In their desperation to crack down on law-abiding people trying to stay within current vague and shifting guidelines, burbling government ministers with the same grasp on logic as a toothless snake on a lubed firecracker have confirmed that takeaway hot drinks count as a substantial meal, in a verdict already described as “downloaded by landlords ready for when the pubs reopen, thank you very much”.
Frantically backing up Derbyshire police, regarded by Stalin as ‘daringly trigger-happy’, for fining two drink-holding walkers for ‘picnicking’, Matt Hancock was forced to confirm on BBC Breakfast the offending beverages did indeed constitute a “substantial meal”, and make a tit of himself demonstrating so with the knife and fork gleefully produced by Louise Minchin.
Late to the memo, Michael Gove made sense for once by blurting “of course a drink isn’t a meal” on the Today programme. Having been tipped off on the way the wind was blowing, by the lunchtime bulletins he was hesitantly volunteering it was “a satisfying, starterish snack, perhaps”, and, following a briefing and emergency horsewhipping, viewers of the evening news could enjoy his bruised face describing the many times he had been unable to finish his filling three-course Sunday lunch of Camp Coffee, Bovril, and Hot Vimto, possibly washed down with a foaming pint of humble pie.
Beleaguered pubs countrywide have welcomed the news, with Wetherspoons boss and professional compassion-dodger, Tim Martin, leading enquiries to determine if only hot drinks count as a meal, or if grubby-crotched regulars keen to comply with future reopening rules will once again be able to enjoy their breakfast pint if accompanied by a delicious slice of Watney’s Red Barrel in a basket.