Cookies, anacondas, Brit-less board games – here are your lockdown basics

'Anaconda 3: Offspring' is a great way to spend 120 of the 30,000 minutes we will be in lockdown.
Howzit, my squeeze 'Anaconda 3: Offspring' is a great way to spend 120 of the 30,000 minutes we will be in lockdown.
Image: YouTube

As thousands of South Africans abandoned social distancing en masse and crowded into shopping malls on Tuesday, all shared one thought: have I got what I need?

It’s natural to feel anxious as we go into an unprecedented 21-day lockdown on Thursday night, and many of us will be worrying if we have enough to see us through until the next time we are allowed to go shopping, which is tomorrow, and the day after that, and every single day during the national shutdown. (Obviously you shouldn’t go shopping every day – we should all be behaving as if we are infected, and exposing staff in shops to our potential cooties should be kept to an absolute minimum – but the point is, nobody needs to panic.)

Still, in the interests of public wellbeing, I would like to remind my readers of a few lockdown basics that I believe are essential.

Firstly, DVDs. If you have a streaming service, you will watch everything on it by the end of Sunday. DVDs, however, offer you a world of entertainment consisting of films that nobody wants to put on a streaming service, and which you therefore haven’t seen. Consider dipping into the 3-for-R99 bins at supermarkets. Anaconda 3: Offspring, for example, is a great way to spend 120 of the 30,000 minutes we will be in lockdown, because it will remind you of all the terrible films that are not being made right now and this will cheer you up no end. 

Secondly, veterans of natural disasters and lockdowns encourage people to buy not just staple foods but also treats like chocolates or cookies. I recommend buying three boxes of cookies if you can. When you get home, you will celebrate your strategic nous by eating one of the boxes, after which rationing sets in, which means the second box will last comfortably into the afternoon. The third box, however, must last until Day 2, when the going starts getting particularly tough.

Thirdly, exercise will be essential. Skipping ropes are excellent, and not just as something to trip over. You can also use them to twirl idly while watching Anaconda 3, which will keep your wrists supple.

At this point it’s unclear if dog-walking will be allowed, but if it’s not, and you have a dog, consider developing a game in which you bounce its rubber ball off a wall and see which if you can catch it in your mouth first. This will start being a lot more fun after Day 14...

I would, however, stay away from Monopoly, especially if you’re playing with British people.

And finally, speaking of fun, don’t underestimate the good, old-fashioned charms of board games.

Scrabble is a great way to spend three minutes. MasterMind, likewise, is guaranteed to bring the family together, as parents say: “Oh! This is great! I used to be really good at this!” and their kids say: “It looks sucky. How do you play?” and parents reply: “You put out the coloured pegs, and then these black and white ones, and then – wait, no the other person puts out coloured pegs, and then you – wait, ah, I used to know ...” and then the kids leave.

I would, however, stay away from Monopoly, especially if you’re playing with British people. One percent of them will insist on being paid two month’s rent in advance, especially if you’re feeling a pit sniffly, while the other 99% will spend the evening yelling: “F%$k off, you Tory shits!”, all of which will make a generally tedious game entirely unbearable.

But let me stop now (before this list crosses over from being merely helpful to being utterly essential and you are compelled to join the panic buyers tomorrow) and end by wishing you good luck and as much good cheer as we can muster in this frightening time. I’ll see you again inside the lockdown.


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