(Couple of mug competitions in here. If you already have one you can’t enter. No stockpiling!)

I once wrote a very nasty short story called ‘The Cleaners’. I don’t think I ever put it online anywhere. It was vicious. I mean, I’ve been told ‘The Sweet Man’ was pretty brutal but that was nothing compared to the Cleaners. In the current climate it might come true, maybe I’ll post it one day.

Maybe my last Boss is now wishing she still had a cleaner with a background in microbiology. I bet she won’t get another one. It wouldn’t help anyway, most of the shop managers have no sense at all. They insist staff work while sick – in food shops.

Today we went to Aldi and Tesco. A cleaner’s dream, empty shelves. No need to wait for the shop to close and the staff to clear the shelves, there were cleaners in Aldi working on totally empty meat shelves at 7 pm. The shops might have no food but damn, are they clean!

‘Best cheese shop in the district, sir’.

‘And what, pray, leads you to that conclusion?’

“Well it’s so clean.’

‘It’s certainly uncontaminated by cheese’.

(Leg Iron Books mug to the first one to tell me where that’s from).

No toilet paper. They aren’t all hoarding it just because they are anal about their anus. Many are loading it into their own shops and selling at five times the price. There are Arsepaper Street Markets now, run by, well, I don’t really need to say, do I? Trading Standards have begun prosecutions and hopefully, when this is over, the supermarkets will undercut them so hard on everything that the whole damn lot will fold.

In wartime, looters and profiteers are summarily shot. No time or resources for lengthy trials. The Cleaners might well have been somewhat prophetic.

Speaking of trials, I have to go to court in June. I’m a witness, as was CStM and her aunt, to a nasty car crash. It was all caught on the dashcam and we gave the file to the police. I guess the driver survived and is being prosecuted for driving as if he was capable of controlling a car at Warp Factor 5 but since it’s all on film I don’t know what I’m expected to say. I could just tell them the silly sod crashed in the way and forced us to detour, but that might come across as a bit callous.

But he did crash in the way. Twat. I’m delighted to be appearing for the prosecution.

Back to the point, if there is one.

Tesco and Aldi had no pasta but loads of pasta sauces. No bread and not much butter. Very little in the way of meat. Plenty of vegan food so that tiny minority is covered. Okay for sugar so brewing is good. Beers mostly cleaned out (except Corona) but I seem to be the only one stockpiling whisky so that’s okay. Well, if you end up in two weeks quarantine you can’t drive anywhere so…

No beans. But the toilet cleaner shelf was untouched. If you’re locked in on a diet of beans and plain pasta and you have no toilet cleaner, you’re going to create the Bog of Eternal Stench (Another mug on offer for that one – where’s it from and who was King?).

Another thing that was untouched was a shelf of reduced-price Nurofen. Really. We bought some, it could prove rather more useful than beans.

Tesco has limited every product line to three per customer. Including cigarettes. I wanted five packs so I won’t have to go back to the shop too often. I can’t buy three single packs but I can buy a sealed pack of five packs as one item. So if I want single packs I can only have three. If I buy the sealed five-box pack I can have fifteen. Nothing in between. I have to shift entirely (except for driving) to the IQOS because that’s £5 for 20. The budget boosted the price of proper fags again and Denmark has sealed its borders so I can’t get the £4 packs of the real thing for a while.

My mother had planned to visit in April. She’s 78 and was still determined to come anyway. It would probably be a useless trip even if she did come, we’d be stuck in the house by then so couldn’t visit my children or grandchild. We couldn’t even go out for my birthday, everything will be closed by April. That’s inevitable.

Quarantining the over 70s is a good idea. They are the ones most likely to end up in intensive care. We have about 4000 intensive care beds in the UK and 5.4 million people over 70. No way those numbers can fit together if they all get infected at once.

So what are our caring Lefties doing now? Well, they are busy slating anyone who calls this thing ‘Chinese virus’ or ‘Wuhan flu’ or ‘Kung Flu’ or ‘Flu Manchu’ as racists. That’s all they do. Everything, to them, is a chance to shout ‘Racist-Nazi-Bigot’. They have nothing else. It started in China, and the Chinese government’s attempts to cover it up made it worse. Get over it. Oh, and Jerry Cordite, who is 70, is refusing to self isolate because he’s too important. Even though several MPS have tested positive so the green benches are likely to be coated with the stuff. I doubt the virus will strike him down. The bitter taste will deter it. His followers will do the same and Darwin wins again.

Many places are reporting the salad shelves empty. That stuff lasts a few days if you’re lucky. You can’t freeze it, it’ll turn to mush. Fortunately in Scotland nobody bothers much with the salad shelves so the Fat Hamster gets his treats. I have heard that sometimes, people actually eat this shit.

Gloom Dog has been ill. Something she picked up in kennels in Wales. She has pooed out more than her body weight by now and is on enough vet drugs to keep her permanently stoned. She’s getting better though. She tried to pick a fight with a labrador today and I’ve never seen a labrador look more surprised. Gloom Dog weighs 7 kg.

The vet is in Category 3 lockdown. You go there for an appointment and call them from the car park to tell them you’ve arrived. They then come out to see if it’s safe to let you inside. I have not told them I’m a retired microbiologist with a career in infectious disease behind me because then I’d have to tell them their precautions will do nothing. They wear no masks at all and infected people can look perfectly fine for up to two weeks. The receptionist looked terrified.

Local garage, the staff are all wearing plastic gloves. No masks. Local shop, they don’t give a shit. They are sold out of bread and milk and they don’t mind. If it doesn’t sell it gets chucked out anyway. The idiots who paid for it can chuck it out when it goes bad. They’ll have more tomorrow.

The ‘wash your hands’ thing sounds ridiculous but so many haven’t been doing that. I have to say, as a microbiologist with a career iin infectious diseases behind me, I do get a bit anal about cleaning. It’s why Boss repeatedly asked me to come back when I left the janitor job. Tonight I cleaned a glass dish used for lasagne. Not one speck left. Because I like things to be clean, because I can not only describe things that grow on contamination, I can name them, because living in the country means mice and you don’t want to leave them even a snack, but mostly because ‘there is perfect and there is wrong’.

Yes, I am an insufferable arse a lot of the time. But not one of my M.Sc or Ph.D. students ever failed. And none of them died even though most of them worked with nasties. Microbiologists wash their hands before they go to the toilet.

‘Wash your hands before and after, during if it’s long’.

That’s a hard one but Mug 3 goes to the one who identifies it.

We can’t get hand sanitiser. Pfft. I have a garage full of stuff from the lab. Several litres of bleach, and medical grade alcohol wipes. Sanitisers? Hold my virus.

I’m not selling any of it. No price gouging here, we are likely to need it ourselves. Also the masks, with an added layer of cloth soaked in 30% salt solution and then dried. None of which is likely to matter much since in the 5 years we’ve been here we haven’t met the neighbours yet. We really are that unsociable.

The world might be left with just people like me, you know. Grumpy buggers who never talk to anyone.

I think I’d like that.

25 thoughts on “Cleanliness

  1. ‘Best cheese shop in the district, sir’.
    ‘And what, pray, leads you to that conclusion?’
    “Well it’s so clean.’
    ‘It’s certainly uncontaminated by cheese’.

    From the great Monty Python Cheese Shop sketch. Where’s my mug?

    Its the same all over, empty shelves in the supermarkets. I hope I never have to self isolate because I’ll starve, not to mention facing the prospect of having to wipe my butt on a sock. Mind you, having no shit roll doesn’t bother me that much, I grew up in my grandmother’s house that had gas lighting and no electricity. The bog was outside and we used cloths, which were chucked in a bucket full of bleach or disinfectant then washed in a big galvanized dolly tub. I can do Victorian.
    It just shocks and amazes me just how low people can go. My daughter is a senior staff nurse (think that’s the job title) and she tells me that visitors have been stealing bottles of sanitizer from the beds in the wards.
    My take on all of this is that yes, there is a virus but its also another scam, and I find that the guy who has the PATENT on the virus, Bill Gates (or at least the Gates Foundation), is also pushing for digital ID for everyone on the planet, administered in a vaccination. Do a search for ID2020 and check it out.

    For mug #2, the Bog of Eternal Stench was from the movie Labrynth. The king was Jareth, played by David Bowie.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. “So if I want single packs I can only have three. If I buy the sealed five-box pack I can have fifteen. Nothing in between”

    Are you sure? I’d consider the following possible, units of 1 or 5, max three units


    Liked by 3 people

    • Mark, I cannot comment on your blog since I have no Google account. Just wanted to say, regarding your post ‘Ventilator Blues’ of yesterday, that I work for JCB and we, Dyson and Rolls Royce have been approached by the government with a view toward beginning manufacture of ventilators. The initial order is for 5,000 units. Currently JCB is consulting engineering teams to see if we can make this happen.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. God damn it Ripper, I got both those answers, but got up an hour after you! Ah well, the early bird gets the mug.

    The over 70’s self-isolating, sounds like a good idea, until you remember that a lot of them have care needs, or call ambulances for falls. Those ambulances that have just been to a “healthy” 40 year old with “chest pain” from a cough. Those ambulances whose crew have been told not to wear FFP3 masks any more. And only one of the crew can wear a paper mask, because stocks are running out. Those ambulances that don’t have time to clean between calls because the calls are increasing. Those ambulances whose crew are told self isolation doesn’t apply to them, and have to come back to work after only 5 days of showing symptoms as there isn’t enough crew to go round.

    Self-isolating, cleaning and hoarding sounds great until you realise that you are inviting the virus into your home with open arms when you call an ambulance for that sniffle!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well Si, seeing as how I won 2 mugs and AFAIK you have none, I award one of mine to you. Which, incidentally, is how it should be with the supermarkets. What happened to the British wartime spirit?

      Liked by 2 people

    • We currently have a mouse problem. Same as every year, it’s all part of living in the countryside. Little Ninja bastards who avoid any baited trap. All food is in metal or plastic boxes, all they have access to is the poison bait (in 11 bait stations) and the seven traps.

      Stockpilers will have large stocks of flour, rice and pasta. And I bet they aren’t boxed. I think the sale of bait stations and traps is going to soar in a month or two 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well I eat salad. Every day. Yes I put in a kitchen towel with it when I open it to stop it turning to mush. Its this keto thing Im on . As for the bread aisles, Im gluten intolerant, It suits me to have no bread in the bloody supermarket but I need meat. As I remarked to someone who showed me the baked bean aisle in Asda in folkestone, they’re going cause global warming with the amount of methane farted out. ( I say that in jest of course) The cows will push out more)) It was empty. Theyve gone stark raving bonkers. I intend to carry on as normal and just get my normal items Fuck the germ warfare that is the obvious thing. This is germ war. It is world war three , its just a different kind of war. Borders closed flights downed, movement restricted. Its the very epitome of it. And there were plenty of celeriac roots in Morrisons. to choose from. No one buys that. I do though. Its my go to as a potato chip substitute. I dont mind if I have to starve a bit. Hell I could do with losing the weight. There is a functioning bidet in this house too. But its in the ensuite that functions as a store room. ( dads house)

    Couldnt get a free range chicken on Tuesday. Will have to go early when I want one.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The Bog of Eternal Stench is from Labyrinth, David Bowie was the Goblin King. I already have a mug, suitable for whiskey at home, so don’t send another one. Or send one and I will use it for coffee at work, when and if I return. Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear Mr Legiron

    My solution to the economic and health crisis: repeal the smoking ban.

    Pubs, clubs, restaurants and oldies will be saved by beer and cigarettes. Make smoking in hospitals compulsory for all smokers, prescribe extra cigarettes to make up for the legions of non-smokers, and free beer for all. Make planes, passenger ships, hotels and enclosed public areas smoky again.

    Action on Smoking (and beer) and Health should be in the vanguard on this.


    Liked by 1 person

    • They’ve now closed all the pubs. Everyone is banned.

      Hospitals used to use smoke as a disinfectant. Bacteria and spores in the air stick to the smoke particles and settle out with them, then the cleaners wipe them away. It should work with viruses in droplets too.

      It’s the method I’m using too – along with the cleaning materials I brought home when I closed the lab 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dear Mr Legiron

        Seems to me that all pubs are now private premises, so the owners/occupiers can invite whomsoever they like to join in their continuous parties.

        Handy that they have beer on tap, and all donations are welcome.

        I’d happily donate £10 for a couple of pints, and since it is a donation, it is not liable to income tax. I might even light up a cigarette or, if my brother can get them cheap elsewhere, a mini Havana cigar, aka cigarillo, to help cleanse the atmosphere of all miasmas.


        Liked by 1 person

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