Julie Andrews and Bamboo Underwear and Non Essentials

Is this as good as it gets in the afterlife??? On-line shopping for underwear. We’re in the middle of a Covid lockdown, to stop us all rushing round town on an irresponsible unmasked shopping spree, only essential shops are allowed to open, like shops that only sell essentials, like getting a box of HB pencils for your birthday, all wrapped up in brown paper. That did it for Julie Andrews though, she loved “brown paper packages tied up with string”, but this isn’t my favourite thing. This is lockdown, you can’t buy a favourite thing, because anywhere that sells anything vaguely frivolous is shut, closed for the duration, and certainly beyond and into forever for some businesses.

Essential shops sell essential items. I can buy food. I can buy cleaning products, I can buy a new car, I can buy a record, BUT, I can’t buy underwear (WTF!?!?) I can’t buy socks.

Men don’t buy underwear. Their wives buy them underpants and they wear them beyond all reasonable wear and tear until the undies are no more than a series of holes held together by skidmarks – you wouldn’t even use them to clean your shoes (do people still clean shoes?)

Meanwhile back at the essential shop where can, buy food and … The list of what I can and cannot buy in Lockdown, (as established by the French Government) is kind of mind bogglingly bonkers with elasticized conditions and definitions and basically people are pretty much selling WTF they want on the basis that it is essential to someone.

So, I can’t wander downtown, saunter round a mens’ clothing boutique and buy some chic designer duds. NO, says the government. Clothes shopping is not essential, so you can’t buy jeans or shirts or socks or underpants or shoes BUT HANG ON. Down my local giant-sized hypermarket I can buy underwear (but not bamboo underwear , and that’s another story) and socks but I can’t buy shoes or trousers or pyjamas (and I am of an age where I wear pyjamas)

In our first 2020 lockdown, everything but food, cigarettes and alcohol was classed as non-essential. No kidding kids, you couldn’t buy a book or a board game – no Fifty Shade of or Karma Sutra or Monopoly or jigsaws. I didn’t give a flying Furtado. I hate board games and it was NO SEX YOU MIGHT HAVE COVID, but I got red meat and red wine and 20 Marlboro lights and in April a massive heart attack, and now, I am in the After Life. 

A year of being at home in recovery, I watched the Covid World from a cardiac bubble and instead of being dead, which I should have been, I survived my heart attack and sat at home shielding, doing as best I could to have a normal life, but succumbing to the pleasantly mind numbing; zombification of daytime TV with shopping channels and crafting channels and cooking channels and light exercise and deep breathing programmes for morbidly obese geriatric cardiac disorderlies – all the mental and physical “out of order” people. 

I watched white teeth big smileing have a nice day shit for a year, and also I should have been dead and somewhere I decided that as after lives go, it wasn’t so bad – this ain’t quite hell, it must be some kind of  Pleasant Valley Purgatory, a kind of Tupperware Limbo . As the world went on around me though, I worked out eventually that this was the real world, not exactly my world but a parallel real world. The similar- sumo  lady on the crafting channel cutting out delicate paper flowers with her sausage size fingers. The blobby  guy on the shopping channel demonstrating an Air Fryer – air frying means cooking without the fat. Even on the clothing channel, (or the Style channel) it’s large ladies of a certain age selling up market leisure/lounge wear to similar ladies.

Meanwhile back at the essential shop – in my giant “all human life is here” hypermarket. I can’t buy leisure wear, but I can by a Air Fryer, and in this lockdown, I can buy crafting materials, but I can’t but lounge wear, and if I want to tear myself away from the TV. I can’t, because board games and jigsaw puzzles and chess sets are all off limits and the same with toys. I want Lego. (like many men in their fifties) but toys are non-essential. So tell men how come I can buy a squeaky animal toy for my dog but I can’t buy a squeaky teddy bear for the kids?

So, I was watching the adverts on the shopping channel and on came an ad for this brilliant bamboo underwear, and OMG!!! WTF!!! Screaming it out loud!!! How did I make it through my first life and into my second life without bamboo underwear???? I won’t sweat any more and there’s “no rubbing”  . I WANT THIS AND I WANT IT NOW. But, all the clothing boutiques are non-essential and they are closed. My local hypermarket only sell cotton underwear. I’ve gotta go on line and order and wait for a little brown cardboard Amazon packet is popped in my mailbox. Perhaps Julie Andrews was right.   Of course before buying, I read the customer reviews , which is why I’m where I was when I started writing this, and I only started writing this to note the absurdity of this after life, which is now real life.

I look at stuff that seemed normal before and I ask myself one question “How does that work?

And to finish our essential shopping? This lockdown I can buy books but not jigsaw puzzles. I can’t buy toys, but I can buy magazines with a free plastic toy. Perfume is non-essential, but I can get cologne and after shave. I can’t buy a sofa or an armchair, but I can buy a deckchair and a BBQ. I can buy a pet and pet related accessories, but I can’t buy clothes. This all seems insane. Not sure I could buy some sanity, that is perhaps non-essential in these mad times.Ranting over and thanks for reading. Is Julie Andrews essential?