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Sunday, April 26, 2020

"Let my People Go.... out of the house!"


It’s been a few weeks since I’ve written.  The reason isn’t because I’ve been busy – quite the opposite: nothing much has happened.  Life for me, and I’m sure many of you, has turned into Ground Hog Day (the movie).  Every day is the same.  If one morning my radio wakes me up playing ‘I’ve Got You, Babe’ I think I’ll lose my mind.   This is what it must be like to be in prison – at least I don’t have to worry if I drop the soap in the shower.
Every day, if it’s not raining, we go for walk.  I see the same people walking  the same dogs.  I notice that most people here in upscale Surrey have two dogs.  A big dog, I refer to as the ‘main dog’, and a smaller dog I’ve designate as the ‘auxiliary’ dog.  I guess they use the auxiliary dog if the main one breaks down. 
Like the dogs people have worked out a pecking order.  There is an innate knowledge of who gives way to who. The only ones who seem not care about the ‘rules’ are the joggers.  They seem to think that the sidewalk is their personal track.  They come puffing up behind you without a warning and practically brush against you as they pass leaving you to inhale their exhaust as they run by.  One of these times I’m going to stick my leg out…
“Hey, man! what the fu..  , you tripped me!”
“No, that’s impossible,” I’ll reply. “I don’t have a six foot leg…”
Then he’ll probably beat the shit out of me.

The only other time I get out is to go the liquor store to buy building material for my ‘beeramid’ which is now a structure of empties rather than full ones.  Unfortunately the liquor store doesn’t take returns and the  recycle shops are all closed.  I’ve informed my wife she may have to move her car on to the street to accommodate my wall of empties. 

I was shocked to see the changes they’ve made at the liquor store since I last visited to stock up.  They now are only letting limited amounts of people in.  They have had about five tills, so they let in about five people at a time.  When one leaves another is allowed in.  To facilitate this they have marked big “X’s” on the side walk.  You stand on your X and when they let someone in, you move up one X.  All this is supervised by the ‘beer monitor,’ – who’s qualifications are they had to have been a hall monitor in school.   This sounds fool proof, but they underestimate the drinking class.  People don’t understand the concept of social distancing which leads to people  cutting in line… or should I say between the X’s.  I witnessed one classic altercation when somebody didn’t stand on their X but moved up closer to the person in front of him.
“Hey, back off asshole,” the infringed guy shouts. “What is it about  social distancing you don’t understand?”
“Hey, why don’t you just calm, down jerkface.  What’s your problem?  Going through withdrawl?   Can’t you wait to get your fix?
…and it escalated until the beer monitor threatens to give them detentions and send them to the office.

There are a few exciting things that happened, I should report.  We had a major Covid outbreak right here in our condominium complex.  Evidently the social committee arranged for the annual St. Paddy’s Day Party in early March.  There was much swilling of green beer, teary eyed singing of ‘Oh Danny Boy’ and kissing of the Blarney Stone and each other’s wives…   

Unbeknownst to the collected assembly, one of the participants had been  tested for Covid (but had not received her results).   The result is that ten people in the complex have tested positive. A week later we were told that four of them we’re in hospital and one had died after being on a ventilator for over a week.


Luckily Michele and I didn’t attend the event.  In fact we never attend ANY events.  The result is when we meet someone in the complex they ask if ‘we’re new, here.’  We’ve been here over ten years.  This just motivates me more to keep being  a hermit.

A few days ago I saw my next door neighbour who informed me her  husband, Jack (not his real name) had tested positive!

Jack is the poster boy of the perfect Covid victim:  he’s been in and out of hospital the past couple of months with strokes.  He has breathing problems.  Even before he had the strokes, when I saw him walking slowly around the complex, I’d say to Michele.
“Look!  Dead man walking!” 

So when his wife told me he was one of the party celebrants who tested positive I expected the worse.

“Is he in hospital?” I ask hopefully.
“No, no,” she replies.
“I’m so sorry, “I say expecting he was the one who had passed away.
“No, Jack shook it off like a dog passing through a sprinkler,” she replies.  “Had hardly any symptoms.”
“And you?” I asked.
“Nothing, na-da.  I’m fine.  We both just finished our two-week quarantine.”
Go figure.

The other big event was Passover.  Normally we have a big ‘seder’ for friends and family.  Sometimes up to 20 people.   Not this year.  When it becomes apparent it will be impossible to have people over, my son suggests a virtual seder.  He walks us through setting up the video using Microsoft Teams.  There will be three families:  ours in Surrey, my son’s family – also in Surrey, and my daughter’s family in Alberta. 

It turns out the technology wasn’t quite there.  My daughter’s camera somehow ‘slipped’ so all we see is a close up of a Manischewitz Wine with my son-in-law’s hand occasionally moving it.   The most I saw of my two granddaughters  was one fingernail. 

Things were much better at my son in law’s house where he meticulously positioned the camera so I could see them all.  Unfortunately there was no sound.  I later found out this was my fault as I had set my internet speed at ‘dial-up.’

Mercifully the whole event is over in less than an hour.  I can just imagine if they had to rely on video conferencing  back  when God was talking to Moses.

AT THE BURNING BUSH
“Moses, go to Pharaoh, and tell him to let my people go.”
“Sorry, God, but there’s a lock down.  There’s a plague on.
“Sorry, about that Moses.  I’m just practicing.”
“for what?”
“Never mind.  You have to go and tell him. “Let my people Go.”
“Okay, I get it.  How about I do it on line?”
“What?”
“I’ll have my IT guys talk to his IT guys and we’ll set up a video conference on Zoom or Skype.”
“I don’t care just get it done.”

THE VIDEO CONFERENCE:
“Moses, can you see me?”
“Sorry, Pharaoh, I’m only seeing the top of your hat…. Can you pan down a bit?
“I can’t hear you, Moses.  There seems to be a lag…..”

Anyways you get the pictures.  The Jews would still be in Egypt.

The part of the day I look forward to is Donald Trump’s Daily Press Conference.  It’s even more hypnotic and bizzare than the Tiger King.     

On Thursday he suggested a new cure by either ingesting copious amounts of a disinfectant or swallowing a blacklight as he’s been told that UV rays can kill viruses.  Doesn’t he realize that UV rays also kill people – like with cancer?   Hasn’t he realized that we wear sunblock to STOP UV rays? 
The suggestion  people might ingest  disinfectants might lead to bizzare situations where  there’ll be TV commercials like the Coke/Pepsi challenge  with

CUT TO:
A guy standing in front of a table with three small glasses filled with various colored liquids. 

ANNCR: “We have three glasses here marked A, B, C, .  We want to see if Bob Smith from Seattle can pick out the new lemon flavoured PineSol….. 

I don’t resend many ‘jokes’ or videos, but this British one about Covid is a classic.  A tip of the hat to Colin Cooper for sending it to me:
As you can see I have far too much time on my hands.   

Happy Ground Hog Day
Keep Safe, Keep Smiling

Jeff


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