Quarantine Diary (Unsuccessful Competition Entry)

A friend sent me a competition he thought I’d be interested in. A radio show wanted people to share what five day logs from their quarantine diary would look like. I don’t listen to the radio; my only form of entertainment is Russia Today but I entered anyway.

I didn’t win. Neither did I come close. You can compare it to the finalists if you want, but this is the final resting place of my attempt.

Day 1: Practiced my cough a few times before calling the Boss. “Hello hello…I can’t make it in today. I’m not well…” He reckons the entire country is on lockdown, and I missed all my deadlines. Called my girlfriend to ask what lockdown he’s talking about and she reminded me about the restraining order. Guess no shower today; country is on lockdown.

Day 2: Woke up screaming. As is routine. A growl from my stomach? Hunger? No, that’s the wardrobe; something lives in there. Found half a vienna in the back of the fridge. That Listeriosis thing is over, right?

Day 3: Fast and the Furious marathon on TV. I know Hollywood isn’t a meritocracy because Vin Diesel is famous. I heard garlic is good for you so that was my lunch. Garlic served rare with a side of Caucasian bread. Someone once told me garlic is an aphrodisiac. The French eat a ton of it and isn’t the symbol of their entire country a giant phallic thing? Makes sense. There is an itch in my lockdown trousers.

Day 4: Where is the lady that makes clean clothes? I think she’s the one. She arrives without disturbing me and leaves by 3. You don’t know what you got until its gone. I hope her husband treats her right. The half vienna took revenge for its’ neglect. Fortunately, I’m the John Wick of fighting diarrhoea.

Day 5: Got up early. Fed two ants some artificial sweetener and now they’re arguing about climate change. I really want to talk to the neighbours I’ve ignored for seven years. I shout “Mummy! Mummy!” at a sink full of dishes. It’s my birthday.

A Dog Named Poppadom

There once was a dog. His name was Poppadom. On his third birthday, he was run over by a car.

That’s not a problem though; all dogs go to heaven.

This is fact.

In dog heaven, dogs run over people with cars.

But Poppadom never ran anyone over.

He has a finely-tuned moral compass.

Alternative History – The Real Enemy

Many things frighten me about the future – climate change, the rise of socialism, CCTV footage of me emerging from four years ago, and dinosaurs coming back for revenge.

A large majority of people believe the dinosaurs were catastrophically wiped out millions of years ago. Frankly, this is not true.
Every bit of documented history has been fabricated, engineered to cover up the many untold wars between Man and Dinosaur.

A vastly superior species in battle prowess and military strategy, dinosaurs didn’t go extinct.
Dinosaurs were defeated and went into hiding where they lie in wait, plotting their vengeance.
Democracy was invented to unite mankind against a common foe. The foe is giant lizards; lizards who could never queue up to vote.

Think about the Moon. Where did it come from? Why does gazing at it stir up many emotions?
The answer is startling. The Moon is man-made. Its purpose, like the recollection of humanity’s greatest threat, has been purposely suppressed, buried beneath the curated sands of time.
The Moon was launched to hang in the night’s sky as a tribute, in memory of those who perished in the last fight against the vile general, Tyrannosaurus Rex.
A memorial humans forgot about.

People called Cryptozoologists track the activities of the remaining lizards.
Deliberately labeled as pseudo-scientists, this allows them to operate without public interference or accountability.
Cryptozoology presents compelling signs of re-emergence, but this information is swiftly made unavailable by organizations insidiously keeping this knowledge, and history, a secret.

Eventually, something of this magnitude becomes impossible to keep hidden. That is why, through movie franchises like Godzilla, Kong, Pacific Rim, Jurassic World, and Cloverfield, the general public is gradually being conditioned in anticipation of a new battle with an ancient enemy.

Global warming is not an accident. It’s an act of war; manipulation of the Earth’s atmosphere by lizards from the shadows.
What loves a warm climate? A cold-blooded reptile.

Letters From The Front: Roach Wars AD 2024

Aren't you supposed to be killing things?
Aren’t you supposed to be killing things?

Dearest Suzanne (?),

I’m afraid this may be my last letter to you. You may have noticed how sparse correspondence has become. We have begun using pen ink for hydration, and to draw moustaches on the people on the cover of our last issue of People magazine. Soon, it will end (this or the war, I cannot be sure). Even now we are fully engaged with the enemy on the front line. Oh, I’d hate to taint your sweet ears with talk of the violence. I can only say that I have one clean sock left. That alone speaks volumes, My Dove.

War changes a man. I have witnessed the horror firsthand. Before my eyes, men have soiled themselves in fear and succumbed to depravity and madness, and that was only during breakfast. No matter how tough a soldier’s exterior, he quivers and squeals like a little girl at the sight of a Roach. Everyday is a new betrayal.

Roachkind force us to become monsters to draw some feint hope of victory. It’s them or us. And if you weren’t part of the world we die to defend, I would gladly forsake my post at the vanguard. In fact, I tried. They shouted at me.

Their cowardly attempts at assassination have proven fruitless. Each night their soldiers attempt to breach our camp and slay the commanding officers in their sleep. I show them no mercy, My Love. Curse my aptitude at insecticide! I am a murderer! I wield death! My hands are stained with the blood of hundreds of their kind. To be honest, they don’t really have blood – just some icky white thing similar to that brand of toothpaste you’re so fond of (I’m sorry if I’ve spoiled toothpaste for you, My Dear). My soul is on fire with rage and aggression and hatred. Some of the men say that’s a fever but I took some aloe vera.

I can decapitate an entire squadron of roaches with a war slipper and yet, I cannot even sleep alone because of the nightmares. It’s become so bad that our chief arms sponsor – Adidas – have begun to ration the truffle butter. Must we eat our toast with margarine like savages?!

I long to feel the warmth of your hands in mine again. To hear your sweet voice remind me I’m late in the mornings. To awkwardly gaze at your lovely face when I mistakenly press Video Call on Hangouts for Android. How is my boy, our son? He must be getting taller each day. Thank the heavens he has your genes too. Never tell him what I do, My Angel. Lie to our child. Oh the lies! Make him believe his father was an honest, hard-working man. Tell him I drive a Corrolla and install water-features for a living. Never ever tell him the truth; that I’m actually a rocket scientist turned war hero. The shame.

Truth be told, I am afraid to come home after this experience. War has left me a hollow, broken man. Would you even love me like you did before? This has nothing to do with the ridiculous rumor that I lost our wedding ring gambling for a pair of Yeezys.

Hush, save your tears, My Sweet! We can only hope for the best. For victory and peace, at last. I promise to kill them all. The brown ones, the flying ones, the stupid ones that run in your direction even. Stay strong, My Oasis.

Yours in Love and Pesticide

PS: I’ve attached a photo of myself holding a shovel to keep you warm at night.

At The End Of The Rainbow

I struggled to sleep last night.  Kept up by the usual thing, when you worry you will forget how to breathe. The dreams don’t help either. Dreams bring repressed imaginings to the surface. It‘s a rigid system of symbolism. If you dream about spanners, you are sexually attracted to spanners. If you dream about sex, you may be sexually attracted to spanners. So I’m not sure if the following actually took place.

I woke up. It was morning. The first thing I do in the morning is regret. I had forgotten to cover myself last night and so I got frostbite around my knees.

Next, I checked the bedroom to see if there was anything there that shouldn’t be. People called me delusional when I spoke about the possibility of there being generous robbers: burglars that don’t steal but actually break in to leave stuff, just to mess with you. Many times I found things in the room that wouldn’t normally be there, like mussel shells and a garden shovel handle.

Now it was too early to be surprised or anything (my body doesn’t react physically to stuff until about ten) but I saw him. He sat in a stained, faded green suit, slumped in the corner. The little man, about half as tall as me, looked in my direction. He had whiskey eyes and a scraggly unshaven face. A few missing teeth from what I could tell. Like the product of womb abuse and exposure to heroine as a fetus  Not at all like the other hobos who usually broke in to sleep on the bedroom floor.

Me: Am I dead? Who are you?

He sneered as he pulled out a cigarette and stuck it between his dry, chapped lips.

Him: Got a light?

I handed him one of the six lighters on my bedside table. I’m a lighter thief by the way but that’s another story. He took a long drag. I repeated, “Who are you? What are you doing here?”

Him: “I’m the god damned Tooth Fairy. What do you think?!”

He grumbled a few swear words and scratched himself in a way that wasn’t publicly acceptable. There was enough disdain emanating from his wanton countenance to fill three large dog baths.

Him: “I’m a Leprechaun. Haven’t you seen one before? You would’ve, if you weren’t such a lazy !@#$%^&*.”

Me:  “I don’t think you get Leprechauns in Umzinto. A Leprechaun? You don’t sound Irish? And you may want to move, a spider lives in that corner. He’s a hard one to kill. He’s the Rambo of spiders.”

Him: “Ugh…Do you have any Bourbon?”

Me: “No”

Him: “Scotch?”

Me: “Nope.”

Him: “Brake fluid?”

Me: “Nah. “

Him: “Ugh…how do you live?! Listen, Kid, not all Leprechauns are from Ireland right? I just need a place to hide out for a while. Now shut yeh trap and put on some clothes. I’m seeing parts of you only your wife should see.”

Me: “Hide from what?”

He reluctantly proceeded to tell me his current situation in vivid, vulgar detail. Joe, as he was called, had racked up a ton of gambling debts. There was no pot of gold either. I assumed the Euro zone recession was to blame for that. And the whole reason Leprechauns are believed to be Irish anyways is that they are the only people with the unique combination of being drunk enough to claim to have seen them, and being tolerable enough of other people who have actually seen them. I reasoned this in my head. If Jimmy says he saw a Leprechaun, many other people would say he’s an idiot. They would throw him into prison with a cabbage and an old blanket for company. Whereas Irish people would say, “Ah that’s just Jimmy. So what if he walks around with a paper bag over his head? What’ya  gonna do?”

Joe’s most recent misdemeanor was sexual harassment of a fellow Leprechaun (you get girl Leprechauns apparently), which was not unexpected.

Him: “Hey Kid, I can’t be held responsible for myself when I’m drinking.”

He had won the case in court by bribing the judge with money he borrowed from a cut-throat mob family – so vicious in fact that their idea of entertainment is watching toddlers fight to the death over potato chips.

Him:  “The Feds think I’m in on it Kid – with the O’Leary’s and everything and on top of that I got half-a-dozen Casino sharks up my !@#$%^&*. I bet you think you’ve got problems with that over sized Adam’s apple over there. I thought which better place to hide out than this dump? – no offense. But all the major scumbags hide out in Umzinto.”

Me: “Fair enough.”

He lit another cigarette.

Him:  “You don’t know what it’s like having punks after you that either want you dead, imprisoned or both if they could get it. Life’s cruel Kid. The best you could hope for is some good chocolate ginger biscuits if you play your cards right. A day’s just long enough to get regret and then you have to go the bed.”

Me: “But you’re a Leprechaun, don’t you know some magic or some good stew recipes you could use to maybe make things better?”

Him: “Oh yeah – about that. I’m not.”

Me: “Not what?”

Him: “A Leprechaun. You actually believed that !@#$%^&*? There ain’t no such thing as Leprechauns. 

Me: “Wait. What?”

Him: “Yeah – this is all a dream. Look at my face. Recognize it?”

I took a good look at his face.

Me: “Neighbor’s white dwarf gardener?!”

He stood up, nodded and flipped me off.

Him: “Now wake up before you choke on yeh own spit.”

I jerked awake in my bed.  The only thing looking back at me from the corner where the Leprechaun should have been was the spider no one could kill.