother-in-law used a grinder on marble in the kitchen.
And as inevitably happens, trying to stifle a cough just exacerbates the problem. In this case, a paroxysm. What were at first a gaggle of happy shoppers freed from being cooped up behind four walls with irritating spouses and kids turned into a tidal wave of angry protestors who made Juju’s street fighters resemble a bunch of pre-puberty weenies.
All eyes were on me, including those of the cashier. Popped eye-balls spoke volumes. The masks emphasised their intensity. Disgust written all over.
And the coughing continued. Until I spotted him. Beer Belly, that is, two trolleys away and brandishing a tin of pilchards aimed at me. The shock of anticipating a stoning caused the coughing to cease. When next I dared looked round, it’s as if nothing untoward had happened. Was I given instant forgiveness? Not quite. The cashier, sounding like a priest in a confessional, intoned: “Meneer, you must take that cough to a doctor. It spreads corona. I’ll pray for you”. I waited for “. . . and sin no more,” but thankfully it didn’t come.
In the car park I came across Beer Belly packing the car’s boot. I removed my mask hoping he wouldn’t recognise the germ spreading git. The pilchards too near at hand. I survived.
The fallout has spawned a nation of purists and obsessive compulsives on the constant lookout for protocol breakers. Even an inebriated car guard shouted at Heidi for not covering her nose with the mask. “I don’t want your germs,” he muttered while pocketing her tip.
I haven’t been to a doctor, so when shopping at the supermarket of my shame, I give the confessional a wide berth.
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