Mother Nature Loves You

If you listen carefully, you’ll discover, even in these troubled times, Mother Nature still loves her children and I can prove it.

Quiet little puddles have an incredible reaction when you foot stomp them.

Nothing is quite as carefree as kicking dry autumn leaves.

If you look at clouds long enough, they turn into horses and dragons and sailing ships and the lost creatures from Labyrinth.

When you mow the lawn, it smells good.

Belinda Carlisle and Chrissie Hynde can still sing.

If you could smell “hungry,” it would be fresh-out-of-the-oven cinnamon rolls.

Mittens are warm.

Children really don’t understand the difference between physics and magic.

At some point, somebody kissed you, and they meant it.

When a two-year-old offers anybody a toy telephone, even the biggest badass in history will answer it.

All the crazy cool stuff we can do with chocolate.

It’s not illegal to sing in the shower.

Bras are removable.

Babies laugh.

With no encouragement at all, a cat on your lap will purr.

French men could read Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion and it would sound sexy.  French women could recite the Marseille telephone book.

Bubble wrap.

Nobody is ever going to find out where the extra sock came from, who ate the last cookie and put the box back on the shelf, or why on Earth  Charlize Theron hooked up with Seth Rogen in Long Shot.

People who breathe helium sound funny when they talk.

Sometimes, Oreos go on sale!

And finally;

All any of us needs to be happy is a cup of coffee, a gorgeous sunrise and two million dollars.

The World Keeps Turning

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It’s been about a month since Covid-19 fell on our world like a pack of wolves on a flock of sheep.  Fortunately, humans are an adaptable species and we are beginning to adjust to the new “normal.”  Here are just a few examples of what THE NEW NORMAL looks like.

A tiger at the Bronx zoo tested positive for Covid-19.  Wow, I didn’t see that one coming!  But I’ve got a few rhetorical questions.  Why, in a time of medical shortage and emergency, would anyone take the time and trouble to test a tiger?  Who thought it was necessary?  Did they test all the animals, starting with aardvarks, or just the tigers?  If they only tested tigers, isn’t that species profiling?  Shouldn’t all the cat people be going Twitter-Nutsy right now?  And finally, what’s the big deal?  It’s been my experience that maintaining a safe social distance from a full grown tiger is pretty much common sense.

The mayor of Baltimore called on the street gangs of his city to quit shooting each other because the medical facilities were needed to combat the virus.  The gangs, taking their social responsibility seriously, stepped up and called a truce for the duration.  I guess everybody’s got to do their part in these troubled times.

The BBC reported that, in response to a worldwide pandemic that has ripped apart the lives of billions of people on 6 continents, bankrupted millions and killed close to 100,000 – so far — the city of Shenzhen is taking action.  They are about to become the first city in China to ban the eating of dogs and cats.  The ban isn’t happening right now, but will take effect on May 1st because – uh — restaurants and grocery stores still have them in stock?  A lot of people have already booked the barbeque?  Who knows?  Actually there’s no logical reason for a 30 day delay in this legislation (it’s not like anybody in China gets a vote!) but, you’ve been warned: if you want to have Rover over for dinner, in Shenzhen, you better do it soon.  And the Chinese authorities are not fooling around either.  Apparently, there will be some pretty steep fines for Kung Pao Kitten.  So, after May one, anybody with a craving for pet food is going to have to get their ass outside the city limits – end of story.

Several countries have decided not to participate in the Covid-19 pandemic.  Most of these are remote Pacific Island nations like Nauru, Tuvalu and Vanuatu– which makes sense, because they’re all self-isolated by thousands of kilometres of water.  Then, there are other countries like Yemen where the leading causes of death are gunshot wounds and suicide bombers, so a persistent cough is not going to get anybody a lot of hospital time.  But the two places that beggar my imagination are Turkmenistan and North Korea.  They both have boldly declared that they simply do not have any cases of Covid-19.  None!  Okay, Turkmenistan I can kinda understand: I had to Google it just to find out where it was — so I doubt it, but maybe. . . .   However … North Korea?  It shares a land border with China, the biggest bogyman hiding under the pandemic bed; their economies are intimately connected, and thousands of people go back and forth across the border every day.  What are the chances?  Unless, of course, the Glorious Leader, Kim Jong whatever-his-name-is stood on the Yalu River, drove a spear into the Earth and shouted, (in his best Gandalf voice) “Go back to the shadows. You shall not pass!” and the virus turned around and went home.  Given all the other batshit-crazy stuff coming out of that country, sounds legit!

Time Is On Our Side

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There’s a guy in Norway who wants to do away with time.  We all know, strictly speaking, that’s impossible, so my guess is he actually wants to get rid of clocks.  (The article was poorly written.)  While this is an admirable sunshine-and-lollipops endeavour, it has its roots in a far stupider idea.

Ever since Lucy (Australopithecus) and her sisters decided to go for a walk in Ethiopia, 3 million years ago, there have always been people who want to abandon the march of civilization.  Their contention is that humans are inherently pastoral, and we’re not meant to be regulated by the time-counting machines we’ve created.  In other words, we’d be a lot happier if we just ate when we’re hungry, slept when we’re tired, had sex when we’re horny and enjoyed a few more sunsets.  This idea gets a lot pf play on college campuses and during after-dinner conversations (with the second bottle of wine) but it ignores one essential fact – 3 million years of history.  Oops!

There is actually no evidence to suggest humans were ever a come-day/go-day, God’ll bring Sunday type of species.  The only reason some sophomores jump to this conclusion is our closest biological cousins, chimpanzees, behave that way– and the assumption is, back in the evolutionary day, we did too.  Wrong!  The truth is, all – ALL – the archaeological evidence points to the undeniable fact that humans have always been workaholics.  We didn’t become the dominant species on this planet by hunting, eating and then lying around digesting for the rest of the afternoon.  (I’m looking at you, bonobos!)  No, we used the bonus time between full and famished to work our asses off.  Why?  Because, unlike all the other animals Noah put on the boat, from aardvarks to zebras, we realized that the sun was going to come up again tomorrow.  And our long evolutionary crawl from the savannahs of Africa to the Mars Rover is a litany of labouring for that future.

Everything human beings do, from building the Pyramids to buying more than one potato, is based on our unflappable faith in time.  It’s one of the amazing imaginary concepts (like religion, ownership and fair play) that’s hardwired into our DNA.  But more than that, time is also one of our essential tools, like language and mathematics.  That’s why we’ve always tried to measure it so accurately.  We use time to regulate, manipulate and evaluate our existence; without it, nothing we see around us would exist.

Personally, I believe the quaint notion that humans could live quite happily without clocks comes from the benevolent society we’ve created that allows us massive amounts of leisure time.  We have time to think, and sometimes the things we think are wrong-headed.  Seriously, suggesting that we should turn our backs on hours and minutes because our primeval ancestors didn’t have alarm clocks is as preposterous as saying we shouldn’t have elevators because humans are not supposed to live and work in the skies above Mother Earth.

Anyway, that’s just my opinion — but stay tuned cuz I’m already planning another one in 4 days, 96 hours or 3,960 minutes, depending on how you want to measure it.