Don’t Worry—Be Happy

Face of the Earth #3, Vito Acconci, 1988

Flouting Coronavirus quarantine protections we went shopping, because when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. Missouri has been sitting quite comfortably for weeks, at number ten on the Covid hit list of most new per capita infections by state. Five of our eight bordering states are all higher on that list, which helps to explain our predicament, but fortunately for me, these five are all on the far sides of this quadrilateral shaped state, but should I tempt fate?

Mask-Up! Our first stop on this medley of errands was Artmart, our go to art supply stop. We could have arranged curbside, but heck, why bother. Anne wanted to get picture frames for some photos that she had taken this summer at Raco. In stark contrast they show various grasses that have managed to grow in the cracks of the tarmac. Their dark branches and shadows are raised to vivid relief against the white concrete. Still, we could have ordered the frames from Amazon, but she wanted to buy local. I went there to get foam board that I plan on using as filler for the painted burlap coffee sacks that we bought a couple of weeks ago at Kaldi’s. I plan on placing this foam board into the sacks turning them into bulletin boards. These boards are also available from Amazon.

The next stop on our hit parade was a small produce market in Webster, where we bought a pumpkin. Anne wants to decorate it by Sharpie and with a mask. That way after Halloween, she can use it to make a pie. The market was open air, but I did go inside to pay. In there were two cashiers and one other customer. I rate it safer than Artmart. Am I just paranoid or is the virus out to get me?

Next up, Kohl’s, a department store that I have never shopped at. A while ago I had bought some car fuses through Amazon that turned out to be the wrong kind. When I decided to return them Amazon directed me to Kohl’s as their return agent. The fuses were less than ten bucks, which after return fees will be less, but the thought of another box of useless junk, at least to me, sitting in the basement was too much to bear.

The store was crowded and of course the Amazon return kiosk was at the back. Manning it was a single clerk, who was standing behind a placebo sized Plexiglas screen. The line was laid out on the floor with dots six-feet apart. I was fortunate, because both the person before and after me observed this protocol. Imelda Marcos was directly ahead of me in line. She was apparently returning the left-hand side of the aisle, not the Kohl’s shoe aisle, but the Amazon warehouse aisle. With each shoebox the clerk would hold open a plastic shopping bag and Imelda would insert one of her returns. He would then tag and bag it. This process was repeated often enough that I had it down pat when it finally became my turn, which went like clockwork. Unfortunately, by then the line had grown and people were bunching up, but I was out of there.

That concluded the shopping for our trip. Afterwards, we went to Laumeier for a walk, but that was all outside, socially distanced and masked. Actually, all of it was masked and only briefly and rarely not properly distanced. I don’t recall seeing any mask-less faces. That’s a good thing. Was the whole trip foolish? Well yeah, but hopefully not disastrously so. Only time will tell. Stay tuned.

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