THE WAY THINGS ARE

Colette NiReamonn Ioannidou

I don’t pry into the private affairs of friends or ask about political affiliations. During the coup in 1974, it was a revelation to me to see where people I thought I knew stood. A well-read, well-educated friend thoroughly researched Covid-19 and all its parameters and decided she wouldn’t take the jab. Then the clatter of comments around how those who refuse the vax may be treated saw her considering if she should.

Another old friend, whose mind is callously playing past and present ping pong with her dementia, called me to ask the same question over and over. ‘Did they jab you?’ I affirmed they had – twice. She wasn’t having the vaccine because her son forbade it. ‘Talk to him, tell him I have to have it.’ I wasn’t au fait with interfering, but I felt it was reasonable on her behalf to see what he had to say.

‘No way will I let them put microchips in her arm; they’ll go to her brain, and that has enough trouble to deal with now.’ I told him as politely as I could it’s just a vaccine. He retorted that in Greece, people who had had the vaccine and went up in planes died of heart attacks brought on by it. He wasn’t sure how many, a lot at a guess, but the jab was definitely at fault. His gesticulation gave the impression of a whole load of Icarusses descending.

I mentioned the blood clots in some vulnerable folk but said, ‘I’m standing here in front of you; do I look OK?’ After a pause while he gave the battered bod the once over, he reluctantly conceded I did but – ‘You don’t know what’s floating around inside you ready to kill you when they want to.’ When pressed about the ‘they’ he had no positive info. His mater in one of her more lucid moments had wondered if the stand-out-from-the-crowd colour she used on her hair for years was causing her memory gaps, worried the dye might be eating in through her scalp and skull, nibbling on her grey matter.

I had a distanced cup of coffee with Maari who sighed Son might have a point concerning control when one can plainly see there is apparently one rule for the masses and one for those who govern, and went to London for her theories. ‘I mean look at Cummings, drove miles across the country when they were telling everyone else to stay put. He did the Confession bit, even though it sounded like why do I have to do this crap, and Boris forgave him his sins – carry on with your goings, Cummings. Then Hancock was caught canoodling in-house unaware that he was on film, while telling the common folk to stay away from touching let alone glued-together cuddling. Do they know something we don’t know about what’s safe? He said mea culpa, but don’t they all when they’re caught? And Father Boris gave him his blessing and said carry on as was, Hopeless, old chap. But he had to resign eventually. Democracy is still potent, at least.’

I hadn’t seen Antonis in a while and his theory, if given me by Maari in one of her psychedelic fudge phases, I would have laughed, but Antonis? Aliens! It had to be the work of aliens. I asked for classification given that foreigners here are referred to as aliens. Foreign governments, spies, monster conglomerates, I ventured? No, he meant the ones from out there, and cited the sightings of ‘Unidentified Arial Phenomena’, as they call them now in America. They are disguised as humans and those of us that resist will be killed off in other sneaky ways. I asked if that wasn’t a rather slow method of doing us in? If they were of higher intelligence, why not a super-duper weapon of mass destruction? He said they didn’t want to destroy the planet, just us.

The chat I had with an old pal I met on the road came as welcome relief; he didn’t give a toot on a flute for Covid-19 and all the theories spinning off the vaccine. He had had it done and whatever. He was more interested in having heard from someone that the unique and loveable Jackie Chan was here on holiday – in Paphos! His theory was that Mr Chan had seen the Nicholas Cage martial arts movie filmed here, had fallen in love with our little isle and was giving us the once over perhaps to make a film. ‘Wouldn’t that be wonderful?’ Oh, yes! How we could all do with a shot of something wonderful.