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Yes, I did manage to buy all the parts required to build a little still and, yes again, I did assemble it with relative ease.
But that is, more or less, where my success story ends. My first challenge was to look the part.
The hair and beard were easy – or shall I say a natural result of hairdressers having been closed for two months.
But when last did you try to buy a pair of dungarees? Trust me, it’s not an item stocked by many retailers.
And the one who did have a pair or two on the shelf was dumbstruck as to whether this specific item conforms to the lockdown fashion rules.
s it a pair of trousers with a bib and braces attached? Or vice versa?
Are braces for men on the list of allowed clothing items? Are braces regarded as items of clothing or accessories?
Do dungarees qualify as winter couture? Do I swear on my auntie Fanny’s grave that I promise to wear a long-sleeved sweater over it, as per government order?
And, of course, trying them on was not allowed.
I gave up and decided to instead go for the vagrant-with-a-bottleof-blue-spirits look, without the spirits of course.
I was, after all, becoming a moonshiner.
Note the use of the word was. I was about to light up my still for the very first time when I saw that the concoction I had prepared was still merrily bubbling away.
The fermentation process was nowhere near done. Turns out the cold spell we experienced had a profound effect on the chemical reaction I was counting on.
Basically, it halted it completely for five days. I should have known better.
I did pass matric science many decades ago.
That got me thinking: the best thing schools can do when they eventually reopen is to take a long, hard look at the curriculum and try to teach the kids something useful, like how to make moonshine.
Who cares if 3 x 3 is seven? How’s that going to help you in the real, post-lockdown world?
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