Pigeons And The “New Normal”

These days, everybody and his sister is yipping about “The New Normal” as if it were as inevitable as death and taxes.  The predictions run the gambit from “We’re all screwed!” to “The light at the end of the tunnel is utopia calling.”  Okay, we’re never going back to pre-Covid, but, I’m tellin’ you for a fact, our world’s “old normal” has just way too much in-your-face ego to give up without a fight.  We walk this planet with the swagger of a samurai gunfighter with a chip on his shoulder.  We do as we please, and no wiggly little bug is going to change that.  Even as we speak, Big Pharma is callin’ Covid out to finish this fight in the laboratory, and take a wild guess who’s going to win?  Boot Hill is full of tough little bastard diseases (cholera, typhus, bubonic plague) who thought they could ambush us and come out on top.  Wrong!  So, yeah, things are going to change but not that much — and I can prove it.

Next week, in the middle of the worst crisis in human history, there’s going to be an auction at Versailles.  You remember Versailles, Louis XIV’s 700-room testimonial to the success and excess of 17th century French culture?  One of the items up for sale is a shoe (one shoe, not a pair) and the reserve bid is 10,000 Euros.  For a shoe?  Okay, it’s Marie Antoinette’s shoe … but there’s only one, and it isn’t even signed.  At least when Michael Jordan sells his shoes, he signs them — and they come in pairs.  Anyway, Jean-Pierre Osenat, the guy running the auction, is confident the shoe will sell for a lot more than the opening bid.  In other words, crisis or no, our world still has the time and money to pay exorbitant amounts for second-hand clothing.  But this isn’t even special because …

Last week, the Pipa Auction House of Belgium also had a sale.  It went quite well.  In fact, they set a record.  Somebody paid 2.4 million dollars for … a pigeon.  WTF?  To be fair, “New Kim” isn’t your average poop-on-a-park-bench pigeon; she’s a pedigreed racing pigeon.  Apparently, there’s a difference.  Now, I don’t know anything about pigeon racing, but I do know how much 2.4 million dollars is, and for that kind of money, this little bird better be one kick-ass fast pigeon!  She better be Usain Bolt strapped to an F-14 turbocharged Tomcat — cuz if she doesn’t come with a sonic boom, somebody just got robbed.  People don’t pay that kind of money for a Lamborghini, for God sake — and that’s 0-to-60 in 3 seconds!  Besides, where’s the prestige?  Pigeon racing?  It’s not exactly the Sport of Kings.  Hobby of the Urban Geek maybe, but …

“Hey, baby!  Wanna come back to my place and I’ll show you my pigeon?  It’s a really fast one.”

Not the greatest pickup line in the world.  I guess pigeon owners are just dedicated to the “sport,” and they don’t care what ordinary people do (kinda like Hula Hoop enthusiasts.)  But whichever way you cut that sausage, 2.4 million is a lot of money.

So here we are — elbow deep in what everybody’s calling “The Second Wave” — (Holy hell!  Is there going to be a third one?) and somebody out there is about to plunk down serious coin for a worn out bit of footwear.  Not only that, but somebody else has already paid seven figures for less than 7 pounds (3 kilos) of poultry.

I don’t know about you, but this “new normal” looks suspiciously like the “old normal” to me.

More Stuff I — UH — Dislike

hate

Last week, I mentioned that hate was strictly verboten in the 21st Century.  I was only half kidding.  Think about it!  These days, about the only thing you can hate with any certainty is Hitler.  And if we keep going along this path, someday/someone/somewhere is going to start talking about child abuse and poverty, and even Adolf might get off the hook.  Personally, I think in the future, we’re going to have to buy a license to hate, and only rich people will be able to afford it.  But until then, here are a few more things I – uh – dislike very, very much.

The New Normal – One more “New Normal” and I’m going to scream!  Normal happens, and there’s nothing you can do about it.  When I was a kid, it was “normal” to write letters to your friends — with a pen — on paper.  Since then, we’ve been through at least three “new normals,” and — like it or don’t — there are a bunch more to come.  Get used to it!

People who use “for” and “of” when they should be using “about.” — English is a precise language because we have a bunch of prepositions that do a specific job — and they’re not interchangeable.  Jack just farted.  If you are embarrassed “for” him, it means you feel sorry he accidently made a social faux pas.  If you are embarrassed “about” him, it means he’s a jerk.  And if you are embarrassed “of” him, you’re talking gibberish – go home!

Covid Excuses – “Hello!  Your call is important to us.  However, due to Covid-19, even though we’re still the same lazy bastards we always were, you can’t bitch about it.  Have a nice day!”

Age is embarrassing — Our world is awash with instructions, coaching, counselling and good old-fashioned unwanted advice about everything from surviving puberty to buying a better divorce.  However, once you hit about 60, it’s as if you just caught a disease that’s not socially acceptable — and everybody wants to avoid the subject.

“Well, you didn’t hear this from me, but I heard Marvin got 61.”
“OMG!”
”Yeah, last week.  But I don’t think they’ve told the children yet.”
“Are you sure?  I was just talking to him.  He didn’t look any different.”
“Elsie told me in strictest confidence — you know — it’s not something you just blab around the neighbourhood.”
“Yeah, that’s true, but the poor thing!  She must be so worried.  They say 61 is contagious.”
“Yeah, I’ve heard that too, but it’s not like you can just go ask somebody.  I mean really … that’s – well – you know.”
“Yeah, I know.  Elsie was awfully brave telling you.  I feel so sorry for her.  Have the aches and pains started?”
“She didn’t say, and I wasn’t about to ask, but she kinda hinted that he’s been watching Wheel of Fortune.
“Oh!  That’s so-o-o bad!  You know, I’ve never told anybody this, but my parents had 61 – both of them.”
“That’s terrible.  You’d think they’d have discovered a cure by now.”

“Sorry!” – In the 21st century, this is the universal “Get Out Of Jail Free” card.  If Jack the Ripper were alive today, all he’d have to do is go on Instagram or Twitter and say he is sorry, and he’d be back on the street in a week.

Doom Scrolling – You can’t get away from it.  Every website on the planet is busy telling us just how screwed we really are.  They all want a piece of the action.  Even the Facebook kittens are wearing masks!  It’s like living in a Michael Moore documentary.

And finally:

Covid Conspiracies – Human history is a litany of stupidity, and the last few decades have produced some serious gold medals in the Idiot Olympics.  So the rhetorical question has got to be: where did all these Covid supervillains come from?  It beggars the imagination that the same people who’ve never understood basic economics, can’t agree on Climate Change and haven’t been able to figure out who’s been doing what to whom in the Middle East for over 70 years, are now somehow manipulating a pandemic to control the planet.  Puh-lease!  Maybe it’s just that the Flat Earth Society has contacted Elvis on Venus from an ancient Mayan transmitter.  He will return to Earth at the Denver Airport as The Leader Of The New World Order, and they will do battle with the Illuminati and the Freemasons in a three-way fight to force mind control facemasks on an unsuspecting public.

Now that sounds legit!

Stuff I Learned From Covid-19

covid

I’m officially sick and tired of Covid-19.  Oh, I’m still going to wash my hands at every opportunity and keep my distance.  Hugs are off the agenda and, for the time being at least, I’ll wear a mask in public.  (Just because I’m fed up doesn’t mean I’m irresponsible.)  The thing is Covid-19 has hung over my life like a black cloud for the last 2 months and I’m done with it.  It’s spring, the flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, and last night in the darkness of my silent city, I heard coyotes howl.  This is the end you, horrible little virus.  I’m going to outlast you, but I’ll be damned if I going to spend any more time thinking about you.  So here are just a few things I’ve learned from Covid-19– and then I am going to close the door and get on with this new “normal” everybody’s been yipping about.

I don’t care where Covid-19 came from.  It came from China, okay?  Wasting a lot of time and energy trying to find the exact address is bullshit.  It’s like running around trying to identify which particular iceberg hit the Titanic!

Professional athletes earn 5,000 times more money than nurses because – uh — reasons.

First World problems still aren’t real.  They’re a pain in the ass; they’re difficult; they make our lives miserable.  But hot and cold running water, heat, light and a roof over our head is nothing to complain about.

All the scientists and medical people around the world can work flat out for a thousand years and they’re never going to develop a vaccine against stupid.

I really didn’t need all that crap I used to buy at the grocery store every week.

Hearing the same set of common-sense instructions 50 times a day is really annoying.

I don’t care what the “official” data says.  When China (population 1.5 billion) only has twice as many confirmed cases of Covid-19 and fewer deaths than The Netherlands (population 17 million) somebody’s lying.

In a crisis. most people will do the right thing.

In a crisis, celebrities are useless.

Crisis or not, Elon Musk is weird.

Shoehorning someone wearing medical scrubs and a surgical mask into your advertising to sell everything from breakfast cereal to diapers doesn’t mean you’re a caring/sharing/socially responsible contemporary corporation.  It means you’re despicable.

My neighbours are all pretty friendly.  (Who knew?)

Despite the hype, only about half of Netflix is any good.

The Television, Doritos and Pepsi Diet doesn’t work.

I like digital money if, for no other reason, than I don’t have to fight with a pocket full of coins every couple of days.

Zoom is fun — and I only have to dress the top half.

And finally:

The world goes on, and I’m going to go with it.

geese

Photo by C. Bourcier
May 6, 2020