Masked man: "I'm not going anywhere"

Message in a bubble will be a regular lockdown journey with Star Media editor in chief Barry Clarke.

'Come on mate, get a move on’, I thought as I came to a halt in the supermarket.

In front of me was a guy with his trolley, and just ahead of him presumably his wife. Both were wearing masks that covered most of their faces. Good stuff there.

I was heading towards the bread racks and any other time I’d squeeze past.

But we are in the age of Covid-19, and I was staying my distance, masks or not. I too was protected with disposable gloves.

Thirty seconds or so went by, and he didn’t move, in spite of me looking at him, raising an eye brow as best as I could to let him know I was keen to get past.

But he didn’t move. I couldn’t tell whether he was looking at me or looking past me. But he had a fixed, steely almost grumpy look. He appeared frozen in time.

I then said as politely as I could, “Do you want to come through,” hoping he would take the hint and move forward from the centre of the aisle he was in, and veer left.

No reaction.

‘What’s this silly so and so doing I thought’, my patience now wearing thin.

I upped the ante: “You go through mate”,  I said directly and with a nod.

He immediately put his full gaze on me, his eyes didn’t blink and he replied sternly: “I’m not going anywhere.”

‘What a blah blah, blah blah’ raced through my mind. But what I didn't know was that he was was reading me like book.

“Gotcha!,” he laughed from behind the face mask. “You don’t know who I am, do you?”.

Then a light bulb went on in the brain.”Bill?.” He laughed. I chuckled, quietly.

It was Bill, a top bloke I sometimes have an ale with on the odd occasion when I bump into him at a certain watering hole.

“Keeping well, mate?,” I asked in that hushed tone we are all communicating with when we are away from our bubble.

“Yeah, not bad,” he replied and with that he veered to the left, opened a big gap for me to get to get through and we parted ways.

With any luck, the next time I catch up with Bill it will be in four weeks - over a beer.




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