Joe Doakes from Como Park tries his hand at one of my patented dramatizations (c):
Mitch Berg is walking through Menards, looking in vain for dust masks so he can sand the Sheetrock repairs where he was banging his head against the wall after reading Penigma’s email, when he sees Avery Liberelle wearing a giant hula hoop hung from strings over her shoulders. He tries to slip into the nuts and bolts aisle, but she sees him.
Berg: Uh, hi Avery. What’s with the hoop?
Avery: It’s my social distancing perimeter. Why aren’t you wearing yours?
Berg: Uh . . .
Avery (darkly): Everyone should wear one. My aunt died of Covid-19: so they said.
Berg: (clicks his tongue sympathetically)!!!
Avery: (in the same tragic tone) But it’s my belief they done the old woman in.
Berg: (puzzled) Done her in?
Avery: Y-e-e-e-es, Lord love you! Why should she die of Covid-19? She come through diphtheria right enough the month before. I saw her with my own eyes. Fairly blue with it, she was. They all thought she was dead; but my father he kept ladling gin down her throat til she came to so sudden that she bit the bowl off the spoon.
Berg: (startled) Dear me!
Avery: (piling up the indictment) What call would a woman with that strength in her have to die of the bat flu? And what become of her new straw hat that should have come to me? Somebody pinched it; and what I say is, them as pinched it done her in.
Berg: (to Avery, horrified) You surely don’t believe that your aunt was killed?
Avery: Do I not! Them in that nursing home would have killed her for a hat-pin, let alone a hat.
Berg: But it can’t have been right for your father to pour spirits down her throat like that. It might have killed her.
Avery: Not her. Gin was mother’s milk to her. Besides, he’d poured so much down his own throat that he knew the good of it. (To Berg, who is in convulsions of suppressed laughter) Here! what are you sniggering at? Science denier! (Avery stomps off, knocking things off the shelves with her hoop).
It’s barely fiction, to be honest.