some old bullshit


It’s Christmas Eve. Karen fucking loves Christmas. Not because she believes in Santa, she doesn’t. She loves it because it gives her an excuse to overindulge. She’s going to eat loads tomorrow. She’ll get back to the gym in the new year, if the government wakes up and relaxes these stupid restrictions, that is. See, Santa isn’t the only thing Karen doesn’t believe in. She doesn’t believe in electric vehicles, medical science or Covid19 and she’s on Facebook now. Christmas Eve. TV on in the background while she sips special offer white wine, bragging about how she’s not socially distancing for something no more severe than seasonal flu. Her post is getting liked, big time!

That night Karen struggles to sleep. She’s aware of a glow in her bedroom. She tries to put it down to being from the Christmas lights outside, but as she stares it grows brighter and takes on a human form. A small human form, because it’s the ghost of Richard Hammond from Top Gear. This should be a bit like one of Karen’s sex dreams, Richard Hammond is her dream man, but she’s frightened.

“Karen!” says the ghost of Richard Hammond. “You’re fucking mental!” he continues. Karen is offended. “Come with me!” he says, holding out a ghostly hand. Suddenly they’re in Richard Hammond’s Series III Land Rover and it’s flying in the sky. 

“Where are we going?” asks Karen.

“You’ll see.”

Richard Hammond drives Karen to the dentist on a sunny afternoon. They go inside. “I remember this,” says Karen. A young Karen is in the dentists chair while she’s unquestioningly getting injected with all kinds of shit she doesn’t understand.

“Do you see how you never used to be so fucking stupid?” says Richard. “You believed in medical science that time they did your root canal.” 

“Yeah, but… but…Covid… I mean you could get hit by a car and they put it down to Covid.”

“That’s fucking bullshit, Karen,” says Richard Hammond and they’re back in his Land Rover.

“I want to go home,” says Karen.

“Fucking button it,” says Richard Hammond because that nice guy act is just for the TV.

They’re now in an intensive care ward where people are hooked up to machines and the staff look exhausted. It’s like a warzone. “This is right now,” says Richard.

“Well, they’re getting paid,” says Karen. “It’s nice to have a secure job. My friend owns a gym and-” Richard Hammond shuts her up with a slap across her face but he’s a ghost so it doesn’t hurt. Just startles her.

“People are dying, Karen.”

“Hospitals are always busy in the Winter!” she manages, eventually, her hand to her cheek. “What about the people missing their treatment because of this, what about them! And suicide’s gone up.”

“They’re missing the treatment because of this! Because people like you don’t take it seriously so the hospital is overwhelmed!” says an exasperated ghost of Richard Hammond in the present. 

“Well if they kept gyms open then people could boost the immune system naturally.”

“God, you are dumb,” says Richard Hammond and they’re back in the Land Rover.

“I don’t want to go anywhere else! Please, I’ve seen enough!”

They’re in a graveyard. They walk over to a gathering. Karen recognizes the people all standing together, less than two metres apart, hugging and not wearing masks. It’s her facebook friends. Karen’s facebook friends. Because Karen fucking died. Karen’s a bit annoyed that her friends aren’t all bawling their eyes out. And Kate looks a bit too glamorous, for a funeral. The tart.

“Did I die of Covid?” asks Karen.

“No,” says Richard Hammond.

“Then wh…” she turns in the passenger seat and sees the revolver Richard Hammond is pointing at her face. She doesn’t get a word out before the muzzle flashes.

Karen wakes up tangled in her bedsheets from Waitrose. “It was all a dream!” she says. She rushes to her Windows 10, checks the date in the bottom corner and then opens facebook and she sends a message to the group of 17 other people who were supposed to be coming around for Christmas lunch. 

“Christmas Queens!” she types, because that’s their group’s name, and you hope to God she’s seen sense is about to cancel her party. “I have an announcement!” Yeah, she’s about to cancel that party. “I don’t like Richard Hammond anymore so please don’t bring me any Richard Hammond related gifts! James May gifts are fine.” She sends that message. 

Fuck. You can’t cure stupid, it seems.

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