Day Six

Babe returns from Sainsbury’s NHS hour. Feels guilty. She took the last loaf of brown bread and on the way out saw an enormous queue of old people waiting to come in for Old People Hour.

Babe says, “That’s not the half of it. Dark days are ahead.” 

“What do you mean?”

“They’ve sold out of sausage casserole mix.”

“What the f-”

“And Ferrero Roche.”

Babe sees the look of terror on my face.

“Not really! Just joking! They’ve got plenty of Ferrero Roche.”

I show her my angry eyes.

“Not funny!”

I unpack the shopping and realise we will all be eating a lot of crisps, raisins and Ryvita in the coming weeks.

Make a promise to send Boris a passive aggressive tweet – but still with proper grammar and punctuation – or, if pickled onion Monster Munch run out, maybe I’ll send a letter.

When everything is packed away I realise there weren’t any chocolates.

“Babe, where are the Ferrero Roche?”

“In the shop.”

“What?”

“Couldn’t you fit them in the bag?”

“Yes.”

“What?”

“Yes, I could fit them in the bag.”

“Then why aren’t they in the bag?”

“Because they’re in the shop.”

“You didn’t buy any did you.”

“No.”

“Because?”

“They’re a non-essential item.”

“But you bought twelve packets of Hula Hoops for Rhubarb?”

“Yes”

“Because?”

“They’re the only crisps she eats.”

“Right.”

Babe doesn’t like it when I elongate the word “right”. She thinks it’s nouveau riche.

“If you want to risk your life going to a supermarket just to get Ferrero Roche be my guest.”

“Risk your life! What the f-”

Babe shoots me her, “say another word about the Ferrero Roche and I’ll put bleach in your Waitrose Essentials Cream of Tomato soup” eyes.

I leave it there and go to order a box for myself off Amazon. The web page says, “This item is currently not in stock.”

Give up and put on my Crocs on, with socks, and open the front door. Scan the street for old people and jaguars. You can laugh, but if the zoos have shut, who will be looking after these beautiful but powerful predators? They may have dug a tunnel or leapt the fence and be roaming wild. Their jaws can crush a crocodile’s skull or a middle-aged man in a single bite you know.

Edge out of the door and see the Stain of the Devil sprawled out on top of a neighbour’s car licking his bum. Wonder what it is with cats and bum licking. He looks at me like he owns the place. Then I remember, he owns the place, at least in cat world.

No sign of old people or jaguars so I dart to the car. Put bags for life / guilt in the boot and dart back. An idea pops into my head: socks for Crocs! Croc socks! Made of genuine crocodile skin and only for British men who think it’s OK to wear socks with Crocs. It’s a best-seller. Make a note to Google crocodile farms later.

Spend the rest of the day working, except when I hear faint screaming coming from the garden. Take off my headphones. It’s Special, “She threw the Swingball racket at me Mum!”

Put my headphones back on and finish sending an email.

Eat tea with the family. Civilised. Kids using knives and forks and sitting properly on their chairs. Feel smug. “I have taught them good manners.”

Rhubarb let’s out an enormous fart.

Watch Jurassic World again and wonder if Chris Pratt could come and rescue me. He has such a strong but gentle way about him. Trustworthy. I look over and see Babe thinking the same thing.

Put Rhubarb to bed while Babe reads The Witches to Special.

9.31 pm. Babe and I go to bed.

Babe snuggles up to me, gently glides her hand over my chest and asks me to take off my Norwegian steel toe-capped builder boots.