The World Keeps Turning – II

hold my beer

Here in isolation, we’re all finding creative ways to cope with social distancing.  I’ve started talking to the telemarketers.  Charlie from One World TechCom is nice; he just had a baby.  So, the world keeps turning.  Here are just a few things that happened this week.

A couple of days ago, supply outstripped demand and the price of crude oil fell below zero.  Let me give that to you again – BELOW ZERO.  In other words, oil companies were paying people to cart the stuff away.  One wonders how the international markets handled this.  After all, oil has been the price of doing business on this planet since the Saudis first held us hostage back in 1973.  (Shoe’s on the other foot now, huh, Salman?)  I can’t wait until Samsung starts giving away a free barrel of oil with every purchase of a big screen TV.

Travellers in Canada are now required to wear masks in airports and on all flights – foreign and domestic.  Hold it!  I can’t go across the street to get my hair cut because it’s a non-essential journey, and somebody is jetting off to somewhere because … Why?  Where could they possibly be going?  For God sake, the entire planet’s closed — except the factories in Wuhan, China.  And, trust me, you can get any of the junk they’re manufacturing delivered from Amazon.

And speaking of China, Missouri is suing China because they allege the Chinese government willfully “lied to the world and silenced whistleblowers” about Covid-19.  Good luck with that!  Folks!  You’re suing a country that has a couple of million Muslims in re-education camps, has armed troops all over Tibet, kicks the crap out of Hong Kong protesters every weekend, threw a Nobel Prize winner in jail and regularly conducts organ transplants where the Falun Gong donors are not notified.  I doubt very much if a subpoena from the Show Me state is going to carry any weight.

And finally:

Chutzpah has a new World Champion.  Apparently, Sir Richard Branson, the Grand Poobah of Virgin Everything, is in financial difficulties.  His various airlines are going broke.  In fact, it’s gotten so bad that Branson has offered his private Caribbean island, Necker, as collateral for a $500 million UK government loan.  This is a dire situation.  However, let’s review the facts.  Forbes estimates Sir Richard’s net worth is somewhere north of 5 billion dollars.  He doesn’t pay any tax on it cuz he lives in the Virgin Islands where he moved a couple of years after he was convicted of tax evasion.  He owns everything with a Virgin label on it and has enough money to build a spaceship (LauncherOne.)  That’s right!  A spaceship!  However, he figures that to keep all this going, he needs UK taxpayers to pony up some big bucks.  Hey, Dick!  Here’s an idea: use some of your own money and bail yourself out — that’s what the rest of us are doing.

Guidelines For Covid-19

guidelines

Somewhere around 6 billion people on this planet are fed up with Covid-19!  Frankly, if this virus was a person, they’d be getting more hate than Hitler.  It some places, people are just saying “I’ve had enough!” and going back to the wicked ways that got us into this mess.  Okay, you don’t get geniuses on every street corner, but I think the biggest problem is nobody knows how to act now that normal isn’t normal anymore.  So, in the interests of doing my part to end Isolation Hell, here are a few guidelines to follow as you unleash your inner introvert.

Disclaimer – This is satire, folks.  Yes, I realize this pandemic is serious, and there’s no need to remind me with caustic emails.

Food and Drink

1 – Stress eating can be a challenge.  A reasonable weight gain in lockdown is 11 pounds or 5 kilos per month.  Once you hit that milestone, the future depends on the strength of the elastic in your underwear.

2 – Red wine does not go with Oatmeal, Granola, Raisin Bran or Cheerios.  However, a splash of white can get you set up for the day.

3 – Buy healthy snacks and be creative.  For example, you can deep fry anything, and rice cakes aren’t that bad if you dip them in enough chocolate.

Entertainment

4 – Nobody, in two lifetimes, can watch everything on Netflix, so don’t whine that there’s nothing on TV.  Yes, you may be forced to watch Rampage, but we all have to make sacrifices in these troubled times.

5 – However, once you start watching Adam Sandler movies, you’ve been alone too long: telephone a relative or close friend.  Actually, I believe, there’s a 1-800 Help Line.  (And if there isn’t, there should be.)

6 – Also, re-watching Season 8 of Games of Thrones is not recommended.  It’s not going to get any better, and you’re got enough to be pissed off about right now.

Children

7 – If you’re homeschooling, it’s best to keep a cute baby picture of your kid handy.  This is to remind you that the little monster who refuses to understand “Carry the 1” is still your daughter and not Satan’s evil spawn.

8 – Playing Hold-em Poker with your six-year-old for their college fund is not acceptable.

9 – And, that’s your DNA that just painted the cat and discovered apples don’t actually go all the way down when you flush.

Mental Health

10 – In order to maintain a modicum of decorum, make sure you change from your night pajamas to your day pajamas no later than 9 A.M.

11 – You are limited to two (2) ugly cries per day, and you can’t save them up and go nuts on Monday morning when you realize, “Crap! There’s another week I’ve wasted.”

12 – It’s time to seek professional help when you start referring to your family as inmates and cursing Mandela for setting the bar so high.

Home and Work

13 – When you’re working from home, it’s always a difficult time when you realize you never actually did all that much work.  Don’t stress out!  Try filling your time with work-related activities like going for coffee, planning lunch, exchanging funny memes with your friends and cruising Instagram.  These will help you pass a “normal” work day.

14 – Conference calls with audio are different from conference calls with video.  Know the difference and be prepared (i.e. the regional manager is going to notice the torn Ride-A-Cowboy t-shirt.)

15 – You need to develop a comprehensive strategy to balance your work and home life.  “Screw it!  The reports can wait” is not comprehensive enough.

And finally:

16 – Remember all those mornings when the alarm went off and you rolled over and thought, “God, I wish I could just stay home and lay in bed all day”?  Well, careful what you wish for!

6 Reasons Why Covid-19 Sucks

virus2

In the Covid-19 timeline, today is Day – uh – nobody really knows what the hell day it is!  Day 24?  Day 19?  Day 167?  All the days are running together.  It’s as if the calendar gave up on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and just decided to go with “Day.”  This stupid pandemic is ruining our sense of urgency.  Who cares if we sleep in?  “Oh, no! I’m going to be late for ….”  What?  Going to the living room?  And that’s only one of the reasons Covid-19 sucks.  There are tons more.  Here are just a few.

Wall-to-Wall Media
Even in the good old days, there was never 24 hours of news happening every day.  That’s why even respectable media outlets filled up the time with celebrity crap, sports and weather warnings.  Now, with the world at a standstill, all the talking heads are talking about Covid-19 – hour after relentless hour.  Gloom with an extra helping of doom.  Dear God, give it a rest!  Full marks, however, for the 1,001 creative ways journalists are saying, “You’re screwed!”

It’s not “over there.”
Up until the wet markets in Wuhan, China went batshit crazy, every other human disaster was localized.  Earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and famines all happened, but 90% of the rest of the world was fine.  Even the mighty World War II never made it past the Statue of Liberty!  We all felt bad for those poor buggers in the thick of it, but life went on – kids went to school; we went to yoga class, drinks after work, shopping, dinner and a movie – OOPS!  Now the shoe’s on the other foot, and it doesn’t fit.

The constant comparisons to World War II.
Seriously?  We’ve been jealous of The Greatest Generation ever since Tom Brokaw called them that in ’98, but c’mon!  Even the people comparing 10 years of economic disaster, 6 years of war, the Holocaust and 2 nuclear bombs to just over 6 weeks of self-isolation can’t keep a straight face.

We can’t find a bad guy.
All the usual suspects — misguided science, the military, millennials, corporate greed, etc. — just don’t qualify.  Okay, the Chinese have been dicks about this from the beginning, but believe me, you don’t want say that out loud.  If you dare, Twitter will unleash such an unholy torrent of hate on your head that even your dog will think you’re a racist.  It’s way better to play it safe and bitch about Trump — but after 4-plus years, that isn’t even fun anymore.

There’s nothing to do.
Every single person on this planet is on the front line, and the only thing we can do about it is hide.  People aren’t built that way.  In a crisis, our natural instinct is to take action — even if it’s only volunteering to get shot at.  This is the first disaster ever when taking responsibility, being a good person and doing your part to help means grabbing a spot on the sofa and staying there — and we don’t like it.

But worse than that:

No great stories to tell the grandchildren.
Think about it!  Throughout history, catastrophe has always produced tales of courage, stories of hardship and sacrifice, ripping yarns about the indomitable human spirit.  However, years from now, when our grandkids ask, “Back in the old days, when the world was falling apart, what did you do during Covid-19?” the vast majority of us are going to have to say, “Well, dear — we drank some wine and watched a lot of Netflix.”

And if that lame-ass answer doesn’t suck, I don’t know what does!