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When the equally late great author, Douglas Adams, published his first book in his extraordinary ‘Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy’ series, the front cover had ‘Don’t Panic!’ on it.
Well, it seems to matter not how many times anybody, from those in authority to ordinary people say “Don’t panic” regarding this Coronavirus epidemic, panic is the order of the day.
There was a time when a crisis would bring out the best in most people. During WWII, for example, orderly queues would form to obtain rationed food. There would be no arguments, just good-natured banter from those in the queue.
Certainly, there was those who were intent on profiteering via ‘the black market’, but they were very much a minority.
Today, in 2020, however, it now seems that an alarming number of human beings, quite frankly, could not care less about their fellow human beings.
Panic buying of such household essentials as hand sanitizer and toilet rolls has left supermarkets – I think America call them shopping malls? – empty of such things.
Social media is awash with pictures of people, I personally consider to be sub-human scum, with shopping trolleys overloaded with items like this that everybody needs.
The next pictures social media then becomes awash with is of corner shops, amazingly well stocked with the aforementioned items, selling them for ludicrously inflated prices.
My only personal involvement, to date, with these shenanigans, was in a corner shop close to my home. I wandered in to see if they had any baked beans. I wasn’t overly bothered, but I do like the occasional snack of beans on toast, and the supermarkets were completely out.
Given the old story that eating too many baked beans makes you fart a lot, not to mention use the toilet more frequently – I have no idea whether this is true – I considered the possibility that the morons who bought all the toilet roll were planning ahead for living entirely on canned baked beans.
Anyway. Said corner shop had a pack of toilet rolls containing six rolls marked up at ten pounds. Ten pounds? For six toilet rolls???
I also happened to know, as I do a lot of the shopping for us since retiring, that this particular brand should cost around three pounds in a corner shop. Even less in a supermarket.
An elderly lady at the counter was clearly upset because she needed to buy a pack of these now rare beasties and only had five pounds in her purse.
The shopkeeper was adamant. They were ten pounds.
I think not.
I went and got a pack, gave them to the lady and said: “Off you go, love, I’ll sort it”. She said “Thank you” and left with her precious cargo.
I slapped five pounds on the counter and said: “That’s all you’re getting pal”.
He was not happy. He threatened to call the police. Actually, initially, he seemed like he was going to come out from behind his counter and ‘have a go’ at me. I waved my walking stick in his general direction and he thought better of it.
“Crack on” I replied, “profiteering is a criminal offence. I’ll wait for them to arrive then shall I?”
Suffice to say he did not call the police, and I left without any tinned baked beans. Such, as they say, is life.
Another kind of picture social media is currently awash with are pictures of elderly shoppers staring bemusedly at empty supermarket shelves. Shelves emptied by locust-like humans stocking up for staying at home while this damn virus goes away.
Locust like humans who couldn’t give a damn about anybody else but themselves and, sadly, while I sincerely hope they are very much a minority, it is becoming increasingly apparent that they are a significant minority at best.
It has to be said, even though I will, no doubt, be criticized for saying the truth, that the majority of corner shop owners currently profiteering from this crisis are British Asian. Perhaps not exclusively, but, as it happens, British Asians are the ones that have kept Great Britain ‘a nation of shopkeepers’ as we were once described by Napoleon.
I am absolutely certain that all races, creeds, and colors in Britain have members who are guilty of binge shopping, taking more than they need, but I still await pictures depicting them in the act.
In the meantime, poor old Mrs. Mahmood from two doors down, emerged from her home the other day. I was in my driveway.
“And where do you think you’re going?” I asked.
“I must go shop. I need things” she replied in her broken English.
At the moment, as far as I can tell, I am virus free. No dry cough, no aching muscles. I currently have none of the recognizable symptoms so, hopefully, I am no threat to old Mrs. Mahmoods health.
I got her in my car and off we went. I went into various shops with instructions on what she wanted. I managed to get everything except – guess – hand sanitizer and toilet rolls.
I drove to the corner shop where I had previously shared an understanding with the shopkeeper. I bought another pack of toilet rolls for Mrs. Mahmood. They were now marked up at twelve pounds. Twelve pounds for six toilet rolls!!!
I slapped four pounds on the counter and walked out. He didn’t say a word. My metal walking stick would be a very effective offensive weapon.
Due to my wife being a retired microbiologist, we’ve always had a decent stock of hand sanitizer in the house, so Mrs. Mahmood was sorted.
An old lady. Frightened and bemused. Frightened, understandably, by the coronavirus, but bemused why she can’t buy something as normal as toilet roll. Well, not unless she pays silly money to some rip off arsehole in a corner shop anyway.
Elderly people throughout Britain can’t buy ordinary items because subhuman scum is emptying supermarket shelves before the elderly even get there – not to mention the risk the elderly are taking in even going there right now.
As a critical care nurse recently said in a video on her mobile, as she sat in her car sobbing after working a 48-hour shift caring for Coronavirus sufferers and, finally managing to get to the supermarket to buy some food but couldn’t buy anything because the shelves were empty.
“STOP IT”. “JUST STOP IT!”
This isn’t a ‘Don’t Panic’ moment. This is a moment to take all those toilet rolls and hand sanitizer back to customer services, with your receipt, in the supermarket you got them from and say :
“I’m so sorry for being a complete and utter prick. Please put all these back on the shelf for the elderly and vulnerable”
But you won’t will you? Because you are a greedy, self-centered, subhuman scumbag.
I am ashamed of so many of my species.
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