Nanny McHypocrite

I received a telling-off in the Co-op last week. A woman was looking into a refrigerated unit, and I walked past her down the aisle. Another man was nearby, and so I should not have attempted to pass, she declared. She spent some time lecturing on the importance of 2 metre distancing and said it was ‘people like you that spread this virus’. I only wish I’d walked passed her in March.

I hadn’t the wit or cruelty to explain that if she wanted to live a long, healthy life, she might spend less time looking at those puddings. A reduction in size would also assist in allowing others to safely pass by. However, she was technically right. I’ve become somewhat cynical of these restrictions and even the virus itself.

It wasn’t the telling off which irked me so much as the evident pleasure it gave her. Until the point she started swearing (and I ungraciously observed how classy she sounded), she took on a school-marmy tone, lecturing an ill-bred child on some matter of deportment or manners. Unfortunately, our shopping finished at the same time and we were both standing in separate queues at the tills. I watched to see if she would harass some other unsuspecting innocent as she gazed about the store, awaiting her turn.

The current restrictions have managed to lend succour to the regiments of interfering little hitlers. The Auxillary Corps of Bossy-Booted Harridans is enjoying a revival in influence and activity. Formerly, they focussed upon banning sugar from drinks, forbidding junk food adverts before 9pm and campaigning for 20mph speed limits in built-up areas. All of these have laudable aims but it is yet more nannying. I imagine my righteous friend from the Co-op is off to Morecambe beach this weekend with her measuring tape to ensure sunbathers aren’t too close. Or maybe she’s out with her tuppence coin to check the tyre tread on her neighbours’ cars.

I know some will think me too harsh on her and too soft on distancing. It’s the hypocrisy that riles me most. As the ogress began her zealous homily on the evils of sharing supermarket aisles, I wondered how many droplets of spittle were landing on my face. I certainly received more from her than she from me as I sauntered past her rear. The campaign groups and government departments that are horrified at the thought of a child seeing a MacDonald’s advert think nothing of killing his unborn sister because their parents had a change of heart. Truly, gnats are strained while camels are swallowed.

Image by Ahmed Hassan Kharal from Pixabay