8 September 2020

Killing time for old men?

As our plague statistics continue to rise, and the curve on the graph becomes steeper, one of the ministers in our current regime has urged young people "not to kill your Gran".

He means that young people, whose own experience of the plague may be neither life-threatening nor painful, should remember that the malady might spread from the young to the elderly ... whose vulnerability may be greater.

The slogan "Don't kill Grannie" was in fact tried out a few weeks ago, but was then dropped because, I suspect, it seemed a little OTT. Its crudity and vividness is not quite in our national 'laid-back' style. That the slogan has been dusted off and is now on display once more suggests a degree of panic among our masters.

Of course, you will expect me to declare an interest. I am of grand-parental ... is there a less inelegant term? ... age.

But I am male, not female, so, apparently, my preservation is a less engaging cause. Actually, my sex makes my statistical vulnerability greater. Males excite the plague to even greater paroxysms of malevolence than females do. And, even pre-plague, men died younger than women, so that Grandfathers were more of an endangered species than Grandmothers.

So why "Do not kill grannie"?

Women are more cuddly than men. They arouse more of our protective instincts. And don't fail to notice here the subtle use of hypocoristic forms, 'Gran' or 'Grannie', rather than 'Your Grandmother'. Even cuddlier!

Sweet little old ladies indeed arouse more protective instincts than we nasty old men do. This particular variety of prejudice manifested itself in a British sitcom which portrayed an uncuddly old man called Victor Meldrew. And, a generation before, there was Alf Garnet. I wonder if the censorship department of the PC clerisy would permit such raw portrayals of old women. I leave to your imagination how the sisterhood would respond, if it did.

Regular readers will probably guess my next bit ... this is all horribly reminiscent of the religion of biodiversity, in which sweet cuddly indigenous British red squirrels need all the help we can give them, but we hear comparatively little from NSPPGUMR, the National Society for the Protection and Propagation of Gigantic Ugly Mutant Rats. Or from the MMPL (the Malarial Mosquito Preservation League). Or CLM (Covidvirus Lives Matter).

And we kill about 600 unborn and unseen and uncuddled humans daily, without batting an eyelid.

Silly sentimentality does have its lethal side. Never trust somebody who uses soppiness to buttress their stupidity.


Anonymous said...

Beware little old ladies! I have had to serve my turn on geriatric wards during my training, and well remember one sweetheart, silver hair, pink fluffy bedjacket and all, a dead ringer for Katie Johnson.

Within five minutes of arriving on the ward she had bitten a colleague of mine in the shoulder, hard enough to draw blood.

Michael Leahy said...

The lockdowns intended to save granny are having such a disruptive effect on health service activity that they are instead killing auntie, and of course, uncle, whose cancer diagnoses and treatments, for which time is of the essence, are being delayed and postponed.

Mister Jorge said...

It's funny because where I live there has been a depressing dearth of young family members visiting their elders who they've packed away into nursing homes.... all pre-ViralFear.

"Don't you care about grannie?!"... I hope those that chirp this sentiment were the types who regularly visited grannie and gramps in their waiting room of the great beyond. But I wouldn't bet much on it.

I know many grandparents/grandparents-inlaw who would have forfeited their length of time on this side of life if it meant more time with their loved ones.

Ah the misery of seeing those gaunt stares that have since given up looking on with anticipation for a youth of their lineage to give a visit. But please, think about grannie.

E sapelion said...

aval in British English
of, like, or relating to a grandparent
Collins English Dictionary. Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers

stephen cooper said...

"Uncuddled" is a word that God will bless you forever for having brought to my attention.