Life’s A Beach!

This newspaper – unlike far too many others in these trying times – has a firm policy of seeking out good-news stories. We are therefore pleased to report an overwhelming consensus of opinion amongst Bafflesby residents that the huge influx of visitors to Baffle Bay over the weekend was a disgrace or an outrage or even, to several people we canvassed, a disgrace and an outrage. Such a measure of agreement has, alas, been rare in recent years and any cessation of local hostilities – however temporary – is surely to be welcomed.

It seems that most of these sun-worshippers were, as Bafflesby folk might put it, ‘not from round here’. Why else would they not have read and heeded our clear and unequivocal warning in last Wednesday’s edition, also published on the Come to Beautiful Bafflesby webpage?

Our usual warm welcome to Baffle Bay and its wonderful, world-famous seven-mile stretch of soft sands and rolling dunes with the elegant River Baffle gliding majestically past the historic walls and quaint quays of Old Bafflesby Town into that glorious estuary with its unforgettable views is on hold this weekend as some facilities will be closed.

For whatever reason, this message didn’t appear to get through. There they were, in their hundreds and even thousands, sweltering in the sunshine while contributing very little to the local economy. To find out why, we sent our roving reporter to the beach with his voice-recorder on a high setting to pick up sounds two metres away.

Coronavirus: Resort locals 'shocked and angry' at beach crowds ...

What follows is a faithful transcript of his recorded conversations:

  • Hello, sir, may I ask what brings you here today?
  • Car, mate! Thought I’d test my eyesight with a short drive.
  • Was that wise?
  • Calm down, matey, just a little joke! Hey, you a policeman?
  • Newspaper reporter …
  • Liar!
  • No, I am!
  • Yeah, I believe you. That’s why I called you a liar.
  • Well, sir, anything you say here will be faithfully reported.
  • Taken down in evidence and used against me, more like! I know your game! You’ll twist my words to make me sound ridiculous!
  • That won’t be necessary, sir, have a nice day! Good morning, madam, enjoying your day out?
  • Well, we would be if it wasn’t for all these people. We came expecting a deserted beach like that fantastic photo on Come to Beautiful Bafflesby. They’ve got us here under false pretences.
  • Are you thinking of packing up early?
  • No way! We were here first. And if you’re from the town council, get your tape measure out. None of these are keeping their social distance.
  • I think your dog might deter them from coming much closer. Didn’t you see all those NO DOGS signs back there?
  • Don’t care, seen a person walking their dog along this beach when it was deserted.
  • I reckon that fantastic photo was taken in winter. 
  • Never mind trying to be clever, young man, you want to start measuring the gaps between people round those toilets up there.
  • Right, yeah, thanks for the heads up. Have a nice day!
  • Fat chance of that, you chump! Get down, Buster!
  • So, heading up the beach to the promenade now, can’t see any public conveniences but there’s a big queue for the ice-cream van. Excuse me, my friend, would you mind me asking you a few questions?
  • Buy me a Magnum and I’m anybody’s!
  • Er, sure thing, no problem … so aren’t you worried about catching the virus in a great big crowd like this?
  • Stay alert. That’s what they tell you. Keep a sharp look-out.
  • What for?
  • Well, er, people who cough. Or sweat. The shiny ones could be running a temperature.
  • What if they’re asymptomatic?
  • Whoa, yeah, you really got to steer clear of those!
  • But how would you … ?
  • Know where it’s safe? Let me tell you. Safest place is right here!
  • You mean, queueing for an … ?
  • Ice cream, exactly. One thing you know for sure about the people in this queue is that they haven’t lost their sense of taste or smell.
  • That’s two things.
  • Even better!
  • What if they’re only queueing for a friend?
  • Hmm, that is actually a very good question … You’re not as daft as you look … Listen, if you really are buying, why not take my place in the queue? Maybe buy something for yourself …
  • Actually, I’m not very hungry.
  • Know what? Me neither! Bet they don’t have Magnums, anyway. See you!
  • Er, ‘bye! OK, going back down on the beach now, seems even more crowded. Thing is, the people sitting or reclining might be two metres apart but walking around is bound to bring you much closer, even if you try your best to maintain an equidistant line between them and … whoops! Sorry, was this somebody’s sandcastle?
  • That’s my little daughter’s, that is, took ages to build!
  • Oh dear, will she be very disappointed?
  • She won’t give a monkey’s, pal, because the hard labour was all mine!
  • That’s good, well, not good but … don’t know why I didn’t spot it, really, with all those patriotic flags stuck in it!
  • know why. You was talking to yourself.
  • Yes, I’m a rep…
  • First sign of madness, they say, that and obsessive handwashing.
  • Well, everybody’s washing their hands more these days, aren’t they? 
  • Oh yes?
  • Singing Happy Birthday twice and all of that, er, silly stuff …
  • You reckon?
  • Come on, you can’t turn on the telly without …
  • Stop right there, pal, stop right there! Open up your true senses to the hidden truth. The reason you talk to yourself and can’t stop washing your hands is they got you brainwashed.
  • Who?
  • Exactly. Nobody knows. All we can do is stay well away from their beacons of transmission.
  • Beacons of …
  • Look around you. What can you see?
  • Hundreds of people all trying to …
  • Forget them for a moment. Lift your eyes to the hills. What can you see?
  • Well, lots of trees and a couple of phone masts, if that’s what you …
  • Been asking myself all morning if they’re 5G masts.
  • Have you?
  • Have I come up with an answer? The answer is Yes.
  • They’re 5G masts?
  • Keep up, pal! Yes, I have come up with an answer. The answer is No.
  • They’re not 5G masts?
  • Correct. Hardly be worth their while, would it, half their signal going out to sea? No, they’re only interested in 360 degrees. That way they get maximum virus transmission.
  • Coronavirus? 
  • Welcome aboard, pal, better late than never!
  • You catch Covid-19 from people, not machines.
  • Ever heard of computer viruses? The clue’s in the etymology.
  • But a computer virus is just a metaphor.
  • It can make your laptop very poorly.
  • That’s just another metaphor!
  • No smoke without fire.
  • OK, if we’re doing proverbs, a little learning is a dangerous thing.
  • You know your trouble, pal?
  • Too clever by half? 
  • I’d say that was an underestimate. Actually, your problem is that you believe everything you’re told by so-called experts.
  • You mean, like, stay away from crowded beaches?
  • That kind of nonsense, yes, interfering with our natural instinct to assemble wherever 5G emanations are at their weakest. You never heard of herd impunity? Learn to trust the evidence of your eyes, pal. Do any of these people look sick?
  • Not yet, I have to say. Well, nice talking to you. Please convey my apologies to your daughter for the, you know, sandcastle. 
  • Lucky I sent her a photo of it before you went and wrecked it, then, wasn’t I?
  • She isn’t here?
  • Lives with her mum in Western Australia. I’d Skype them if the broadband round here ever got up to speed.
  • But isn’t that where 5G could … ?
  • Don’t start, pal!

As we said at the start, this newspaper is committed to publishing positive and uplifting stories in difficult times. One such story we hope to bring you in future weeks and months is that our esteemed national government, guided at all times – as it so frequently reminds us – by the science, will be in a position to enlighten ordinary citizens like those who were interviewed above as to the precise scientific principles and practices that have so successfully informed its every action.

The Bafflesby Bugle



13 thoughts on “Life’s A Beach!

  1. Ah, Bafflesbury ~ welcome back! What a beautifully clear eyed perspective you offer on life in today’s environment. Wonder full stuff. Thanks, Dave.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad you enjoyed it, Mike, if ‘enjoy’ is the right word. I find myself writing this stuff with an odd mix of glee, disbelief and horror. Was it a slip that you wrote ‘Bafflesbury’ or an intended elision with my name, I wonder?


    1. And it’s great to hear that it tickled your funny-bone, Simon, although in our current collective pickle the words of that old blues song come to mind – ‘laughing just to keep from crying’!


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