It’s beginning to look a lot like christmas. Or is it?

Friends of MB are beginning to pop up Christmas decorations. MB can see a small Christmas tree twinkling brightly in the dim dark nights in the apartment block across the street. A few nights back, friends of MB played Michael Buble’s Christmas Songs CD as background hum to the consumption of a nice Chianti. Not a sliver of liver nor a fava bean in sight!

It’s certainly beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

What a year of experiences. Boldly going where none have gone before. Thoughts to all who’ve struggled, and the many who continue to do so. Financially. Emotionally. Whatever.

MB won’t be home for Christmas. First time ever. Will miss it terribly. Too much logistical hassle with quarantine periods each end, and the mental hassle of spending 7 hours on a flight with a mask and the hustle and bustle of infection-controlling airports. Wondering if any fellow mask-face passenger is infected; praying not. Whilst trying to watch Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory on the inflight entertainment system. To get into the festive mood. Or listening to Shane McGowan. If Qatar Airways have him on the playlist. Doubtful.

Then there are those with real problems.

Few weeks back, MB’s phone pinged. Messenger. Old school friend. Still lives in HX land. Much of his adult life spent looking after kids football teams. Has Stage-3 colon cancer. Went to doctor to have something relatively innocuous checked out. One test later, the big C. Fuck-a-duck. MB wished him well and continues to check in with him. Here’s hoping he’ll have a merry Christmas. Hoping big time.

Time for MB to go look for a Christmas tree. Alas, no tree markets out here. No tree sellers with puffa jackets and scarfs and woolly caps and seeing their exhaled breath in the cold sharp air and asking too much before settling on a lesser sum. Maybe MB can find a small Made-In-China plastic tree, and plank it on his work desk. And another for the living room table. Here’s hoping.

The Doha weather outside is delightful, but having no fire inside is frightful. And the lights are turned way down low. On MB’s essential oils mist lamp.

Let it snow. Let it snow. Let it snow!

When you’ve got a novel problem, you need a novel solution.

All problems have solutions. More or less.

One only has to find the solution.

And obviously, the more novel the problem, the more novel the solution required.

Take your average virus for example.

MB is open to any novel suggestions. Including the ingestion (or injection) of reasonable quantities of household bleach. Or placing humans in sunny locations where they can be exposed to high levels of bright light. Or implanting light bulbs within the human, on a temporary basis, to zap that virus critter.

MB can’t take credit for the foregoing novel ideas however, as brains far bigger than MB’s have come up with them in recent days.

But notwithstanding the novelty of the aforementioned novel ideas, it’s now a given that they don’t actually work.

Which got MB to thinking.

And thinking some more.

And then, MB had his most brilliant of brilliant eureka moments. Which MB wants first to impart to his loyal and long-suffering fanbase. Before MB’s miracle virus-cure hits the international headlines. And makes MB even more famous than he is at present.

But first, let us consider how stressed out all creeds and colours the world over have gotten of late. The following are just a small selection of quotes that MB has overheard and assembled in recent weeks from his many and multi-cultured coterie of friends and acquaintances:

My suit needs pressing. Again. – Luke, Jehovah’s Witness from New Jersey.

Jesus, when will the pubs open again? – Patrick, Roman Catholic from Tipperary, Ireland (As if Jesus would care).

Jai shri Ram – Sreenath, Buddhist from Bangalore. Lord Rama is often the solution.

Alcohol is sometimes useful. – Osama, Muslim from Jeddah.

Will the Bar mitzvah still go ahead? In any event, L’Chaim. – Lavie, young Jew from Tel Aviv.

Ou est la baguette? And is it safe to eat from mon hand? – Francois, multilingual athiest from Marseille.

The above reflects, in the humble opinion of MB, a tiny but very representative snapshot of the stress levels of humanity at this present time. And with any vaccine many months away at best, the global population is crying out for a quick fix.

One that works.

In all cases.


Roll of drums and enter the stage, MB.

With his foolproof anti-virus plan.

The 100% solution to all your viral problems.

And what’s your super-duper 100% cure MB? The suspense is killing us all right now MB.

OK lads, A little more patience please, as all will soon be revealed.

For those who may not be aware, the size of the corona virus is 200/1,000,000 mm. 200 over 1,000,000 of a millimetre. That’s 5,000 viruses, stretched out end to end, to make up a single millimetre.

So, just for the moment lads, park that dimensional fact in your heads.

Now MB wants you all to think to how your mom or grandma caught flies in the kitchen many years back.

Answer – flypaper. Very sticky flypaper.


Which got MB to thinking – what if MB could design a fly-paper solution to trap the virus. And prevent him (or her) making his (or her) way into MB’s mouth and onwards and inwards.

WHO and others have warned that the biggest method of transmission is touching the face with the hands. The virus arrives on the face, travels 2 to 3 inches and voila, hasta-la-vista baby!

So the trick – MB’s most cunning of cunning tricks – is to trap the virus on the face, a-la flypaper, at the moment of arrival.

And how, pray-tell, can you trap the virus when he lands MB???

Argan oil lads. Very simply – Argan oil.

Argan Oil

MB has long been a fan of Argan oil, using it regularly in the hot parched sandy desert environment that is his abode.

So slap on a few extra droplets each morning, and MB’s face suddenly becomes a fly-paper-like viral graveyard; a Bermuda Triangle for wandering viruses.

Now think back to that dimensional fact that MB gave you all above. To swim 3 inches for a virus is the equivalent of swimming 750km for any human. MB actually worked that one out!

Now just think of that virus trying to swim that distance through a sea of Argan oil. No way Jose! Far too viscous. Not possible. No siree. He dies of exhaustion on the journey. 100%.

Thank God MB is hale and hearty at present.  He is, however, not one to tempt fate or to anger the Gods. Hopefully, inshallah, God willing, the good health continues into the coming months and he emerges safely at the other side.

If he does, he will firmly believe that fly-paper and Argan oil played a very large part!

Lessons Learned

MB just spent the last 2 or 3 hours in the company of good Scottish friend (SF). Sipping tasty red wine. SF played a youtube video of Scottish music on the TV while the French red vino flowed. Read More