Germ Ridden Hands Across the Sea

First posted MyT  30/12/08

As far as I can work it out, my nephew in Oxfordshire was the first in the family to get it. His wife left him in his sickbed and took it to a wedding in the Midlands on the weekend before Christmas then succumbed herself. My sister and her children and grandchildren brought it back to Scotland and, having each had a bout of it in their turn were kind enough to give it me on Boxing Day in Aberdeen (along with the socks).

It’s not serious, apparently. Just a day of uncontrolled emissions at both ends and then two days of feeling completely drained. That is not, however, the point and I feel very strongly that the government should do something, given that they are so keen to interfere in every other aspect of our life.

As I see it, they could obviously try a voluntary approach first. A few public information films, purchased at inordinate expense to the tax payer  from their chums (and donors) in the media, that warn us about the dangers of cross-infection that can arise from displays of affection between family members from different parts of the country. Ministers could go on the radio to tell us that the country can ill afford the loss of production and stretching of the resources of a hard-pressed NHS that are caused by all the people who go around having unprotected family get-togethers without any thought of the possible consequences.

If that did not work, they would presumably announce plans to introduce a regulatory structure. This would probably involve us all having to go to the doctor to obtain a certificate of non-infectiousness before we were allowed to foregather with family members from other parts of the country. The certificate would obviously have to be obtained within twenty-fours hours of the event and would probably not cost much more than say £50.00. The organiser of the event would have to check and collate all the certificates and have them ready for inspection in case the newly created Health Police Flying Squad arrived to carry out a random inspection.

Coupled with the requirement to don surgical gloves before shaking hands and a prohibition on any form of kissing other than the air variety, I am confident that our glorious government could eradicate the scourge of various infections rampaging around the country at the whim of selfish groups of related individuals who recklessly choose a life style of travelling to meet up with each other from time to time.

All these proposals seem eminently sensible to me and, as Joeslavko would undoubtedly say if he were still here, they are a small price to pay for our peace of mind.

Anyhow, having drained myself of this and other things, I’m off to bed. I have to try to get well enough for Old Year’s Night tomorrow to make sure that I can be seriously unwell again on New Year’s Day as a result of over-indulgence. I will, of course, have to watch the ‘Railway Children’ first so that I can have my usual bursting into tears when she does the ‘It’s my Daddy’ bit. Not as good as the first one, in my opinion, even it still has Jenny Agutter (‘Logan’s Run’ – Mmm).

Talking of the first film, I worked with Ian Cuthbertson when he was Director of Perth Theatre, you know. Well, strictly speaking, as a member of Perth Youth Theatre, we were ‘volunteered’ to clean up a house that they had acquired as a rehearsal venue and he came to inspect the finished product and thanked us. Only time he ever spoke to me.

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