In the wake of yesterday’s new coronavirus restrictions in the UK, amongst the proletariat, once again talk of panic buying has reared its ugly head. As written about when originally locked down, an act which really puts my nose out of joint.

Anyhow, how do you buy panic? Like it’s cousins consternation and hysteria, it can’t be tangibly procured through the conduit of financial remuneration.

Apologies for the weak wordplay above relating to the expression panic buying, Admittedly, it was served up as the very thinnest of creative gruel. However, I’d defend myself by stating the quip was well-meaning and was imparted as gallows humour to introduce whimsy into the narrative…… As the centuries old adage goes “If you can’t laugh at coronavirus, who can you laugh at?’“….. Or something like that, anyhow.

As part of my research for this piece I unearthed some fascinating observations about panic. Well, almost interesting!……. Included amongst them, the following advocacies:-

Metaphysician and author Dorothy Neddermeyer’s “Life is ten percent what you experience and ninety percent how you respond to it.” 

Amateur rugby league player Tuffy Hardcase’s “People who panic are a bunch of soft s***e’s!….. Incidentally, has anyone seen that ear I removed from the opposition prop forward earlier?!”

Sgt Wilson, of the Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard, repeated exclamation of “Don’t Panic! Don’t Panic!”

And last, but not least, The Smiths’ frontman Morrissey’s poet rantings “Panic on the streets of London
Panic on the streets of Birmingham
I wonder to myself
Could life ever be sane again ?
The Leeds side-streets that you slip down
I wonder to myself
Hopes may rise on the Grasmere
But Honey Pie, you’re not safe here
So you run down
To the safety of the town
But there’s Panic on the streets of Carlisle
Dublin, Dundee, Humberside
I wonder to myself…..”

Since my heart attack in 2019, I endeavour to avoid panic at all costs. A consequence of the episode bringing renewed awareness of my mortality. I still worry about stuff, but outright panic is an infrequent existential imposter.

Clearly, there are incidents which if they occurred would cause me to cack myself in consternation. For example if, whilst venturing into the garage to retrieve a bottle of wine from the fridge, yours truly was confronted by a lion, panic on a major scale would ensue. Consequently, I’d be outta the garage like a shot!….. Well, I would once I’d procured the wine!

Footnote – I’d like to think finding a wild big cat in my West Yorkshire based garage is pretty unlikely. As a contingency, if there was a high risk of it occurring, I’d move the fridge into the house!!

Yours truly reckons panic would also ensue in the, even more unlikely, event I accidentally tripping over former pop star Cheryl Cole’s outstretched leg, causing me to drop my winning lottery ticket into a pub’s wood fire……. Or there would if Chezza didn’t re-imburse me for my financial loss; or alternatively take me to Spud U Like for a slap up baked potato meal as a gesture of recompense.

Footnote – I understand nobody knows what’s around the corner; apart from astrologer Russell Grant. However, as I don’t participate in the lottery and am unlikely to date Cheryl Cole at Spud U Like (or indeed any eatery/bar), I’d venture there’s no chance events mentioned in my previous paragraph will come to pass.

To close, I’d hope that those disenchanted with the introduction of tighter UK COVID restrictions weigh that against the fact there’s alway people worse off than them.

For example, I’m wracked with melancholy over the fact I’ll never get to date the Girls Aloud’s professional Geordie lass. An evening I picture would be packed with erudite conversation, romantic lighting, rose petals on the table, seven bottles of Newcastle Brown Ale and a baked potato with beans!!……. Life, you’re a cruel mistress!