stone soup slides into jumping and viral corona wall

Current developments in the Corona virus situation remind me when we were living in Memphis Tennessee. I was driving home, from the University in my silver Datsun 240-Z. It began to sleet and the streets became covered with black ice. The Datsun, while fast and sporty, was not particularly good on ice. I turned onto the street near our house….

Turn?” I thought as the car, ignoring the steered wheels, slid forward.
Datsun 280 Z

I stepped on the brakes. Nothing. I pulled the emergency brake. Nothing.

Thank goodness I have a lot of time to develop a solution,” I thought as the car continued to move slowly — straight ahead.

I put the car into reverse and gunned the engine. Noise — but no change in direction. I opened the door and stuck my foot out. Dumb idea.

The car gently
smashed into a fire hydrant which managed to stop only the middle of the car.

At least i had time to prepare,” I thought.

Note: For some reason I bought another Datsun, a 280Z. That one was equally inept on snow; this time in Vermont.

The corona virus has the same sense of inevitable predictability — a feature not yet recognized or acknowledged by the fool in the
White House.

News Flash: Corona is a virus. It will spread faster than a fake Facebook post authored by a Russian Troll factory.

Before the panic struck, Tiger’s kindergarten class performed a musical play entitled Stone Soup. Everyone had a part and everyone sang all the songs. It was, I believe, the last school performance before a live audience for several weeks.

Tiger was, of course, great. He delivered his five lines without any prompting and he stayed in character.

I attended dress rehearsal and the formal show. After the dress rehearsal, I asked Tiger a few questions..

“A lot of those girls were jumping up and down. But you were not.”

“I know, Dan. They told us not to jump. So I didn’t.”

Tiger's play from video

“The jumping made it fun, Tiger.” I replied.

The teachers told them they could jump during the real performance. Tiger complied (with one hand in his pocket.)

Tiger jumping

I realized that local citizenry came to grips with the reality of the situation when I dropped into the grocery store. The toilet paper shelves were empty. Annoyed that the hoarders had grabbed everything before I was able to stock up, I headed home and logged into Amazon.

$8.99 for a single roll of toilet paper?” I thought. “Given our annual consumption, it would be cheaper to install a bidet.”

Realizing the magnitude of the disaster, I gathered all the family toilet paper — planning to secure it under lock and key. I realized that I had seen the vacant shop shelves before….

The first time was Christmas Eve while I was an undergraduate at Georgia Tech. Because of final exams and the fact that the family move to Atlanta had obviated any need to mail packages, I delayed Christmas shopping: I didn’t have to shop early. In short, I delayed until Christmas Eve. Around 2PM, I hopped on my motorcycle …

“… motorcycle?” Nazy interrupts.

“I believe it was a 125 cc Kawaski.”

“Not much of a motorcycle, Dan.”

All of these asides are, of course, beside the point. When I got to the downtown Rich’s Department store, I was greeted by nothing. Even the wrapping paper was gone. I bought my young sisters some pencils from the office supply section.

The second time this happened, I was in Houston, awaiting arrival of the Family. (I was also hoping that they, moving from Vancouver, would still speak to me when they saw Houston.) Weather forecasters were warning of an approaching hurricane. The day before landfall, I strolled into the nearby Kroger to get dinner. The shelves were bare. (I don’t recall the status of the toilet paper aisle.)

The administration’s response to this crisis has caused me to reassess …

“… one of my assumptions, Nazy.” I explained. “I used to think that the country was so complex and the government bureaucracy so entrenched that even a Presidential idiot would be unable to make things worse. I was wrong.”

“What can we do to make the office of President Idiot-proof?” Nazy asked.

“I don’t know. This ‘
president’ has made it clear that it is dangerously easy to under estimate the ingenuity of idiots.”
Azelle in shopping basket March 2020

I realize that The Trumpster did not create or cause the virus — that is not his fault. He did, however, bungle the response. And, regardless of the ritual fawning praise the Pence dispenses toward His Orangeness, that bungling has made the situation much worse.

As you might guess, the Santa Barbara grandchildren have been spending a lot of time at home. Arrow and Azelle have colds. Tiger, on the other hand, seems impervious. They all (usually) enjoy playing with each other. Azelle really likes to be pushed around in the toy shopping cart.

Take care, wash your hands and distance your socials.

For Last Week's letter, please click here

The grandchildren on Friday Family Fun night

Friday Family Fun Night Mar 13, 2020

blog comments powered by Disqus