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Sunday, March 29, 2020

The Covid Dosey Doe


Thursday  March 27th

My day usually begins by shouting at the old guy in the bathroom mirror to back off.  Then the day proceeds with some writing, editing, then if the weather is nice a careful walk outside n the 'germosphere.'  I mentioned the “Covid shuffle” in an earlier post.  That’s where people struggle to keep the distance between the person in front of them and behind them in a line-up.  There’s now a dance for walking outdoors:  the Covid dosey doe.  That’s where people sort of dosey doe when they encounter another person on the side walk.  Both parties retreat to the opposite sides of the sidewalk and carefully rotate around each other. That’s where he retreats to the other side of the street before performing the dosey doe.   Always facing the other person in case they suddenly lunge at them.  Once safely past each other, they return to their original path – the Covid dosey doe. My friend Larry has a variation: the wide dosey doe. 

Generally my day revolves around the TV press conferences.  In the old days, before the virus, my viewing was set around watching my favourite shows, like Game of Thrones, Better Call Saul, House of Cards, Ozark  now it’s press conferences.

Looks like six more weeks of Covid

 First there’s the morning address by the Prime Minister who is still quarantined in his residence.  He emerges promptly at 8:15  and squints into the camera.  If he sees his shadow we have six more weeks of plague.  There’s the noon press conference with The Provincial Health Officer.  They are becoming media stars in a media starved for stars now that there are no sports or celebrity stars anymore.  Just to name just three:


Listen to my voice... you are getting drowsy

1.       We’ve got Dr.  Bonnie in BC.  Dr. Bonnie is a petite blonde lady who has a very calming voice.  If anyone could make the frightening daily statistics sound mundane it’s her.  She reminds me of my grade four teacher.  I slept through that year.


2.      
"Quick!  What's the atomic number of cesium?"
In Alberta they’ve got Dr. Deen Hinshaw, she of the bangs are cut in the style of Moe Howard (of the three stooges).  She has over 30,000 twitter followers.  She not only serves as a dispenser of information, but is also a fashion trend setter.  She recently wore an out of fashion dress she wore featuring the periodic table had the phone ringing off the hook at the manufacturer in Victoria.  The company had to put the dress back in production.
"You wouldn't believe her!  Care for a bisquit?"



3.       Then there’s Dr. Horacio Arruda in Quebec.  Here he is describing his high school prom date.  Besides dispensing daily updates he provides recipes for Portuguese pastries (really!!).   

"I'll trade you two Hinshaws for an Arruda"


So there’s a competition among the provinces: our Health Official is better than yours!  But how to tell: I’ve come up with an idea:  trading cards. I’ve mocked up one here.  Picture on the front and stats on the back. Stats broken down by day: cases, hospitalized, ventilators, recovered.  We could work out a percentage of cases/recovered, so we'd have a measure to compare them.

  
 If you think this is a whacky idea, they actually are selling t-shirts with their faces on them.

Then there are the American press conferences:  the state governors, various members of congress, Senators, and the  piece de resistance,  President Trump’s daily appearance.  The three o’clock press conference (pacific time) begins promptly at three thirty, four, or four thirty:  it depends on when President Trump decides to wander out on stage.  It’s at this time my wife wanders into my office and removes sharp objects from my reach. 

Earlier this week Mr. Trump announced he was sending the military to the southern and northern borders.  When asked why this was responsible, he responded saying he wanted to stop illegal aliens crossing the border into the United States.  When it was pointed out this was not an issue on the northern border – in fact the Canadians had closed their borders to keep them out, the president thought a moment then stated (and I’m not making this up) “It’s to keep them from smuggling steel into the United States. “

We have a popular reality show here that focuses on crazy things that happens at the border.  I can see a future episode.
 
It's for personal use.
1.     EXT. PACIFIC TRUCK CROSSING AT US/CANADA BORDER – DAY

A BUSY BORDER CROSSING.  A BEAT-UP PICKUP TRUCK PILED HIGH WITH MARIJUANA PLANTS PULLS UP THE KIOSK.  THERE ARE TWO SEEDY LOOKING CANADIANS INSIDE WEARING HOCKEY SHIRTS. A US CUSTOM OFFICIAL STICKS HIS HEAD OUT THE KIOSK WINDOW.

OFFICIAL
Where you folks heading?

DRIVER
Down to Seattle.

OFFICIAL
Purpose of the trip?

DRIVER
To get gas.

OFFICIAL
What’s about all that weed in the back?

DRIVER
Personal use.

OFFICIAL
You sure you’re not carrying any steel back there?

DRIVER
(nervous)  Steel?  No, absolutely not.  No steel.  Just weed….

The reason America doesn't have an Anvil industry
THE OFFICIAL EXITS THE KIOSK AND BEGINS TO POKE THROUGH THE WEED WITH A MAGNET ON A STICK.  THERE’S A LOUD “CLANG.”  THE OFFICAL REACHES IN AND DRAGS A LARGE STEEL ANVIL OUT.

OFFICIAL
What’s this then?  A steel Anvil.  No wonder we have no Anvil manufacturers left here in America.  You Canadians smuggling them in.  Out of the truck….

You get the picture….        

Friday, March 27

On Friday I got the much anticipated call from the Urologist.  He’s doing appointments by phone.  Luckily no rubber glove or Vaseline was involved.    I had been seeing him because I have the old man’s complaint.  I pee too much.  He had me keep a  ‘voiding diary,’  (If this is too much information – you can to the next entry).  When I visited him a month ago he gave me a graduated cylinder and a form to fill out.  It had columns for time, amount, etc.  I had to fill it out for three days.   Right away I ran into trouble.  I called my wife.
“I need your help,” I shouted from the bathroom.
“Too pee?” she said from outside?  “I didn’t know it was a two person job.”
“It’s the diary thing I have to do.  I need to pee into  this jug, and then time it with the stop watch.  I don’t have enough hands.”
“What do you want me to do,” she replies warily.
“Nothing physical,” I assure her.  “I need you to take the stopwatch, and when I begin to pee you time it.   When I stop, you stop the watch.”
I hand her out the stop watch.
“Okay,” she says from outside the door, “I’m ready.”
A few moments go by.
“I don’t hear anything,” she says.
“Don’t rush me,” I shout back.  “I’ve got a shy bladder.  I can’t go if people are putting pressure on me.”
A few moments go by.
“Did you read the instructions on this form?” she asks.
“No,” I reply, “I don’t need instructions on how to pee.”
“It says here to mark down the time of day.  Not how long it takes to pee.”
“Oh,” I say. “I guess I don’t need you after all.”

The doctor calls around the appointed time.
“Jeff, I’ve been going over your diary.  The problem is your tank is too small.”
“What’s my toilet tank got to do with anything?” I ask.
“Not your toilet tank,”  the tank inside you.
“You mean my bladder?”
“Yeah, bladder.”
This is the guy who referred to my prostate as Mt Baker.  He doesn’t seem to be big in using medical terms for things.
“Yeah, the average guy’s tank is 300ml.  You seem to be hovering around   150ml.
“Maybe I’m a just  sort of a tank half full kind of guy.”  I offer. “Maybe my prostate, I mean Mt Baker, is taking up too much room.”
“You need to train it,” he says. “You can make it a game.”
“A game??” I reply incredulously.
“Yeah, see how long you can hold it before you have to go.”
“Do you think I could make it a spectator sport?  There’s no sports on TV.  I could stream it live.  Maybe wear trainers?
“What?” he asks.
My attempt at humour seems to go over his head.
“I’m going to mail you an article about it,” he says.
“Why don’t you just email it to me,” I ask.
“I’m not good at that internet stuff,” he states.
“What’s there to be good at?” I ask. “You just press the button that says ‘attach file.’  For God’s sake, you’re not even 50 and you can’t figure out email?”   I can do it and I’m 75! and I let you do guided tours of my insides?”
“Yeah,” he retorts, “but  I don’t have any trouble peeing!  Maybe my receptionist can figure it out.  If not we’ll drop it in the mail.  I gotta go.”
“Me too,” I reply hanging up the phone and heading for the bathroom.

Later that night watching TV my wife looks strangely at me.
“Are you mad at me?” she asks.
“No,” I reply. “Why?”
“You seem to be walking around with clenched teeth.”
“It’s a game.” I reply.

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