Arm In: Vaccine Line And Characters

Like a child on Christmas Day with a candy on one hand and ice cream on the other, the announcement that my age range will start vaccinations this week ramped my excitement a notch higher. I love my country.

I love my president. I also love nurses. Well, the latter not in any way with PG tags but just because their effort will elongate my life somewhat. My age range is the most diverse group of vaccine recipients and as we are queued the chit chatter has taken several dimensions.

The first group of vaccine recipients had a kind of uniformity. Their chat must have revolved around stuff like retirement packages, prices of cattle at BMC, price of new dentures and whether Facebook is a town or village because they might have heard someone saying they met there with their soulmate. Serious issues about whether the soldiers sent to Mozambique should be supplied with masks and sanitisers, how to walk without a walking stick, how Tandabala doesn’t go far these days will be discussed.

There’s some kind of homogeneity here courtesy of having common ground on a lot of issues. The queue today is almost similar to a bread queue at Spar Supermarket with the main baker in isolation or quarantine. So it is going to be a bit of a long congenial wait. Part of the ensemble here is local Americans. Well, they neither have US citizenship nor green card but unless you ask for these two documents, you won’t know they are not American. American accents, American mannerism, the whole works.

One of them has a little tail of hair going down the back and looks as though he was at the barber school on Prank Day. I suppose depending on how long I am here there will be even more stranger-looking types later. The official pant-sag standard has always been just above the butt-crack but these local Americans have taken it to another level.

The pants now are just below the butt and the hardworking boxer shorts are now charged with covering that butt and providing warmth on this cold day. One of them just preceded an enquiry with ‘guys’ – something which resulted in scowls and murmurs from the elderly folk.

We also have slay queens here. They are out of place in a public facility. There surely is a special place in hell for whoever decided that they should be lumped with ordinary folks. They only interface with us ordinary folks on Instagram and Facebook.

This should be ammunition for those campaigning for control of the country in the next election. ‘We will ensure that there are special vaccine sites for slay queens at CBD or Golf Estate if you vote for us’ should be the rallying cry.

Slay queens, however, take their craft seriously and are currently moving about to find photogenetic spots to do their thing. Photoshop will help gloss over the pictures and boom they will look like they are somewhere in Dubai.

Of course with the usual constitutional Dubai things hashtag! Us in the 50s are around. We are the midlife crisis group. Sometimes we are elderly folk, other times we are youth. This just depends on who you are with.

At this point we are elderly folk so as the slay queens and local Americans chat about Beyonce, we want to jump in. But we cannot jump in because we are supposed to be elderly.

No self-respecting over 50 laden with seven underlying conditions chats about Beyonce without getting funny looks. For all you know the slay queen or local American might be in romantic cahoots with your offspring.

Social media has been awash with bashings about our dress code. Ironed jeans with neatly- done creases, tracksuits with moccasins and such funny and archaic dress sense which defines us.

There are a few of them here. I could not help but chuckle. Amazingly, my jeans are not ironed – I am saying this with a straight face – mainly because I woke up too early to bother. It was never about debunking any stereotypes from the younger brigade though. BPC has hiked electricity tariffs so there’s little motivation for ironing jeans.

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