Monday, March 16, 2020

Better laugh now, before tragedy sets in

     If this seems slapped together, it was. Sunday morning I turned in a complicated, long story on colon cancer I'd been working on for a few weeks. Then mid-afternoon, as a string of coronavirus developments pushed it out of the paper. No room. But there was room for a standard-length column, so I batted out this and hoped it flew. I'm not sure it does. I think my point, to the degree I have one, is that if 9/11 started in tragedy and we learned to laugh again, the novel coronavirus is starting in farce and ending in tragedy. 

     You want to hear something strange and a little scary? I felt great Saturday morning. Walking the dog, breathing the frosty air, taking big strides—well, what constitutes big strides for me. An unexpected surge of energy.
     I had no idea why. I hope it wasn’t the snow day, society’s cancelled, End of Times drama of the United States collectively ducking into a crouch, readying itself to start receiving full body punches from the coronavirus. But with journalists you never know. We can’t help but ooo and ahh at the big fire for a moment or two before catching ourselves and remembering the people leaping out the windows.
     Maybe I was just well-rested.
     Social media fixated for some ungodly reason on people buying lots of toilet paper and others condemning them for buying lots of toilet paper. I took to Twitter to try to offer up a silver lining in all this before, you know, thousands of Americans start to die and nothing seems funny anymore, which I distinctly remember as being the bitter icing on the tragedy cake of 9/11.
     I tweeted out a series, beginning with “Look on the Bright Side #1: No sign of Rudy Giuliani.”
     Because this was twitter, people were reacting instantly, pointing out that this was wrong: Trump’s unhinged consigliere was on Fox News, flapping his gums about the crisis. That’s what I get for never watching Fox, and for being an optimist. I keep thinking, with life or death hanging in the balance, the presidential clown show must come to an end.
     But of course it doesn’t. It just gets worse.
     I tried again.
     “Look on the Bright Side #2: Trump not crowing about the stock market.”

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  1. An entertaining column despite the haste.


  2. Funny about being forced to clean the doorknobs, etc. We can use a giggle.

  3. There have been plenty of columns more incoherent. Don't worry.
    Mostly always enjoyed. thanks for the efforts..

  4. Always enjoy reading what you write. You are so humble. You’ve mentioned more than once that a column you’ve written is not worthy of being liked. Your fans like reading what you have to say whether silly or serious. Over the years you have written enough great columns to merit that.

  5. On a related subject, who knows how it will all turn out, but I've been impressed by both the Governor and the Mayor. I had looked at the former as just another rich guy looking for a hobby, but he seems to be actually governing in this emergency.


  6. Time has only continued to validate my decision, years ago, to take a permanent pass on Face Place. I didn't have to pitch even one "friend" over the weekend, or ever. I figured I'd be the only user, out of gazillions, with zero likes and zero friends. Didn't want so-called "friends" scamming me or ripping me off. Nor did I want my real name out there for the rest of the world. Paranoia striking too deep? Perhaps. I prefer the word "security."

    For me, the whole megillah was akin to tobacco use. The best way to get healthy, and stay that way, is to never start smoking it in the first place. Unfortunately, I began at 13. I finally quit (cold turkey) at 45.

    My doctor recently diagnosed permanent lung damage, despite my having been "clean" for 25+ years. Started too young, kept puffing too long. So not only am I a geezer, I'm also in the "susceptible" category for this latest global plague. Time to hunker in the bunker. See you in September.

  7. Yes, kudos to Pritzker. So glad he beat that beast Rauner.

    Grizz, sorry to hear of your plight.

    1. Yeah. Thanks. My wife thinks I'm being a little overly dramatic, but I watched both her mother and her uncle wheeze their lives away from tobacco-related lung diseases, and it wasn't pretty.

      If I hunker down, stay home, stay healthy, and survive this plague, I should have a good chunk of time left. Sick joker that I am, it occurs to me that if I hadn't quit smoking at 45, I probably wouldn't be dealing with the situation we're in today. Or any other situation, for that matter.


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