Saturday, 9 October 2010

The Plague of London

Herded from my office by colleagues; ushered to the door, chased by my boss frantically disinfecting everything I had touched and wiping the phone clean I hadn't even had chance to hold, I began to wonder if my cold was less 'man flu at best' but rather that I had become patient zero in a virulent pandemic straight from the imagination of Steven King. The problem is illness can be psychosomatic and if you bombard someone with the news they are going to start hankering after the taste of sweet flesh shortly after coming back to life, then before you know it "Dawn of the Dead" needs the tag line - based on true events.

As I shambled out like a walking corpse onto the streets of London I expected to see streets littered with bodies, rife with death dealers ringing bells and chanting "bring out your dead" repeatedly. Instead, students lined up waiting for their NUS cards and apes in suits darted for meetings to continue the corporate wheels turning. Life was continuing, and what's more is more it continued to continue.

Three days later and my enforced quarantine was over, my sniffles had subsided and I was back in the capitalist hub. I must admit a few of my colleagues had now developed a few sniffs of their own. There was however, nothing to imply that people would begin to view Romero as a documentary film maker. It prompted a question... why are people so terrified of a sneeze?

It was because of a few choice coughs and splutters that I first began this blog, this quest to find a positive good news story everyday in the city of London. By 5pm my search had, so far, drawn a blank. The closest I had come was a man smacking me around the face with his bag and turning to apologise. I actually thanked him for his regret.. in what level of society do we actually feel the need to be grateful for a little social etiquette. I got thinking and began to justify that in a city with about as much good will as a bunny boiling ex partner who has just discovered an all you can stab voodoo doll, that politeness did constitute a good will story.

The only other distraction to the monotony of the underground journey this morning was a startled moth, lost among the bright lights of the tube carriage. It caused about as much pandemonium as a knife wielding maniac screaming blue murder - so as you can imagine the odd duck and weave or shake of the head an tut from those desensitized primates the poor moth was bundling past.

Then at five minutes past five I struck gold. I happened upon a good deed... A man in a suit helped a young couple carry their pram down the stairs weaving through the rush hour commuters. As he walked away from the couple a huge beaming smile formed on his face. Yes my friend - that's the look of feeling good after you remember your humanity. The strange thing was that witnessing this single act of kindness produced a smile on my own face as well. I wished one of my best friends happy birthday (many happy returns of the day Mr. Fletcher you old git) and text another to have a nice day... it was like Danny Wallaces' Karma Army was re-born!

Little did I know I sat on the tube on the way home blissfully unaware that my good mood rug was about to be firmly pulled from under me. Opposite me sat a lady with a mask across her face, a mask that might has well of come with a Resident Evil style warning of "you're all going to die down here" in that same childlike voice. The thing is when ever I see someone who decides to limit their intake of germs with nothing more than a piece of cloth I feel inclined to aim all my coughs and sneezes directly at them. 

This sight prompted me to ask two questions, (in my mind), to this prat - 

1) In what way do you imagine that a piece of cloth, which resembles a poor piece of lingerie, is going to prevent you from the same virulent plague that cause me to be evicted from my office as I look ill in your general direction?


2) How many copies of the Metro did you read before you decided to sport that fucking piece of shit that serves no purpose other than to terrify the other people around you?

1 comment:

  1. Hope your sniffles have gone. And on the other side of the world: see what is happening.