The COVID-19th Testament:
Tony and Beryl Splurnt probably wouldn’t pass the test for orthodoxy, but they’d get all the ‘A’s you can fit into the word ‘effort’. Watching the world pull a Hindenburg during the pandemic, the pair (ages 74 and 67) have realised a dual need for moral guidance and the basics of science communication.
“We thought, look, we’re all just about at each other’s throats about masks and social distancing and sputum in public and whatnot. It’s tearing us all apart as people. So we thought, what could be better than a fun spin on a classic?” said Tony.
The classic in question was, for better or for worse, the Holy Bible.
He continued, “We’re not really churchgoing folk. But I remember seeing someone at a friend’s local parish had adapted the lyrics of Josh (sic) Lennon’s song ‘Imagine’ to lovely things like “Imagine there’s no atheists.” Which I just thought was the cleverest thing since canned (sic) bread.”
But in spite of the Splurnts’ glaring absence of acquaintance with the holy text’s religion, the last 50 years of music, or the last century of bread-based innovations. They finally decided to take on the adaptation of the Torah’s lynchpin passage: the Ten Commandments.
“Not giving COVID to your neighbour’s wife seemed like the least we could ask for,” said Tony. “But to be honest it’s difficult using mostly puns to adapt 3,500-year-old moral heritage into a comprehensive do’s-and-don’ts list, relevant to a global pandemic in a world that includes Elon Musk and 4chan – or so my grandson tells me,” he added, shiftily.
Do Not COVID thy neighbours Wife
Beryl chimed in with an example, “We’re having trouble finding any words in Deuteronomy that provide vaguely believable phonetic segues into words like ‘social distancing’. And that’s just the start of it. Have you ever tried using ancient Near-Eastern cultural terminology to address concepts like pathogenicity and immunocompromise? Good luck to you.”
Other attempts by the pair have included adapting ‘You shall have no other gods except me,’ to ‘You shall not have any other cold except this one.’ While ‘You shall not commit murder’ was left largely unchanged. An asterisk was simply added referring to a footnote which read: ‘by sneezing on the elderly.’
“That’s one thing I’ve been thankful about in this pandemic,” remarked Beryl. “Parents are finally telling their kids to stop sneezing on us.”
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