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The Humour Of Social Distancing

Updated: Apr 4, 2020

My folks are known for caricaturing not only "uppity" egos but also somber situations to not take life too seriously. I'll do my best to convey the Boer humour which is going around out here on WhatsApp in my home language Afrikaans into an American idiom..

Dear padre Johannes, it is me - uncle Daniel DuToit of Goose Street. First-off, thank you for Sunday's short but impacting Communion Service you tweeted. All that wine and bread just by yourselves - you and the wife? But I think people complain too easily on social media, so ignore those. Now my own issue:

This new 'flu and lockdown is creating different problems for different folks. Locking me up with the missus is not easy - but then I hear even couples who are happily married are finding it challenging - if you understand what I am saying? And then the confusing advice on Facebook and even the TV is not helping. I am talking about the to mask or not to mask thing. First you HAD to wear a mask - then you must not unless you have the flu, and now they say "almost no protection" is still better than no protection. Now there are no masks and now also begins the difficult part of the reason why I am contacting you. The missus and I did things that we did not think through completely and now there are issues.

Please understand it started with honourable intentions - we wanted to make our own masks but had to rush to buy prep food and could not get our repaired sewing machine from old Evrahim Patel in the Muslim side of town. We were sitting here and the missus whined about missing her coffee and cake at Mugg'nBean and I said be thankful we still have Mugg'nBread! That made her frown and say: "Shut up, I know all about your Mugg'nMoonshine in the garage!" You can take it from me, padre, that is not true, you know me as a pious man and do not believe her if she tells you that story one day.

But what I am contacting you about: we made a plan with face masks - bras of the missus, and that is my first worry. Is it sinful for a man to wear a woman's bra? If it is a sin I am confessing that and ask for forgiveness as it is an emergency out here. I first suggested we cut the bra in half, one cup for each of us, but then the missus said what about if all this does pass as they say it may? True, because she does need both supports as is obvious. So we decided there is enough width for us to share it - a cup each, and we did not need to affix extra straps.

Then the fool TV said about social distancing and that it is not good to walk so close to one another. That confused the issue, padre, because how does one know what is right and wrong in this pandemic? So she took out another one and now each has its own - but that needed some thinking too, what to do with two masks in one? She then said why not take the left t*t's and fit it into the right t**'s - and lo and behold, it worked. Like old times' double protection, if I may be pardoned for saying so, padre.

Padre I am not complaining but it is a little large for me, as I am protected to halfway down my beard... but I am digressing. What I am contacting you for is I think the missus and I have sinned and we can not sleep at night - mostly arguing whose fault it was. I do not want to accuse her but truth is it all started with HER compulsions and needs - I told you about Mugg'nBean's cake and coffee? Well for the lack of that we spent a little too long with my Mugg'nMoonshine if you know what I mean, padre. We just sat there in the hot kitchen and later giggled about every silly regulation of this lock down silliness.

It was then that the missus laughed and said it was Monday and she needed to take the trash bags outside. We giggled about all the trash caused by being locked down in the house all the time that she now needed to take out, and she said, you know, she said, we have not been going out together for a long time, so why do we not go out together to take all the trash out? And she giggled and said but I do not have a fancy dress to go out with you.

Now starts the difficult part, padre. In a joke I said then just go out without a dress - the streets are empty. That cracked her up and she said on one condition you also come along and go naked. Now you yourself know, padre, this is exactly how the devil used Eve to mislead her man. I am ashamed to confess this and shall fully accept if the church elders find reason to censure us both because I should have been stronger. Hard as this is for me to admit, we went out only wearing our bra masks for safety. But the devil is devious, padre, as you very well know. I left the gate remote controller on my truck's hood and went out with her with a trash bag in each hand and she with two in each hand - that many we had.

Padre I tell you - it must have been the devil's work (you know, just like that time you said he must have loaded your Mauser when we went hunting on old Piet's ranch and you accidently shot his Friesian bull). Again, just as we stepped onto the sidewalk the gate closed as if by itself. And there we stood, locked outside our home and not locked in. Just like Adam and Eve banished from Paradise for their sin. What I wanted to say is that people are cruel, making jokes on WhatsApp and Facebook now. And why did everybody choose THAT time to take their trash out?

What I am asking you: am I wrong to say that it was SHE who said I must go naked with her into the public? If she had gone out by herself like normal I could have opened the gate for her from inside. What hurts my feelings the most is now she accuses ME of indecent conduct in public even though she giggled at the time - I ask you padre, have you ever assisted a naked woman over a high wall? That is not easy, and more so when she insisted that I wear the bra over my eyes. No job for a blind man, padre.

Before I forget - compliments to your good wife, and do not forget about the censure thing, padre - I shall understand.

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