There’s nothing that can take the shine off the romance of a long leisurely train trip. Except for your fellow travellers, of course.

(Part Four of the 'Tripping Up In Scotland Tales.')

All Downhill In The Highlands.

Sat on the Saturday train rattling up to Inverness,
Passengers packed in chokka-block, cheek by jowl,
At Pittodrie onto the train stepped a maid in distress,
Coughing and spluttering away with a cough most foul.

Towards the last empty aisle seat she wheezed-
The window passenger looked most displeased.

These days, with Covid blessedly on the wane
I'd hoped, nay prayed I could tuck my mask away,
But as she shuffled and snuffled down the train
I wished I'd retained mine to reduce her fine spray.

The train inched slowly up the long incline
Accompanied by a nasal and diesel whine.

The wheels of the train spun 'round and  'round
Trying to gain traction to crest that highland hill,
Sparking squealing wheels masking a ghastlier sound,
My thoughts turned to my life insurance- and will.

In tandem diesel and damsel were working hard
Judging by the panicked look of the passing guard.

Up the painful grade the twain coughed and hacked,
In this carriage of infection a miasma of doom clung,
Could (should?) our carrier get quarantined, sidetracked?
Would our Highland Princess bring up the other lung?

I searched in my coat for a Kurol or Fishermans Friend*
But I fear I'll hear her accompaniment till journeys end.

I had no lozenges to offer her or me much relief,
No sweet something to sooth her irritating throat;
Also, loath to proffer her my pristine handkerchief,
I turned away, turning up the collar of my overcoat .

She sat, openly coughing, never a thought to mask it,
Would she, the poor diesel, or just me bust a gasket?

To those of us unluckily stuck in the closely confined crowd
Keeping clear of her presence proved  stickily problematic,
I showed her my back as she hacked on, foghornly loud,
I couldn't face her expectorations and remain phlegmatic.

And so my three day stay at Inverness was plagued with fear,
Every morn waking, hoping my covid test and snot ran clear.

*Brands of supposedly soothing throat lozenges that smell and taste like a cross between mentholatum, wintergreen, Kimchi and kerosene.

'Breath warmed up.'


(Song for this post is- no, not 'the Doobie Brothers 'Long Train Running' but an obscure one, Hammond Gamble, 'Whistling The Blues In The Rain.')

©Obbverse.

Presenting Scott Morrison, previous Aussie Prime Minister; Talk about a job of work.

(ScoMo explains why he secretly made himself the Minister of Everything.)

Only One Of The Team.

Let's stand and applaud stout Scott Morrison
For the power of work he has so selflessly done,
Overseeing not only his Prime duties, but everyone's,
The unheralded effort he's put in both shocks and stuns.

ScoMo believes he is God's gift, precious and rare,
Willingly able to shoulder more than his fair share
While leaving his five trusting Ministers cluelessly unawares-
Aw, poor Health, Finance, Treasury, Industry and Home Affairs.

Some say 'twas a power grab, carefully planned,
But what those of little mind failed to understand
There's a few too many Ministers who mightn't do as I demanded,
And I take pleasure in my solitary secret vice; being underhanded.

In times of Covid there's no time for Democracy!
ScoMo can't wait for his Cabinet to sit and agree!
He must take drastic action to arrest this dread disease!
As your duly elected Leader he felt he had to take liberties.

Now the sitting cocksure member for Cook*
Is getting a worse grilling than a rotisserie chook,
His old Cabinet stand, simmering, casting him incendiary looks,
Looks held for ill-bred sheep rustlers, thieves and common crooks.

Seems the one-man band's played his last gig,
His lies are less likely to fly than a bewinged pig,
He proves there is a real Right-wing shadowy Government figure,
Want a dumb Big Brother? Great Scott, they don't come much bigger.
 
*The Division Of Cook, ScoMo being its sitting MP for years. His seat is hotting up now!


'It disgusts me my people don't trust me to do the right thing. They should be more like me.' 



©Obbverse.

When you get sick, sometimes even you just can’t help yourself.

Tweet Pray Loaf; Living Within The Quarantine Staycation.

I'm done quarantining at home, living here in fear,
Today I've not got COVID, my snot runs near clear,
I'm done with home rest,
I've passed my RATS test,
All my systems are 'Go,'
I'm Negative when I blow,
No more sterile swizzle sticks, to get up the nose of;
No gross sticky issues, icky green tissues to dispose of.

For seven long days I've lived no better than a leper,
Avoided social interaction like a Doomsday prepper,
Now I can put aside high anxiety,
Welcome to rejoin our sick society,
Since I dodged the funeral shroud
I wanna stand out in the crowd,
Now I can't bear to be stuck a single day at home alone
In the company of the most miserable bastard I've known.

‘Hey, I’m outta isolation, don’t look at me like I’m some nasty infection.’

©Obbverse.

I’m being a bit distant socially and media-wise lately. Soreeee.

Focus Issues.

Excuse my poor response to all who've posted,
Don't feel lost, abandoned or- God forbid- ghosted,
These last few days I find all my good humor's gone,
I guess I'm just not happy to be entertaining Omicron.

Between my tiresome bellyaches and pains
Short sharp temperament and long migraines,
Red snotty nose, sore ribs through coughing fits
I'm sick as a kicked dog- ain't that the puppyshits?

How hard we'd tried to keep ours a non-toxic household,
So I'll admit then testing positively made my blood run cold-
Masked up religiously, prayed God keep Covid from our door,
A positive outlook? well, no worries about catching it anymore.

Now I'd (better) thank my sweet spouse- best wife ever!
She soothes my fev'red brow, so I hold no ill will whatsoever-
Tho' viral transmissibility from her Nursing Facility brung it home;
(I'm such a shit patient she sez I'm her 'lil' Irritable Bowel Syndrome.')

She scoffs 'basic man flu,'
So I snap 'Sexist and untrue!'
Does it simply never occur?
Obviously I'm sicker than her!

I wake brimful of mucous, with a fuzzy unfocused brain,
My mind tracks back on the same track again and again,
Foggy thoughts goin' round 'n' round on an endless loop...
I'm of half a mind I'm repeatedly stuck on an endless loop...
Was that just deja vu or did I mention a flippin' endless loop?

Moaning in my sick bed, phone slipping 'twixt slick hands,
Cain't comment on fresh posts like a good host demands,
So 'scuse me while I sourly swab away the night's sweat,
Till I'm upright my tired 'Like' is 'bout the best you'll get.

                                 'There's 'under the weather' and then there's 'pretty snotty''             

©Obbverse.

Birthday boy Boris Johnson, the life and asshole of the party. Some surprise!

Birthday Bash For Boris.

(A tale of an honest work place mistake-
Staying a brilliant PM is no piece of cake.) 

Poor put-upon Boris, what a pickle he's now in,
Sweet wifey Carrie threw a birthday bash for him,
Just one teensy rum cake and ten jeroboams of gin,
Pity, coz cause for further celebration is growing slim.

Hateful face masks came off for a while-
Better to see Boris's boozy grateful smile .

Number 10's gained a reputation as a party address,
A place of broken bubbles, then long lingering regrets,
It's the latest party Bo will have left in a Right old mess,
Boris, your partying's over, here comes the cold sweats.

BoJo swears blue it was alllll work related-
Oh, we'll see, once Sue Gray has investigated.

Now, since some party pooper has called the Old Bill* in
Will Bo blow hard as usual, or lie low and shut his cakehole?
Everyone but Mr Magoo* can see BoJo's an unmasked villain-
A crim can't be in charge of number 10 or stay on the electoral roll.

*Old Bill; Brit slang for the police, the plod, the cops and rozzers.
**AKA Jacob Rees-Mogg; big fawning follower and fascist fan of Boris.

   ‘So, who cares about piddling rules?’

©Obbverse.

How to change a winning prescription.

Not So Hot Shots.

There's many a well remunerated sports star
Who happily pushed their performance too far,
Like the 'likes' of Lance Armstrong and Flo Jo
Who saw nothin' wrong with more get up and go.

Two lab rats, quite happy to cheat be turbo induced,
A shot of dope gave 'em that extra performance boost,
When fame, glory and rich rewards are hard to resist
Why not buy into and prescribe the illegal drugs list?

There's nothin' a decent drug cheat cannot achieve
If you can just make the effort- to roll up your sleeve,
Given a bit of bribery you should escape detection,
Those days few athletes were averse to an injection.

But the times are a'changing, even for bad sports, 
Now elite athletes don't want to drop their shorts,
A few claim it's their Right to run pure and drug free
Yet have bought into the anti-Covid drug conspiracy.

Like the once Cavalier, now Brooklyn Nets Kyrie Irving
And Novak Djokovic who insists 'not what you're serving,'
No FDA vetted jab for these two- not even one simple prick,
Give these jackasses a drug choice- Ivermectin's their pick.

They only ask to freely play before their paying fans
Yet both blindly refuse to entertain vaccination plans,
So please, Novaxx and Kyrie, just take your free shot-
Let's see you on court, not caught up in some dumb plot.

©Obbverse.

Alabama had more deaths than births of late; Why, we wonder?

And Todays Darwin Awards...

See, down South we don't need no damned inoculation
Even if its approved by the Food 'n' Drug Administration,
There's Lord knows what in that mixed-up Devils brew
And our Pastor sez th' Covid's just some jumped-up 'flu.

Our quiet Southern backwa- backwoods 'burg ain't the place
For out-of-towners to drop in masked and not show their face,
Folks don't need to wear no mask in our free and open streets,
(Only time we hide our face here is 'neath the holey white sheets.)

Here we don't need or heed no Snowflake driven mandate
Tellin' us where, when 'n' with who we can freely congregate,
To Fauci's foolish talk of catching Covid we remain immune,
And, like Don, we truly do believe 'twill all blow over soon.

We won't be putting no contaminants in our red-blooded veins,
Least not while a drop of pure pig-headed Rebel blood remains,
If the good Lawd wants to take me to Glory, to sit by His hand
I'll go unvaccinated, knowing my demise is what God planned.

                        - - -  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Well, two weeks have gone since I wrote the note above...
I fear I might've been premature 'bout Gods eternal love...
It was at choir practice I remember I started to feel poorly,
But under Gods roof nothing ill could touch me, surely?

I drove home, the Pastors blessings ringing in my ears
With his sincere hopes my snotty head cold quickly clears...
I took a shot of Mucinex, a slug of bourbon and hit the sack,
Took to my bed, began to hack, closed my eyes and lay back. 

I recall waking up once to see all my kin gathered 'round,
Din't need no no-show Pastor to tell me I wuz Glory bound.  
Looks like I up and died, and now I'm stood on Cloud Nine
Waiting to see Saint Pete, I'm at the end of a long long line.

Seems there's many in this queue who shared my view,
Like me they din't really expect to get called-yet- by You,
It seems a lot up ahead who see Saint Pete get short shrift,
Seems if ya ain't had a jab that Saint gets almighty miffed.

Seems Gods place for us is in some lockdown quarantine!
Seems God expected us to accept and inject that vaccine!
Seems God Hisself sez simply denyin' pure scientific evidence
Is a Hell of a way of not using plain God given common sense. 

 
'Dang, seems they was right to keep harping on and on.'

©Obbverse.

In the Antipodes we’re back to locking down and loading up on life’s little necessities. Been there, doing that. Again.

Same Old Shame Again.

Well, here Covid has raised its ugly head once more,
We're locking down again, and so outside every store
There's customers lined up outside the locked door-
There's gonna be blood shed on the Food Barn floor.

See the prize pair roll through the crowded parking lot
In the farting old Ford they think sounds hot but's not?
Like their simple minds, so too the muffler's fried and shot,
So unthinkingly they take the last Disabled Drivers slot.

When I enquired of Brittany and her mullet-headed Beau
'So, where's the Disabled card you're obliged to show?'
Oh, Beau and Brit might look thick-as-pig-shit slow
But two magically quick middle fingers told me where to go.

After doing all this last time you'd think we'd get smart,
Every shopper to do the right thing and his or her part,
But be it wide-aisled Pak'n'Save or piddliest Kwik-E-Mart
There's grumbles or a rumble beside every shopping cart.

There's BIG SIGNS advising you to buy what you need,
But these subtle signs their eyes don't register or heed,
Between the clash of carts I see eyes consumed by greed;
God, You'd think they have a multitude of mouths to feed.

Check-out Beau and Brit, poor pandemic panic-buying souls,
Loading up the Falcon (the car of choice of the Bogan* proles)
With booze, bread, Camels, condoms, a gross of toilet rolls-
Dopy bunch of drunken toasted flaming fornicating assholes.
                                                   

*Bogan; Aussie/Kiwi term for the Redneck /T Trash V8 driving *Drongo.
*Drongo, AKA Yobbo; Dipstick, Dick-head, Dipshit. The bogan tends to wear the classic black AC/DC T shirt, oil black jeans and boots and that air of arrogance only the the true selfish dumbass dropkick has. The female version of this aberration is called 'a proper Shi- Sheila.'

©Obbverse.

A man once said ‘Football is not a matter of life and death- it’s much more than that.’ In these Covid spreading times, all too true.

Cruel Britannia.

The Home fans had flocked here from miles around,
To Englands green and present Premier football ground,
All set to see England play winningly at Wembley,
All so happy together, in a gloriously riotous assembly.

All through the first half the crowd stood, up and singing,
By late on in the second half, down and hand-wringing,
Still hopefully singing- this time the lads would be victorious,
Ringing proud round the ground, loud if ultimately vainglorious.

Once more, as oft before, England failed the test,
Again, fair England, penalised into being second best,
As per tradition, opportunity and spot kicks missed,
But this national tragedy came with an extra kick twist.

The stunned crowd streamed from Wembley, sad, deflated,
Not singing 'Land Of Hope And Glory' as much anticipated,
Herded into their British Rail carriages, to sit in silent ponder;
Emptiness carried up to Goole, Hull, Halfwhistle and yonder.

Or to East or West,
But, everywhere, depressed,
Even in the Beautiful South-
Deeply down in the mouth.

Later, be it in the Albion, the Crown, Anchor or the Rising Sun,
Fans shared rounds with old mates, gathered in commiseration,
Next morning, wondering upon waking, shaking, with sore head
How much viral disappointment could they possibly have spread? 

   

‘Want a beer when you’ve got nowt to cheer about- fancy a Corona?’

©Obbverse

UK Health and (overly) Social Minister Matt Hancock resigns; yet another one to add to the Conservatives stellar record of farcical farragos fumbles and foul-ups.

Top Blokes: Or So Deserving To Be.

Normally he'd relish seeing his name in the Sun papers heading
But bad news of Hancock's rash cock-up keeps nastily spreading.

Now Matt Hancock is butt the latest on the ever growing list
Of randy big boss men who've indulged in a Secretarial tryst,
Yet another dismaying married man/maid tawdry tacky story,
Another case of rules-for-the-masses don't apply to the Tory.

Now comes the crushing private family conference he's dreading-
Damn those pious words he faithfully trotted out at his wedding!

Boris' limp-wristed attempts at discipline make him easy to mock,
First came Damn Cummings going-ons, now this wanker Hancock,
Another once close bosom buddy resigns, gone off with the hump*
Before Boris, father of all bastards, tells him to take a flying jump.

Those True-Blue Conservative values are sure taking a shredding,
In light of these affairs, p'raps toss the Tories out with the bedding?

Both the country and his wife deserve to feel cheated and betrayed,
But don't forget he was willingly abetted with an extra-marital Aide,
Just typical two-faced Tory entitlement when we get Right down to it,
And all led by that blond man-child nightmare ex-mayor f#cking idiot.

*1/ Quaint British term for leaving in anger and disappointment .
2/ American uncouth slang for a casual sexual partner. (Use whatever you prefer,
either one works for me...)

Something about the mini guillotine seemed painfully apt.

©Obbverse