Trouble wrapped in a protein coat

Calla Lilies

Being the retired guy, I had a head start on everyone else for this period of self-isolation. For years now, I’ve been living a life where everyday is Saturday. Now that this lifestyle is also the new normal for many other Americans, I’m here to offer them some advice. As the days drag on from one Saturday to the next, I find that it is helpful to divide the week up into the traditional small weekend and the new-new big weekend. This grouping of the days gives the week a semblance of the structure that it once held for everyone. I know that this convention lacks the rigor of a work week, but what are you going to do?

Accompanying this pandemic is an economic crisis that is also terrifying. Jobs are disappearing, markets are in turmoil and no one knows how much worse it will get, before this is all over. Many people are dying and many more are getting horribly sick. I hope that when we finally make it past this scourge and our thoughts turn from lessons learned to how we will face the future, time will be taken to remember those who have fallen. I hope our sorrow over the loss of life is deemed more important than people’s money loss. Otherwise, we have evolved little beyond our ancient lizard brain that is only capable of sharing the dinosaur’s last thought, before they went extinct, “Oh no, the economy!”


When you say, “I can’t go out, because of coronavirus.” This makes you sound whiny, boring and weak. But when you say, “I’ve sworn an oath of solitude until this blight is purged from these lands.” That makes you sound heroic, valiant and fierce. Others will assume you have a sword, a very big sword and it is impossible for them to check if you really do, because, you know coronavirus. That is of course until you start waving it about on Zoom. Why is it that some guys will stand 5’ 8” from you and call it six feet?

It is amazing to me on how much and how quickly things have changed as of late. Can you remember what life was like before this epidemic struck? Can you remember the joy of last Christmas? Remember that Peloton commercial that everyone mocked. In this ad, a fit young woman seemed to be at some pains, as she tried to deal with the exercise bike that her husband had gifted her. There were overtones of poor body image in the derision. I bet a lot of wives right now wish their husbands had bought them a Peloton for Christmas. One silver lining from this plague is that the Antivaxxers been awfully quiet as of late. 

The Yolk’s On You

The Yolk’s On You

Well, it’s April 1st, April Fool’s Day, but nobody is laughing, which is a shame. Twitter was all nobody play any pranks or tell any jokes, because… No one can have any more fun any more, as we all wait for the end of the world. If going forward that is to be the attitude, then bring it on. What’s life without laughter? It being the first of the month means that all of my various streaming services have refreshed their selection of offerings, giving me plenty of video to binge.

Anne and I got out today, for an extra long walk. The weather was pleasant, plus there were not a lot of other people around, making social distancing pretty easy. There are plenty of flowers out. One person’s front lawn was covered with Spring Beauties. We get some also, in the backyard, but these must have been cultivated, they were so lush. When we’re out and about, it is nice saying hi to the other pedestrians, from a safe distance.

I spoke with a person from Louisiana and after we had conclude our business, I asked her how are things going down there. It didn’t sound good. People aren’t observing any kind of quarantining. Whole families go the store, instead of just sending one person. “Too many stupid people down here”, she said. By comparison, the epidemic has hardly even gotten going here. We got another InstaCart delivery today. I think that we’re in pretty good shape, at least for a while. Time to let the larder rundown for a few days now.

It is a slow news day and I don’t feel like complaining about the pandemic, the markets or even Trump. Not that that last one doesn’t deserve more complaints. I’m just not in the mood for it today. Stay healthy and stay safe everyone.

Thou Shalt Not Park Here

Thou Shalt Not Park Here

Bring out your dead, but I’m not dead yet and fortunately, no one I know is either. I texted Dave the last of our clan to check-in yesterday and he is now sheltering with Maren, which is with fewer people than at his place. With that bit of Coronavirus news out of the way, let’s move on to happier topics. OBTW, this no parking sign was found out side the Catholic church in Cruz Bay, on St. John’s island. Parking in this area was always a mess, but I appreciated the church’s attempt to interject some levity.

How about a few jokes? 

  • Did you hear the joke about the Ebola virus? You won’t get it. ¹
  • Did you hear the joke about the Corona virus? Never mind, I don’t want to spread it around. ²
  • A bear and a rabbit were sitting on a log taking a dump. The bear turned to the rabbit and asked, does shit stick to your fur? After a thought, the bunny answered no and then the bear picked up the rabbit and whipped his butt. ³

I probably shouldn’t be footnoting “my” jokes, because it smacks of explaining them, which is generally a bad idea that usually kills the humor.


  1. I heard this joke during the Ebola scare from a co-worker. I told this joke later to Dan’s friend, Jenny, who is a sand-up comedian. She really liked it and wanted to know where I had gotten it. I think that she had hoped that it originated with me and that I would let her use it in her act.
  2. This joke I just got off the internet.
  3. This joke was told to me years ago, by my brother Frank.


Gutenberg’s Puzzle, Lloyd G. Schermer, 2006,

Under the motto “to err is human, to correct divine,” embedded into the white tiled walls of the men’s room in the Newseum are past newspaper headlines that don’t read as intended. Collected by the Columbia Journalism Review these headlines that don’t mean what they say and corrections that admit embarrassing errors are the best of bathroom graffiti. I’ve collected some of them below:

  • Solar system expected to be back in operation – Libertyville Herald 3.15.78
  • Collene Campbell champions the rights of murder victims after being one herself more than once – The Orange County Register 9.30.01
  • Chief Blue, the last full-blooded Catawba Indian Chief died in 1959. The Evening Herald incorrectly said Wednesday that he died three years ago due to a reporting error. – Evening Herald (Rock Hill, SC) 9.2.76
  • Deer Kill 130,000 – The Minneapolis Tribune 12.7.67
  • Babies are what the mother eats – The Times-Herald 7.11.64
  • Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge – Milford Citizen 7.12.82
  • Ford, Reagan Neck in Presidential Primary – Ethiopian Herald 2.24.76
  • Defendant’s speech ends in long sentence – Minneapolis Tribune  2.25.81
  • Never Withhold Herpes Infection From Loved One – Albuquerque Journal 12.26.84
  • Editors’ Note: A mistake made by a transcription service mangled a quotation from William Bennett in Michael Kelly’s July 17th Letter from Washington. In criticizing the political views of Patrick Buchanan, Mr. Bennett said “it’s a real us-and-then kind of thing,” not, as we reported, “it’s a real S & M kind of thing.” – The New Yorker 8.14.95