As lockdown eases here in the Eastern-Med, I finally fell foul of the rules.

I have been sent to a large supermarket, ten minutes or so further away than our usual store. The reason? Pasta. The larger shop has better brands of pasta. One of the small prices that one pays for marrying an Italian, is that pasta quality is non-negotiable.

Aware of my reluctance to travel, shop or even interact with people, Mrs L said,

“Go early. It will be quiet, fast and easy.”

And it would be, if I were over 60.

“Come back at 10 am.”

As I trudged back to the car, muttering darkly, I noted that MacDonalds was open. Surely a Sausage and Egg McMuffin would slip right in to my healthy eating plan?

Tray in hand, I walked out onto the seating terrace. There are fourteen tables, three of which are occupied. I chose an empty table distant from the other guests, mindful of my social distancing obligations. As I sat, I noticed a sticker on the middle of the table.

Rules? For fools.


I moved to the next table, unstickered.

“Impressive compliance to the rules,” I thought, chewing on the textureless mush from our friend Ronald.

My attention turned to my co-breakfasters. All three groups were sitting at stickered tables. Social distancing was being observed, enforced by 100% non-compliance, at least until I had bumbled along with my British-rule-following stupidity.

This makes me smile. It’s archetypically Cypriot. The object of the regulation has been achieved, but at no point has anyone complied to any rules.

Driving is the same. You learn to anticipate.

“The stupidest possible thing for that car to do would be…oh. THAT. He did it.”

As you know it’s going to happen, you prepare for it, accept it and nobody crashes. The only way to maintain your clean sheet, is to lean into 100% non-compliance. The worse you drive, the more predictable you are and the more everyone will be taking the right evasive action.

This isn’t chaos theory, as it relies on constant, consistent, non-compliance.

It’s awesome.

Wait long enough and a business theorist will write a book on it and herald the new thing to make you 71.8% more productive by never, ever complying.

Right, I have to go, I can’t type and take this exit. Not without spilling my beer, anyway.