As I am sure many of you are aware there is a certain level of sweariness that is acceptable in an office. Due to this, many years ago, a colleague and I came up with a few choice phrases that we could deploy in the office that would be deemed acceptable. So, for example, instead of dropping the c-bomb and being frogmarched into the Senior Partner’s office for a stern word about conduct, we used the word “catflap”. True, the Senior Partner may have wanted a chat about mental stability. Maybe he just thought we were crazy cat ladies and best left well alone. Whatever his reasons, I have been collecting euphemisms ever since.
Before this all kicked off (you’ll remember when you could go out for something as mundane as shopping without fear of transmitting a disease that could be deadly to a vulnerable person) Diminutive Friend was in her car and exiting a shopping park with her teenage daughter. Someone cut her up in terrifying style, causing an outburst of foul language not seen since King Alfred realised he’d left the oven on. Her daughter, like every other child on Earth, has the ears of the cloth when her mother is asking her to do something useful. However, like every other child on Earth, when she is saying something that she would rather she did not hear, said child has the ears of a bat. Immediately she pounced: “What did you say Mummy?” Slightly flustered and thinking how she was going to get out of this one Diminutive Friend quietly cringed “…er…..chicken sucker…???” as a hopeful note crept into her voice that she had got away with it. Dear Reader, she did not get away with it. She is now reminded of it at every possible opportunity. But I have collected another euphemism.
My final offering has arisen from the word “doppleganger”. This word has caused some confusion in my family of late. The person concerned, who had absolutely no reason to know any different from learning a new word, thought that the word for a doppleganger was “double dicker”. A gift for someone who can’t stop swearing and needs to find ways not to.
Over the past few years I have come to the conclusion that the world is populated by two types of people: those of the human race who are catflaps, chicken-suckers and double-dickers and those who are not.
Let us consider some of the evidence. On the side of the chicken-suckers, a few selected highlights and in no particular order:
- Fishermen being abandoned to their fate when a big show has been made by those who were very keen to put the country in the position it is now in, of the importance of our fishing industry.
- People who go to the trouble of bagging their dog’s poo up and then throw it in the hedge.
- £22 billion taxpayer pounds spent on a Test and Trace System that has never worked. For comparison purposes, the Mars Rover cost US$2.5 billion.
- I won’t start on the other contracts to mates or I might start ranting. Follow The Good Law Project and you can rant too.
- People who wear their mask under their nose or refuse to wear one at all blathering on about their human rights. They really need to go and study human rights.
- MPs who vote against a pay rise for NHS staff. See point 3 above.
- People who have mixed during a pandemic when they have been specifically told not to. I have heard of people still having their hair done weekly, friends and family visiting their houses in number, sending their children to school when they are awaiting a Covid test result because it’s hard looking after a child when you feel poorly – no shit – (they tested positive)…..
- Those who have had their first jab now announcing that they can visit you, whilst neatly ignoring the fact as of time of writing, that seventy three point seven per cent of us have not. Oh, and it remains illegal to do so. Well, as long as you’re mostly all right. Azincourt salute to the rest of us is it? See point 7 above.
- People who are not disabled, parking in spaces for disabled people.
- People who park in parent and child spaces when they have no child with them.
- Loo-roll brawlers.
That’s just a few. I’m sure you have many of your own.
And for balance, on the side of the non double-dickers:
- Those not approving of anyone being abandoned to their fate by their elected representatives regardless of their views differing from their own.
- People who donate to their local food banks.
- In spite of it never having worked, people who used the Track and Trace system to try to do the right thing.
- People who would rather that contracts being paid for with taxpayers’ money were awarded through a transparent system to companies with a proven record and that there are mechanisms in place to ensure compliance with that transparent system. So we know what our money is being spent on.
- People who do not need to study human rights to understand that wearing a mask may (even though they will never know it or be able to see it) help save the life of one person, and that’s good enough for them.
- MPs who think NHS staff should have a pay rise.
- People who have stayed at home, often at great personal cost in terms of their mental and/or physical health because they know in their heart of hearts that it is the right thing to do.
- Scientists who developed the vaccine. Badasses.
- The NHS who are administering the vaccine.
- People who have been collecting prescriptions, shopping etc for people in their locality throughout the pandemic.
- Teachers who have gone into work teaching children both in classes at school and online when on many, many occasions, it has appeared as if the government have been actively working against them. And if not working against them, then giving all the signs of being bloody ungrateful.
- People who have decided that they will not be fighting for toilet roll. They will not be sweeping tins off supermarket shelves and into their trolley. They will not take so much fresh food that it is not humanly possible to eat it all before it rots. They will not. Because that’s not what decent people do to each other.
Again, I am sure that you have many of your own examples that could be added to this list.
Is your politics basically that if there is one parking space left at the supermarket, you would like to have it but you draw the line at the disabled spaces? Would you quite like to know where all of our money, that we have earned and handed to the government to spend, has gone? Have you spent the last nearly twelve months trying to do your best to follow the rules in spite of it making you want to weep because you just want to hug the people you love? On the few occasions you have been out have you resisted all urges to go up to someone and shout “over your nose, you chicken sucker, that big lump in the middle of your face? That’s your nose!” Yes? That’s you? Excellent. I think we can work together. And we’ re going to need to because we’re not out of the woods yet, and in spite of them being blissfully unaware, neither are the catflaps. As we move towards Spring, and hopefully the light at the end of the tunnel, thank you for all you have endured. For me. For my family. And the double dickers who would not afford you the same, let alone thank you for it. We are nearly there. We must be nearly there. And whilst I’m sure it is going to be bumpy for a while yet, there are many lives lost that shouldn’t have been and injustices that will need to be fought that shouldn’t be. But we can only do that if we have a care for eachother. As I said to a friend who has been told to shield again and was most displeased about it – I’ll stick the homestretch out for you, if you stick the homestretch out for me.