THE alarm bell rang. It was time to get up.
As a longstanding Marshal, I was invited to attend the grand opening of the Covid Marshals’ Hall of Fame, located in the former Victoria and Albert Museum.
The museum has recently been renamed the Greta and Albert Museum in honour of Thunberg and Gore, who have done so much to promote NetZero in the UK and elsewhere in the West.
All the previous exhibits have been sold off as required by the terms of the financial bailout agreed with the IMF. The rooms are now filled with propaganda about government policies concerning NetZero and ZeroCovid (they don’t seem to have any other policies).
The exhibition was opened by a masked robot with the voice of Bill Gates. I was at the back of the hall, so perhaps it was Bill Gates. To celebrate the opening we were all treated to a glass of water to accompany our mealworm in lettuce wraps with crispy grasshoppers. I gave mine to Jordan who is back from his punishment on Arran – he has lost four stone.
The exhibits in the Hall of Fame are underwhelming. In the entrance is the bench in Ealing where the first Covid fine was issued; a piece of confiscated firewood from Runcorn; a collection of confiscated below-standard masks; an image of a Covid Marshal drawn by a girl of seven who won a painting competition, and various posters warning the public ‘Covid Marshals are watching YOU!’
Other rooms contain a model village showing Covid Marshals performing their duties; a baffling avant garde tribute sponsored by Extinction Rebellion from the Hornsey Trans Vegan Artists and Activists Collective which involves lots of cans, needles and fabrics draped over a rusting Ford Fiesta; and a room displaying the evolution of Covid Marshal uniforms.
Finally, I reached The Covid Marshal Legends’ Room. It is a large space with subdued lighting containing photographs and posters of some of the Marshals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to track down Covid and Environmental Regulation offenders.
Bob ‘Daredevil’ Dent OBE
Bob, a member of the crack Special Antivirus Squad (‘Who Snares Wins’), spent several weeks last summer snorkelling along the coast of Dorset with a small camera attached to the top of his snorkel. Hundreds of day trippers found themselves incriminated by his footage, many for bathing without masks.
Gwyneth Lloyd Davies RIP (two-time Whitty Award winner)
Gwyneth went to extraordinary lengths in her ambition to become a Grade 3 Marshal. During her holidays and spare time, she disguised herself as a sheep to trap climbers breaking regulations in the Welsh mountains. Sadly hypothermia got the better of her one snowy night in December. A letter informing her of her promotion lay unopened on her doormat in Bala.
Norman ‘The Nose’ Netherfield
In order to stay warm, many unfortunate souls have resorted to burning wood or even furniture. The felons often thought they had got away with their crime but they hadn’t reckoned with the ‘The Nose’. Norman, even when triple-masked, could detect the smell of smoke on someone’s clothes for up to a week after they were in proximity to a fire. His extraordinary skill was recognised by all and few challenged their punishment.
Agents Starling and Polecat (‘The Masters of Disguise’)
This unassuming middle-aged couple (aka Geoff and Janet, Rajeev and Indira, Wu and Wen, Jan and Jovanka) of Auxiliary Covid Marshals tour the tea shops of Shropshire and Worcestershire, identifying diners who do not replace their masks properly between bites of Victoria sponge and lemon drizzle cake. Their dedication to ZeroCovid has led to the imposition of over 2,000 fines.
Martin ‘Titch’ Tompkinson (winner, Michie Prize for Deception)
Many would have found being vertically challenged a handicap to being a successful Covid Marshal, but not Martin. He went on a rigorous diet to enable him to squeeze into pillar boxes to spy on those with ill-fitting face masks. Many a transgressor was apprehended by Martin as he leapt out of a box with their fine notification in hand. I fear the photograph of his eyes staring out of the pillar box will stay with me for some time.
I have always found that museums drain my legs of energy in no time, and I quickly left the dispiriting display. Not having an underground pass, I walked back to the station passing the Pfizer University (formerly Imperial College), the Anthony Fauci Museum (formerly the Science Museum) and the Kensington Vaccination Centre (formerly the National History Museum).
They promised ‘three weeks to flatten the curve’.