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The Pirate Code

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We thought we were nearing the end game. That final countdown. That moment when Boris could claim victory is so near. In Italy, the nurses and doctors are feeling something else. That feeling of survival guilt, as if a great sea storm has sunk their ship. Then washed them ashore. And left them alive but shattered on an empty desolate beach. They were heroes once. Now they’re the forgotten. Some are contemplating giving up their role as guardians of the nation. Too many deaths have transpired under their watch. No bonus for saving the country’s ass. No great outpouring of gratefulness for the few. They got the claps while it was dire. Now people just want to forget. Forget the badness. Forget the pain. Forget the people who saved them. Let’s move on, nothing to see here.

In the UK the clapping has also stopped as we too move into the next phase. The Tory Government have made it quite clear, the Johnny Foreigners who comprise around twenty percent of the NHS are not really welcome in the United Kingdom.

It means that while they were paying a visa surcharge for the right to work, and if possible, get infected in UK hospitals. The vast majority of Brits were at home, getting paid by the Government to learn Spanish, play online golf or just get blotto.

It’s been made abundantly clear by the present Home Secretary they are not welcome or wanted. And as soon as this present irritant of a virus is over, their time is up and they can go back to where ever they came from. With possibly a jar of marmite, a memento picture of the 1966 World Cup winning team, and a piece of paper, to say, thanks for the memory.

I’ve been working right through this madness. It’s all become just one blurred area. Me staring at the computer and wondering is this work or my time.

I still don’t want to go back to the office. And I don’t have any sympathy for the idea, that somehow going back to a crowded office I will save the economy by buying overpriced coffee, and the even more overpriced restaurant meals.

I never liked the old normal. The long journey to work on unpredictable buses and trains.

Can I get to work on time?  What’s the delay? Driver hasn’t shown up for work.

Can I get home? What’s the delay? Some poor bastard has thrown themselves under a train between Surbiton and Wimbledon. Yes, I have some compassion for that unfortunate person, and yes, I can show empathy for the unknown pressure, that forced a human being to take what is the ultimate action to resolve some great pain. But still, at the back of everybody’s mind, waiting on their train on that platform, running in parallel, is the thought, “Why the fuck does it have to be my train. I’m never going to get home.”

And Boris wants us to embrace this and race back to these battery-hen work places to save a fucking coffee shop. Give me a fucking break, brother.

On the upside, I made a list of the best TV shows I have watched during my lock-down.

Number one: Pride and Prejudice.

With Colin Firth playing the infamous Mr Darcy.

It’s a beautifully written show with the most fantastic English dialogue.

Which, I suppose is why I’ve watched it so many times.

“My good opinion once lost, is lost forever.”

Is a timeless classic line from the show.


Number 2: Game of Thrones.

Quite an amazing TV show, once you get beyond the rumpy pumpy, that goes on in the first series. And it has Dragons. Not talking Dragons mind, but you can’t have it all.


Number 3: When the Boat Comes In.

James Bolam who was a fantastic comedic actor in, “The Likely Lads,” is magnificent in this story, about life in Newcastle after the First World War. A show where I learnt to love the Newcastle accent.


Number 4: Matador.

A Danish TV master piece. Matador is the Danish name for the board game Monopoly.

Set in a small town outside Copenhagen, it takes us through the 2nd World War as seen from the people who lived there.


Number 5: Band of Brothers

A show I have watched many times. David Schwimmer plays the part of the wanker officer Sobel really well.


Of the modern shows on TV at the moment.

The Umbrella Academy.

A bat-shit crazy show about a dysfunctional family with super powers. I love it. Because they’re all, in their own bat-shit crazy ways, very likeable.


“Rule of Six,” should also be a must see family quiz show. But no, that too is the latest Tory rule, to keep us all safe in these crazy times. When Covid-19 has come roaring back. We wait patiently for the coming of the new normal wonder vaccine. What next? “The Secret Seven Rules,” perhaps.

I received this text below recently from a friend and stupidly enough, I thought it was true. Until I got to the end.

“I didn’t tell anybody but I volunteered for the Russian vaccine trials for C-19…..   I received my first shot today and wanted to let you all know that it’s completely safe with иo side effects whatsoeveя, and that I feelshκι χoρoshό я чувствую себя немного странно и я думаю, что вытащил ослиные уши”

And then there is always Brexit to keep us amused. A Tory talking head on morning TV, saying that International law was more an intent than law.

So it was OK to break it.

Now where did I hear that before? Oh yes, Pirates of the Caribbean.

The Pirates Code was more a guideline rather than actual law.

So there you have it. Blond Beard Boris and his Buccaneers of the British Barbary Coast. Behaving like, “Britannia Waives the Rules,” as one bright wag put it.

I think we would all rather forget about 2020. Write it off as a great waste of space.

But every time I try to do that, it seems to come back and bite me in the bum.

We can though look forward to 2021. A no deal Brexit beckons. With all the wonderful possibilities that will be unleashed. Not to mention a possible vaccine, perhaps to give us the mojo, to hunt for food, as the transport food chain breaks down. And vast convoys of Lorries, their cargos rotting away, pile up along the Kent motorway hard shoulders. The stench will be unbearable.

We will still need to wear masks. Not so much for the stench or the virus safety factor, as to remain unrecognizable from CCTV, as we smash windows and loot our way to feed our families.

And if someone tries to stop us with those immortal words.

“Stop Thief! You’re breaking the law.”

We’ll all just laugh and say in unison.

“Breaking the law! Didn’t they tell you Poppet? It’s more guidelines, than actual law.”




Frank Sonderborg (UK)

Frank Sonderborg was born in Ireland, lives in the UK and does his best to write interesting stories. His short stories have appeared in various UK & USA publications. And is currently working on a fiction book about the Irish War of Independence.

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