A Confederacy of Dunces

“When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.”  – Jonathan Swift

The second shoe fell today – I am laid off until further notice. It wasn’t unexpected, and in some ways it’s a bit of a relief as I now know what is going to happen regarding work. I didn’t want to let anybody down, but I didn’t want to bring any germs home to Julia either.

This isn’t as selfless as it seems. Without Julia I couldn’t cope in a world of technology, political correctness and compassion. It isn’t in my nature and I need someone to guide me through it. I would be lost without her and would just have to fade away, which I don’t want to do that just yet. They call it the widowhood effect.

Having done badly in a round of Pointless which demanded knowledge of US State capitals I will be starting a course of increasing my general knowledge from tomorrow.

I’m also planning on measuring and cataloguing my collection of Peace Medallions.

After that I may rearrange my sock drawer. The question is whether to sort them by colour, length or type.

After that I may run down the street screaming and waving an axe.

I’ve been amusing myself with watching news reports of the coronavirus, or even news reports not about the coronavirus. Listen to the advice then watch what happens.

There were pictures on TV of Italian policemen stopping people for breaking curfew. Some police were wearing masks pulled away from their mouths and noses and others were wearing them over moustaches.

Our government advice is that healthy people should not wear masks, and that masks without eye protection are not useful. Advice for many years has been that masks don’t seal properly if you have facial hair. I have been told that many times by Health & Safety men, but I was working with chemicals, not pathogens. And finally, they only work when you wear them – seems obvious but several of the Italian Police hadn’t thought of that.

Then there were pictures of Alex Salmond. I’ll leave it to you if you read the article but look at how close they all are. That’s not two yards apart. To be honest, even if there was no coronavirus I’d be wary of standing too close to Alex Salmond after some of the things that were said at the trial.

How about the daily press conferences? They seem to have changed now but until yesterday the journalists all seemed rather tightly packed. Have a look at this picture– how far apart are they?

Do as I say and not as I do seems to be the watchword.

Tonight a news crew stopped a man in London and asked what he was doing. He was filming for his YouTube channel.

“Should you really be doing that?” they asked.

Am I the only one detecting the irony of the question? I’ve been saying for days that we’d be better off without all these news reporters roaming the streets to complain about people roaming the streets.

So there you are – the inside of my head during a day in the life of a crisis.

I will look for a picture, but I’m not sure I have any that are appropriate. Instead, here are some ducks on the duckpond at the Mencap garden. Julia took them on Friday when we popped by to water and check seedlings.


Ducks on a Pond

If you want a good book to read whilst self-isolating try this.

17 thoughts on “A Confederacy of Dunces

  1. Pingback: What Next? | quercuscommunity

  2. tootlepedal

    I can’t remember the occasion but I once heard an Australian being called on the telephone by a well know British radio interviewer. When asked who he was, the caller said that he was a journalist upon which the reply came, “Your mother should be ashamed of you.” You are better than a journalist.

    1. quercuscommunity

      I’m just reading Frank Skinner’s autobiography and he says he bought a two-bedroomed flat in Birmingham from the football column he had in one of the tabloids. I wouldn’t mind what my mother thought if I could do that from my writing!

  3. Laurie Graves

    Such a little pond for those two ducks! But they have it all to themselves. Surely that counts for something. As for the U.S. states capitals…I’m not sure I could name all of them. 😉 Here’s hoping that you and Julia, your sons and the rest of your family, stay safe and well. I have a daughter in New York City, and I worry about her all the time. Wish she were here with us, tucked safely in our home in the woods.

  4. Sharon

    I rather enjoyed seeing our state premier reprimand the press corps for failing to socially distance, she refused to begin the briefing until they all spread out a bit. Stay safe.

  5. Lavinia Ross

    The ducks are a nice bit of normalcy amid the current chaos. We are still able to get out for supplies, and do so as quickly as possible.

    My strawberry plants are due to arrive at the end of the week. I am looking forward to finishing up garden projects here on the farm.

    Here is a good article on the virus:

    Best to you and Julia, and your family. Stay well!


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