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  • Roo I Macleod

The Jab

Updated: Apr 4

Writer's Blog 30032021

Hi I hope this message finds you in good health. I got the call this morning. My caller ID said Doctor Fitzalan and I was well excited. It must be the jab, I’m thinking. What else could it be? My Doctor doesn’t do house calls. A text maybe, but normally a letter to remind me of an appointment I've missed (don't like doctors-it's all bad news). If it's the jab, and it must be, what should I wear? Will I get L (my other half), to accompany me and film it? I heard a report from a Doctor in NY who was overwhelmed by the hysteria involved in getting a Covid jab. Women were dressing in evening gowns, pearls and diamante earrings, and getting their hair lacquered. Men donned their Sunday Best, polished the dress shoes and wore clean underwear. What could I wear? The tux was at the cleaners of my alternative life. You know that life where everything has turned out perfectly. My alternative life offered me the six-figure sum for the 3 book deal and critics lauded my first novel. Costa, Booker Man, all of those prizes sit proudly on the shelf in the toilet (I spend a lot of time in the toilet-enough said). In the real world, that world where the sky is grey, the working days long and the leisure days short, I didn’t own a suit. I had suit trousers, but the jacket got ripped in a fight. The fight was a silly affair. I was walking out of a pub one night with a charming, but vivacious lass and a man on the street was punching a girl. She was giving him lip, then a punch shut her up, and a bit more lip and a punch. ‘I’m not having this,’ I say. What was my motivation? Righting a wrong or impressing the vivacious lass? I blocked his next punch and him and I went down in the gutter. A crowd is forming while we wrestle and the lippy girl is geeing us on. My vivacious lass pulls me off the man and hustles me away. And my pocket is hanging loose. I liked that jacket. I had good clean shoes. Black jeans and a cheap but functional Primark winter coat that was also black. But were the dark tones the appropriate shade to wear to a covid jab? It seemed a tad morbid. No, I thought. I needed Hawaiian with garlands and a merry tune buzzing in my head. There’d be tears, of course, and we’d return home via the off-license and purchase some tinnies and stop by the fried chicken shop for a bucket of the beasties golden crisp limbs. And we’d wax lyrical about the vagaries of life and how we survived the great and gruesome pandemic of 20/21. “Hello,” I said. “And yes, I’m ready for my vaccine.” “No, Mr Macleod, we’re ringing to arrange your six-monthly prostate test.” “I’ll have it lying down,” I said. “I’ll have it in a box, with a fox. In the rain, or on a train. I like the covid test, I do.” She sighed in exasperation. “Not prostrate, silly. This is your blood test for prostate abnormalities. It’s due.” “Oh, of course. Bless the NHS. You are still maintaining the mundane health checks. So, no jab?” “No jab. You're too young And if you think dying of prostate cancer is mundane, let me send you a leaflet that explains…” Boohoo. At least I’ve got time to bring that tux out of the alternative universe. Hopefully, the servants have had it cleaned.

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