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Corona quarantine diary
Autor de la hebra: Mervyn Henderson

expressisverbis
Portugal
Local time: 09:09
Miembro 2015
inglés al portugués
+ ...
Try the "Mona de Pascua" Apr 11

As far as I know, the traditional "tortilla" (in Spain) or "tortilha" (in Portugal) hasn't got "chorizo" or "choriza" in it.
You can add it to the recipe as an option, if you like its flavour, or you want to commit an atrocity to this emblematic dish
In Easter, try to prepare the "Mona de Pascua" (known as "Folar da Páscoa" in Portugal).
It is very easy to make. You only need flour, sugar, eggs and a raising agen
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As far as I know, the traditional "tortilla" (in Spain) or "tortilha" (in Portugal) hasn't got "chorizo" or "choriza" in it.
You can add it to the recipe as an option, if you like its flavour, or you want to commit an atrocity to this emblematic dish
In Easter, try to prepare the "Mona de Pascua" (known as "Folar da Páscoa" in Portugal).
It is very easy to make. You only need flour, sugar, eggs and a raising agent.
The thing that sets this dessert apart is the hardboiled eggs that are baked into the centre of this "roscón" for decoration.
A Happy and Healthy Easter to everyone
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Mervyn Henderson
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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Local time: 10:09
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Sunday 12 April Apr 12

Urbi et Orbi on TV. Otherwise nothing going on around here. Headline "Distribution of public transport masks source of dispute between central government and Basque government".

Politicians are up in arms now about anything. Pedro Sánchez says he's going to do this, others say he shouldn't do it. Pedro Sánchez says he isn't going to do this, others say he should. Pedro Sánchez farts loudly, others say he should show more respect for the dead by farting silently. Pedro Sánchez f
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Urbi et Orbi on TV. Otherwise nothing going on around here. Headline "Distribution of public transport masks source of dispute between central government and Basque government".

Politicians are up in arms now about anything. Pedro Sánchez says he's going to do this, others say he shouldn't do it. Pedro Sánchez says he isn't going to do this, others say he should. Pedro Sánchez farts loudly, others say he should show more respect for the dead by farting silently. Pedro Sánchez farts silently, others say he should be more up front by farting loudly and therefore transparently.

But I have a feeling politicians are yapping so much to show the people that they're still working to earn the salary that nobody will be taking from them no matter what, even though we have a fair idea they're sitting otiose in a gaff much bigger than ours and farting loudly, silently, or not at all. All in the same boat, they like to say. Right. Oops, just farted. Very loudly.
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Chris S  Identity Verified
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Something in the wind Apr 12

It’s always best to fart transparently

 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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Fawn with the wind Apr 12

Not sure transparency is the best way to go on every occasion. Wasn't it Confucius who said, "When the regal master passes by, the faithful servant kneels reverently and silently farts"?

[Edited at 2020-04-12 11:09 GMT]


Andrew Morris
 

Brian Joyce  Identity Verified
Reino Unido
francés al inglés
Welldone Boris!!! Apr 12

The prime minister is doing well, I am glad despite being opposed to tory politics in general. I wonder if the PMs personal health victory will be a symbol of our general victory over Covid. Denmark plans to open up shop next week, Austria and Norway say they will begin loosening of the lockdown. Is this the light at the end of the tunnel? Is it over? Can I go back to my shit life now?

Andrew Morris
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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@Brian Apr 12

I hope you’re joking, Brian, because you don’t have a shit life and neither does Boris. Other people have shit lives. Some of them have really, really shit lives. Take Dolly, for instance. Dolly’s ten years old going on eighteen. She has an engaging waifish smile, albeit with a few black teeth here and there, and a few missing because she gets knocked around a lot. She doesn’t smell too good today because she hasn’t had a shower, and she can only grab a shower if it happens to rain and... See more
I hope you’re joking, Brian, because you don’t have a shit life and neither does Boris. Other people have shit lives. Some of them have really, really shit lives. Take Dolly, for instance. Dolly’s ten years old going on eighteen. She has an engaging waifish smile, albeit with a few black teeth here and there, and a few missing because she gets knocked around a lot. She doesn’t smell too good today because she hasn’t had a shower, and she can only grab a shower if it happens to rain and she can roll around with her little friends in the dirty smelly vomity puddles round about. Her dad had a pretty shit life too, and it ended when he was thrown off the prison roof by the warders because he didn’t buy his stuff from the right man. Her mother died after she jacked up some smack mixed in with Vim and a few other things to make up the grammage. Dolly and her six siblings beg and steal and hustle and do errands now and again for her uncle, a violent psychopath who works for the people that killed both her parents, but even though he’s her main source of income she has to be careful when she goes to see him to get her money, because he’s kind of sweet on her. In his way. The only consolation is that her shit little life is going to be just that, little. Little in the short sense, because she’s going to take after her parents and either get knifed for a couple of notes or be found with a needle sticking out of her in a pool of her own piss.

You have a life. You can translate and do your artwork, stolen or not, you can write bollocks on this forum and others can write bollocks back. It’s not a shit life. It’s the Life of Brian. So always look on the bright side.
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expressisverbis
Vanda Nissen
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
Andrew Morris
Angie Garbarino
 

Brian Joyce  Identity Verified
Reino Unido
francés al inglés


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Ok Apr 12

Yessssssssììiìiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrŕrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrŕrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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Monday 13 April Apr 13

It’s been a calendar month since I nipped back to the gym, never to return because it closed without warning the next day, to pick up my gear just in case.

“230,000 Basque industry and construction workers go back to jobs gradually”, the headline announces. This is because Sánchez had placed a 6-day ban on non-essential employment until today, presumably as a measure to give the country a better chance of cutting contagion with a short, sharp shock. Endlessly criticised, nat
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It’s been a calendar month since I nipped back to the gym, never to return because it closed without warning the next day, to pick up my gear just in case.

“230,000 Basque industry and construction workers go back to jobs gradually”, the headline announces. This is because Sánchez had placed a 6-day ban on non-essential employment until today, presumably as a measure to give the country a better chance of cutting contagion with a short, sharp shock. Endlessly criticised, natch. These days they even carp at the tie you wear (some people seen with black ties in parliament), so who shall ´scape whipping for the more important things? And the rentrée will be gradual because Easter Monday’s a public holiday here and in seven other regions. 619 deaths in Spain yesterday, and the local rag now puts the local coffin count on the front page too, 39.

Oh, and I can feel a “Moan to Mervyn” coming on, but maybe later. Got to get the Secret Ingredient (chicken cube this time) into the chickpeas before the Basques start swarming around the kitchen asking questions you’ve got no answer for.
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Andrew Morris
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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Tuesday 14 April Apr 14

517 deaths in Spain yesterday, and 27 in the Basque Country, so the count is finally falling again. Many more people going back to work today after the Monday holiday, and they’re giving out masks at train, metro and bus stations.

“Masks handed out today to go to work can only be used for four hours”, warns the headline. The idea is you get one on the outward journey, and one on the way home. After you’ve bought your ticket or swiped your card, naturally, because there are a
... See more
517 deaths in Spain yesterday, and 27 in the Basque Country, so the count is finally falling again. Many more people going back to work today after the Monday holiday, and they’re giving out masks at train, metro and bus stations.

“Masks handed out today to go to work can only be used for four hours”, warns the headline. The idea is you get one on the outward journey, and one on the way home. After you’ve bought your ticket or swiped your card, naturally, because there are a lot of smart Alecs about.

Below there’s a photo of the Basque President visiting a Covid-19 screen protector production plant, all masked-and-gloved up. You can tell he’s the main man because only he’s wearing one of the screens. Like him, three others are wearing blue gloves. Maybe it’s a rank thing, because another of his deputies has purple gloves. There’s another man in the picture with his hands behind his back. Why’s that? Could be because he arrived late and they’d run out of gloves, so he isn’t wearing any, and that's bad PR. Could be he’s lower in the pecking order, and had to settle for the lurid pink gloves with teddy-bear motifs. Could be he has no hands.

Today’s also the 89th anniversary of the declaration of Spain’s Second Republic, so we can expect a lot of the old Republican tricolour flags out on the balconies. There was a time when the present Queen would have been flying one of those herself when she was anchor woman at Spanish TV all those years ago, or so they say, but those republican sympathies mellow and fade to naught after one has been palaced up a tad.

Talking of flags, and masks, we’re now seeing that a mask is not just a mask. There are masks and there are masks. Some politicians have got hold of masks with a little Spanish flag on them, and so it’s only a matter of time before we see little Basque flags, little Catalan flags, little Galician flags etc. on other masks. One country, but worra lorra flags. During the recent Catalan cafuffle, now largely shelved but not forgotten due to you-know-what, there was a lot of talk about flags. I noticed during one “voice of reason” demonstration that someone was holding a placard saying “A flag is a piece of cloth”. Well. Easy to say. Where I come from, and in many other places where many other people come from, a flag is very much a piece of wroth.

Meanwhile, “Moan to Mervyn” has received a desperate plea, but I’m still desperately dealing with it and it could well be a desperate Matter of Life and Death, so watch this space.
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expressisverbis
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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Moan to Mervyn Apr 14

Dear Mervyn,

I can’t go on. My only solace when I wake up in the morning is the bottle of gin on the bedside table. Well, actually, it’s not my only solace. There’s also the solace of the cold spliff in the ashtray I light straight after a few shots of the gin. And a still photo of Britney Spears with legs spread wide as she dances. My only three solaces. And I’ve been in trouble with the law, too. Look what they wrote about me in the paper only yesterday:

***
... See more
Dear Mervyn,

I can’t go on. My only solace when I wake up in the morning is the bottle of gin on the bedside table. Well, actually, it’s not my only solace. There’s also the solace of the cold spliff in the ashtray I light straight after a few shots of the gin. And a still photo of Britney Spears with legs spread wide as she dances. My only three solaces. And I’ve been in trouble with the law, too. Look what they wrote about me in the paper only yesterday:

*****
MILLTOWN BUGLE

Courts Section – Martin Friar reports

Curious scenes and a certain amount of confusion at the District Court yesterday as it heard a case of disorderly conduct leading to a breach of the peace in the city by an unemployed person who gave his address as Holly Road.

Sergeant Ernest Hopkins, summoned to give evidence by the prosecution, reported his unit had been called to Farringdon Street on Saturday morning at approximately 3 am, following complaints of a disturbance by local residents. The police had remonstrated with the defendant, and duly arrested him at the scene of the incident. When questioned by the defence, Mr George Fox, as to the altercation, Sergeant Hopkins took out his notebook and read as follows:

“We were told the defendant had been throwing stones at the window of commercial premises, sir. When we arrived on the scene and approached him, he was relieving himself against a lamp post and shouting while brandishing what later transpired to be a half bottle of Mundie’s wine. It’s one of the lesser known South African brands, sir. Cheap and poor quality, sir. He was shouting “Horny swanky mallypants”, he was, and, although I did not comprehend the actual meaning of this, the situation naturally conveyed to me the impression we was dealing with an aggressive and offensive drunk, sir, and so we proceeded ...”

“Horny swanky mallypants?” repeated the defence, to a certain amount of sniggering around the court. “It doesn’t seem so injurious to me, officer. Rather childish, perhaps, but hardly life-threatening, wouldn’t you agree?”

Sergeant Hopkins cleared his throat. “Yes, sir, ahem, but that wasn’t what the defendant had really said. He shouted it again and again, and in fact since we were none the wiser I eventually asked him to write it down, sir.”

“What?” interrupted Mr Justice Whitbread, leaning across from the bench. “You actually asked him to write it down?”

“Yes m’lud. Regulations. For the report, m’lud. In the force we have to note things down word for word, you see. Regulation 478 stroke C, subsection A, paragraph 9 (d), sir. So I gave him pen and paper, m’lud. Took ever so long to write it, too, sir”, said the officer sternly, drawing himself up to his full height. “Cos drink had been taken, obviously, sir”, he added, to the titters of the general public. “Bit of a shaky hand, plus he kept humming and muttering Baby One More Time, gyrating his hips provocatively with one hand clutching his parts rather crudely, sir. It’s a song by that Britney Spears, sir. She’s dolled up and sexy as a schoolgirl with all red-red lipstick and pigtails, see, and when the bell rings at the end of class, she …”

“Quite, quite, Sergeant”, interrupted Mr Fox. “But what did he write in the end?”

Sergeant Hopkins consulted his notebook again. “Honi soit qui mal y pense, sir, not the other horny mallypants thing. It’s French, sir – I looked it up at the station later. Means, er, Evil be to Him what Evil Thinks. That’s what he said”.

“WHO, Sergeant”, Mr Fox corrected him.

Sergeant Hopkins’ brow creased over in surprise. “Who, sir? Why, the defendant, sir. I just said so” (more laughter). “Shouting and bawling it, he was, sir. While urinating, as I stated before, and …”

“No, no, Sergeant”, interrupted the defence gently, “you’re mistaken in your …”

The Sergeant’s puzzlement heightened. “No, there’s no mistake, sir, it was that bloke over there all right.” His face registered a certain amount of indignation as he added: “That’s why we’re all here in court, sir. Oh yes, we found him in faganti. Well in faganti, he was. In faganti and red-handed too. In faganti or I never seen it, sir”.

“No,” said Mr Fox patiently, amid some open guffawing from the public gallery, “I only meant WHO as in …”

The judge banged his gavel. “Silence in court! Mr Fox, could we possibly get on with things here? I’ve two assault and batteries, a couple of cases of fraud, four burglaries and a grievous bodily harm to hear this morning, and unless you intend to call Noam Chomsky as a witness on this one, I’d rather like to find time for a spot of lunch today, not to mention my wife and family and a round of golf. So if you could see your way to … mmm?”

“I’m sorry, your honour”, said the defence lawyer, hurriedly … “So, Sergeant”, he continued, “it was not more offensive, even, than the mollypants whatever-it-was you mistook it for in the first place. Rather pseudo-intellectual, in fact.”

“Yes sir, perhaps sir, if you like to call it that, sir”, said Hopkins, “but then there was the aforementioned stone-throwing and, well, after he wrote that down, he jumped back a pace, assumed a kind of martial arts stance, said something about Dodge City - along with certain lewd comments I can’t repeat here out of respect for the court, like, sir, but he did use the F word, the B word and indeed the C word, sir - and offered to take us all on, sir. It was at this point that two constables restrained and overpowered him, then we brought him down the station and booked him, and he, er, threw up in the cell, sir. That cell had just been cleaned, too, sir”, added the sergeant ruefully (general laughter around the room, and this reporter noticed some surreptitious heaving of official shoulders among the other police officers and clerks present).

“Silence, silence!” cried the judge. “And enough of this nonsensical nincompoopery – it’s tantamount to bringing my court into disrepute. Stand up there, young fellow my lad. What have you got to say for yourself about all this?”

The defendant stood up and admitted the charge, claiming in his defence that the pressure of life had brought him to such extremes. He acknowledged he had been “tired and emotional” at the time but was now, he said, “fully repentant” of his conduct. He sincerely apologised to those concerned, and with all due shame begged the indulgence of the Court as a first-time offender.

The defendant was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment, suspended due to the absence of any criminal record, and bound over to keep the peace for a year and a day.

******

I’ve been invaded by work today after the holiday, so I’m leaving it all disjointed and incomplete like that, and buggered if I’m writing any more today. The response tomorrow. Maybe. I’ve got a heap of ironing to do as well after the two washing machine loads yesterday, I don’t mind telling you, and I’m out of pasta, ham, eggs, cereal and tuna, not that I eat them all together, and there’ll probably be a queue of two dozen people social bloody distancing outside the supermarket like there was at the fruit and veg shop this morning, and you’d think that a lockdown would mean much more time on your hands, you know, but it bloody well doesn’t.


[Edited at 2020-04-14 15:13 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-04-14 15:14 GMT]
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expressisverbis
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
 

expressisverbis
Portugal
Local time: 09:09
Miembro 2015
inglés al portugués
+ ...
I hope it! Apr 14

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

517 deaths in Spain yesterday, and 27 in the Basque Country, so the count is finally falling again. Many more people going back to work today after the Monday holiday, and they’re giving out masks at train, metro and bus stations.

“Masks handed out today to go to work can only be used for four hours”, warns the headline. The idea is you get one on the outward journey, and one on the way home. After you’ve bought your ticket or swiped your card, naturally, because there are a lot of smart Alecs about.

Below there’s a photo of the Basque President visiting a Covid-19 screen protector production plant, all masked-and-gloved up. You can tell he’s the main man because only he’s wearing one of the screens. Like him, three others are wearing blue gloves. Maybe it’s a rank thing, because another of his deputies has purple gloves. There’s another man in the picture with his hands behind his back. Why’s that? Could be because he arrived late and they’d run out of gloves, so he isn’t wearing any, and that's bad PR. Could be he’s lower in the pecking order, and had to settle for the lurid pink gloves with teddy-bear motifs. Could be he has no hands.

Today’s also the 89th anniversary of the declaration of Spain’s Second Republic, so we can expect a lot of the old Republican tricolour flags out on the balconies. There was a time when the present Queen would have been flying one of those herself when she was anchor woman at Spanish TV all those years ago, or so they say, but those republican sympathies mellow and fade to naught after one has been palaced up a tad.

Talking of flags, and masks, we’re now seeing that a mask is not just a mask. There are masks and there are masks. Some politicians have got hold of masks with a little Spanish flag on them, and so it’s only a matter of time before we see little Basque flags, little Catalan flags, little Galician flags etc. on other masks. One country, but worra lorra flags. During the recent Catalan cafuffle, now largely shelved but not forgotten due to you-know-what, there was a lot of talk about flags. I noticed during one “voice of reason” demonstration that someone was holding a placard saying “A flag is a piece of cloth”. Well. Easy to say. Where I come from, and in many other places where many other people come from, a flag is very much a piece of wroth.

Meanwhile, “Moan to Mervyn” has received a desperate plea, but I’m still desperately dealing with it and it could well be a desperate Matter of Life and Death, so watch this space.


I hope the death toll really begins to fall in Spain and in other countries. I truly wish that!
We don't have high numbers of fatalities and confirmed cases as we can see in Spain, our neighbour country.
People say Portugal acted with anticipation, discipline and solidarity to fight against the coronavírus.
I believe Portuguese began to isolate themselves voluntarily, and supporting each other, in particular, in Northern region, the most affected part of the country.
Let's hope the epidemiological curve becomes flattened enough in order to slow the coronavirus, and to stop it for once.


Mervyn Henderson
Angie Garbarino
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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Wednesday 15 April Apr 15

"'The worst is over'", cries the headline. It's a quote by Basque Government spokesman Josu Erkoreka. The one wearing the purple gloves in yesterday's photo.

Death count continues to fall - 567 yesterday, although with a number like that, you begin to wonder if they're making them up.

Doesn't console me. Things are getting to me lately. Ironically, it's the Moan to Mervyn bollocks that's getting to me, I reckon, too many dark thoughts that remind me of too many dark ep
... See more
"'The worst is over'", cries the headline. It's a quote by Basque Government spokesman Josu Erkoreka. The one wearing the purple gloves in yesterday's photo.

Death count continues to fall - 567 yesterday, although with a number like that, you begin to wonder if they're making them up.

Doesn't console me. Things are getting to me lately. Ironically, it's the Moan to Mervyn bollocks that's getting to me, I reckon, too many dark thoughts that remind me of too many dark episodes, so I'm leaving it for a bit. Meanwhile, talking of numbers and dark thoughts, here's another blast from a misspent past. Today it's all there is, and it's what it is. As Jack Malone himself might have said:

...

Jack Malone, Private Detective - Jimmy the Weasel

The phone rang at four in the morning. Nine times out of ten, when I heard the phone ring in my office at that time it meant two things. One, it meant it was a dame, and two, it meant it was trouble. And it meant I was in the office at the time. That makes three things, now I come to think of it, but who’s counting anyways, we’re not even at line five or six yet, and the place is coming down with numbers, so let’s get on with it already:

You may think that's mighty strange, I’ll allow, me being in the office at that time. Hell, it wasn’t as if I had no place to go - I had an apartment out there somewheres for sure, but I never remembered getting there and I never remembered leaving neither, so I mostly stayed put at the office to keep things simple.

“Broads,” I was thinking when it rang. “Can’t live with them, can't live without them." Sure, it was one of those days. I was crashed out at the office, just me and Mr Bourbon, thinking back to when a dame had messed with my mind big time, so bad I’d crawled right inside a bottle of strong booze to forget, to remember, to remember to forget, or to forget to remember, or forget to forget, even, and stayed there.

I took a slug of the stuff as I answered. It was cheap and nasty, and that was the way I felt and that was the way I liked it. Washed over me cheap and nasty too, like a pool of warm blood seeping from a shotgun blast to a squealer’s head. I laughed as I felt the liquor rip the fuzz off my tongue and dissolve the plaque of hardened sludge on my palate better than paint-stripper, and just as economical. Yes, I laughed a long low laugh. Then I laughed a short low laugh, followed by a long loud laugh, and after that a short loud laugh, then a long low loud laugh, but I gotta admit by that stage I was getting kinda confused.

The broad on the phone sounded a little edgy, what with all the different kinds of laughing and all.

“Mr Jack Malone? Are you Jack Malone, the detective?”

Only just managed to hold back a belch as I replied. “Sure I am, ma’am,” I gulped. “Leastways, I was all day today and yesterday, but I can’t speak for any time previous without my attorney present. If I had one.”

“I do apologize for the lateness of the hour,” she went on, “but I am extremely concerned about my husband. He’s disappeared without trace, you see. My name is Fairweather, Doris Fairweather.”

Now, it could just have been the bourbon, but it seemed to me that being called Fairweather Doris and ending up married to a guy with the surname Fairweather was a whole bunch of screwed-up luck, but I wasn’t about to tell her that.

“So jump in a cab and come round the office," I told her. "Jack Malone Private Detective never sleeps.”

“Isn’t that the Pinkerton motto?”

“Well, yes, lady. The difference being they never sleep at Pinkerton’s because it's a 24-hour outfit with a helluva lot of staff, but me, I never sleep because I never get to bed.”

When she arrived at my door, I could see Doris Fairweather was a fine looker all right. Said she was from a place called “New Jersey”. Had to think about that one for a minute, and then I realized she meant what we call Noo Joizee round here. The way she said it, sounds like you've been to the store. One big-stepping classy dame, I thought as she big-stepped classily thru the door, and when I see a big-stepping classy dame my guard goes up. To make sure she don't end up stepping big and classy all over me, see. A big-spending classy dame, too, judging by the fancy clothes. A big stepper and big spender's husband might decide to disappear just to stop paying for all that big stepping and big spending. But I'd been in this business long enough to know that certain people had a habit of making other people disappear pronto when the other people stopped doling out bucks, too. Jack Malone was working on a hunch, and reckoned he knew what the score was with the Fairweather broad’s husband even before she started to explain. I decided not to waste any time:

“So, Mrs Fairweather, were your husband and you having any, uh, financial problems, let’s say?" was my first question.

“Why, yes, as a matter of fact we were,” she said, surprised and embarrassed, “but last month my husband told me he had secured a loan from a gentleman who has a club near here. Jimmy’s Joint. We seemed to be fine for a while, and then Norman - that's my husband - was nervous for days on end, and three days ago I came home and there he was - gone.”

I knowed it, I just knowed it ...

“You don’t mean Jimmy the Weasel, do you, Doris?”

“I suppose so. It was Jimmy something. So you know him?”

I didn't know Jimmy the Weasel so intimately, but I did know it was a lousy idea to take a loan off him. People that couldn’t pay it back didn’t stay people too long.

“And why do they call him Jimmy the Weasel?" asked Doris.

“Because he looks like one. Because he has one. Because he breeds them. I’ve no idea, lady. But you sure as hell don’t get to be called Jimmy the Weasel because you’re a swell guy, a gentleman like you said. Listen, Doris, I’m real sorry and all, but I’m dollar sure I know what the take is with your old man. Jimmy the Weasel’s taken him for a ride.”

“A ride?”

“That’s what I said, ma’am, a ride. But a ride with a one-way ticket."

“One-way ticket?"

“Sure, a one-way ticket, lady. You gotta understand he’s been iced.”

“Iced?”

“You bet, doll. With a heater.”

“Heater?”

“Say, what gives, is there an echo in here? You got it, a heater. Like the Spaghettis say, he a-sleeps widda da fishes. He’ll never show.”

“Mr Malone, please talk sense. How can anyone use a heater to ice anything? It defies logic. And what is this nonsense about sleeping with fish?”

I heaved a sigh, took it real slow, and explained. I gotta tell you, she didn’t seem too upset about my little theory. She just sniffed a little into a real pretty lace handkerchief, was all. By the time she looked up, her mind was on the ball again.

“You see, Mr Malone, in that case, I can’t collect on the insurance if there's no body. Norman had a policy for fifty thousand dollars. And if they never find him, like you said … unless somebody could talk to Jimmy the Weasel as to his, er, whereabouts … and the three of us could come to some, shall we say, monetary arrangement … ?”

She was a quick thinker, the Fairweather. The little grief I’d seen had been replaced by greed with a capital $. Norman wasn’t her late husband no more, he was fifty big ones. And I was being cut in on the act, too. It was a little ways out of the gray area of principles, because sure, Jack Malone has his principles, but he has bills to pay also, and those greenbacks don’t grow on trees.

“Tell you what I’ll do, lady. It’s a long shot, but it just might work.”

Gotta admit I always get a real kick out of saying that one.

“I can’t promise you nuthin’”, I went on, “but I'll go talk to Jimmy the Weasel and see first if I’m right, and second if there's anything we can do about it.”

So that evening I moseyed down to Jimmy the Weasel’s speakeasy four or five blocks away. They call them speakeasies because it’s a swell idea to speak easy and watch your dad-blamed mouth with the wise guys if you don’t want to find yourself trying on some cement boots for size. Jimmy’s Joint was jumping when I walked in. Jimmy's Joint. The joint with the most wise guys per square meter in the whole neighborhood. They were all standing around in their flashy suits and hats, knocking back the laughter juice, slapping backs, brushing little specks of dust off their lapels, jabbing at some other guy’s ribs, yapping “Hey muddafugga, you crazy?", "Get da fuggoudda heah", like the wise guys do.

At the middle of it all on a sofa I could see Mr Wise Guy himself. Jimmy the Weasel. Jimmy ran the whole range of outfits, what he called business and what the DA called ill-gotten gains but couldn't prove spit, mostly thru dance halls and clubs. A little fat guy. Kind of comical-looking, but understand there was nuthin’ funny about Jimmy the Weasel. A truckload of guys had underestimated Jimmy that way. Guys that weren’t around no more.

Sitting across from Jimmy was his right-hand man, rumored to be a specialist in just that - guys that weren't around no more. Leastways, he made real sure they didn’t reappear. Ace Reilly was built like a bull. Ace Reilly got plenty exercise. He kept an assortment of shovels, picks and spades in the trunk of his automobile. Ace could dig a shallow grave in under a half hour on a moment’s notice. Taller clients or dispatches upstate lengthened the timeline a tad, but that was what Ace did best. He sure had an eerie way of looking at everyone Jimmy talked to as well, like he was measuring up just in case there would be a call-out later.

Moll was there too. Whether that was a name or a profession, people didn’t like to ask. As usual, she was covered in bling from head to toe - rings, necklaces, brooches, and even a tiara. That night she was smothered in furs too. A minx in minks.

What a pack, I thought as I approached. Pack was the right word, too. What with the King of Clubs, the Queen of Diamonds, the Ace of Spades, and Jack, I figured we were only short a ten for a neat-looking hand in five-card stud.

Moll looked up.

“Mr Malone. How nice to see you. Do you like my new wrap?"

I did a take on the dead animal hanging around her neck.

“Fine duds for sure." I turned to Jimmy. “Must come pretty expensive, huh Jimmy?"

Jimmy nodded. “Cost me two hundred bucks. It’s a stole.”

“More like a steal”, I said.

“Haven’t seen ya on the patch lately, Malone,” said Jimmy. “We was just talkin' 'bout ya.”

“Were, Jimmy”, said Moll.

“Where? Why, right here with you and Ace, honey-bunch,” said Jimmy. “Broads”, he guffawed. “Can't live with them, can't live without them, huh Jack?"

“I’ve heard it said,” I agreed.

Moll rolled her eyes. Jimmy the Weasel wasn’t no grammarian, he was a mobster. You can take the man out of Hell’s Kitchen, but you can't take Hell’s Kitchen out of the man. He was watching me carefully with his little piggy eyes. Not that I had ever gotten in Jimmy’s way because I preferred to go on breathing, and, like I said, he was smart enough to never get his hands dirty himself, but he knew what Jack Malone did for a living, and he wasn’t taking no chances.

“So what’s with ya, Jack? Ya welcome just so long as ya not here in an official capacity.”

“Well, yes and no, Jimmy. Let's just say I've got a business proposition …”

There ain’t much more to tell. It all went smoothly in Jimmy’s office. While he didn’t actually admit to anything, when I mentioned the name Norman Fairweather I could see he was wise to it. Said he’d get Ace on the job, see if he could “find” the body for the poor dame. I thought to myself it would put a little variety into Ace's work, since he was more used to putting folks to bed than waking them up, but I wasn’t about to say so. That wasn’t my concern. I was just the middleman. The stiff was produced, Doris was paid, so was Jimmy, and so was I. Jimmy went back to racketeering, Doris went back to Noo Joizee, and I went back to being a downmarket private eye waging an uneven battle as a hapless anti-hero underdog amid the upper échelons of organized crime, a rough diamond with a heart, striving to make sense of life, love and loneliness in an itty bitty gritty world of mindless violence. But I could never make sense of any of it, so I just went back to the bottle to try to forget that dame I kept remembering to remember and forget all at the same time.

Broads. Can’t live with them, can't live without them.

...
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expressisverbis
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 10:09
Miembro
español al inglés
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PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
Thursday 16 April Apr 16

523 deaths in Spain yesterday. Might be more. Or fewer, you wouldn’t know. All sorts of tangential debates are kicking in on death statistics: was it a coronavirus death pure and simple, was it a coronavirus death with no previous symptoms, was it a coronavirus death simply exacerbated by previous conditions, was it a coronavirus death at home not registered at the hospital, was it a coronavirus death …? I’m beginning to lose faith in the experts because, as I said recently, there seem to ... See more
523 deaths in Spain yesterday. Might be more. Or fewer, you wouldn’t know. All sorts of tangential debates are kicking in on death statistics: was it a coronavirus death pure and simple, was it a coronavirus death with no previous symptoms, was it a coronavirus death simply exacerbated by previous conditions, was it a coronavirus death at home not registered at the hospital, was it a coronavirus death …? I’m beginning to lose faith in the experts because, as I said recently, there seem to be hordes of them coming out of the woodwork now expounding knowledgeably by video with their bookcases behind them, but one Spanish epidemiology expert was reporting from California last night and I have to agree with him in that the debate is not whether it’s XXX deaths or XXX give or take a few, but that it’s high enough to be doing something about it instead of everyone pissing around.

I repeat, I’m not a socialist, far from it, but I have nothing but contempt for all these smarmy overpaid oafs stirring the shit with the PM now, the same smarmy overpaid oafs who were incapable of reaching an agreement to even form a government for the best part of two or three years, droning on and on about the tragedy of redundancies and a police state when they certainly don’t even have to give a second thought to their own redundancies or the police state because, apparently, shit-stirring is vital for the good of the Spanish people the oafs claim to represent. Although maybe it’s inevitable. In a previous era, at least they were behind the likes of Churchill in a tricky corner, and had the decency to let him get on with it, and wait a few years until they booted him out of office. But I'll remember those smarmy overpaid oafs when they ask for my vote down the line in the name of solidarity and the people.

Talking of Churchill, as you may have observed, I'm definitely seeing his "black dog" these days.
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expressisverbis
Angie Garbarino
 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia y Herzegovina
Local time: 10:09
alemán al serbio
+ ...
Diary April 16 Apr 16

Diary April 16

I went to a hospital for a medical interpreting assignment. A very tall building indeed and I hate elevators (hate is an understatement). So I walk in and check on numerous elevators, preferably with other people inside so I am not left all alone inside in case it gets stuck somewhere in between the two floors. So I enter a rather smallish elevator with two other people inside, one person pressing the buttons asking us all what button to press for us. I say "floor 12
... See more
Diary April 16

I went to a hospital for a medical interpreting assignment. A very tall building indeed and I hate elevators (hate is an understatement). So I walk in and check on numerous elevators, preferably with other people inside so I am not left all alone inside in case it gets stuck somewhere in between the two floors. So I enter a rather smallish elevator with two other people inside, one person pressing the buttons asking us all what button to press for us. I say "floor 12, please". As we move upwards, he says to me "Ma'm, I can't see number 12, I pressed 14 for you, so you may just walk two floors downs using the stairs". I say "Fine, thanks, no problem". The elevators stops. I can't wait for the door to open just to pop out. So I do and I am relieved. I walk around trying to find the exit with staircase in order to go down and reach my destination floor - floor #12. However, I walk around in circles and can't seem to find the exit, then I eventually find one, but the staircase looks like a maze. I decide to walk around the floor 14 in order to ask for help and as I walk around things start getting a little suspicious. I can see epidemiologists in white overalls (now this is a literal overall with white pillow case over their head and black welding glasses), I see a lot of buzz, I see spit and blood on the floor, drama everywhere. I start getting even more suspicious slowly stepping into a panic mode. I start running down toward the maze-like staircase, where somewhere in the middle of the route down towards the floor 12 (not reached yet) I meet an acquaintance and tell her about what I saw on floor 14 and that I assume it's the floor for Corona infected people only, she answers "Yes, it is".

Can't remember what happened next. I did not wake up in sweats as the night was rather chilly. I just woke up.
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expressisverbis
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 10:09
Miembro
español al inglés
+ ...
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
Nightmare Apr 16

Well, I believed that one right up to the end, Lingua 5B!

 
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