I totally stole that from Bob Marley — the comedian, not the musician — and if you want to pronounce his name correctly, it’s Bawb Mahlee and he lives in Maine. Check out his short videos on Facebook, it’s like hanging out with your funniest friend who’s got a Maine accent, which is the cousin to the Boston accent for you non-New Englanders.
Speaking of cranky New Englanders, if you are coming here to get advice about what to do in your isolation, keep moving. On behalf of writers/introverts who know exactly how to spend down time, if you don’t, I can’t help you and I dislike you, even more than usual.
I’m here, first and foremost to complain bitterly that I have been working my fat ass off, 12-hour days, all week in internal hospital communications while many others are wondering what movies to watch. Get a life! and #whythehelldoIworkforahospital. It seemed like a good idea 12 years ago, but now…not so much. But I still have a job, so I can’t really complain, but I still totally will. So here was my week of CronaWatch 2020:
People I Hate Right Now
I’m not really fond of the neighbors who started gathering every day at 7 pm in the street to sing “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” and banging on a makeshift drum. The other day, they added “This Little Light of Mine,” also sung badly. No trained musicians or singers for us like you see all over Facebook. I mean was that fake news? The opera singers? The concert pianists? I thought I was going to be serenaded by top shelf talent. Nope. Just a bunch of people, I suspect many of whom are ex-hippies, being neighborly. Ugh. And laughing afterwards and having fun. Those bastards! They laugh while I’m slaving away in my pajamas, my ass numb from sitting so long, and wondering if I can pee while I’m on another hour-long conference call and trying to meet a communication deadline. That stupid laughing makes me feel like the kid who had to stay in and do homework after school, while the other kids were outside playing. That will only make sense to you if are older than 40.
And speaking of having too much fun, I definitely dislike the young, giggly couple who moved into the apartment downstairs from me. They are relatives of the owner and were kicked out of their dorm, boo hoo. So now I get to hear their youthful giggling, which only reminds me 1) of how much I’m working and 2) that I feel 100 years old because I haven’t had time to walk or do yoga or move around. If the Old Lady on the 2nd floor ain’t happy, nobody gets to be happy. It makes me want to get swaying drunk and yell out random curses at everyone from my back deck, and shake my fist in the air, for good theatrical flair. Lucky for my neighbors, I’m too busy for that.
The Supplies Situation
So, first of all a big FU to all you TP hoarders. You know who you are, and I hope you get diarrhea. I am lucky enough to have a decent market around the corner from my house, which is good because I don’t have time to go any farther. But they haven’t had TP in more than a week. Soooo, here’s my situation, which I call, “And then there were 5,” with apologies to Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None.” Hey, bored people, watch that 1945 movie — it’s a really good black and white thriller.
Oh, plus I found two more rolls of Scotts in the way back. So that’s all I got for however long this lasts because I refuse to get up early to stand in line at the CVS before it opens, COVID. And oh, and did I mention I’m too busy to leave my house? I complained to my boss, because people who work in health care have no personal boundaries, and she told me this hysterical story about how she was the TP police in college with the people she shared an apartment with. They were going through too much TP, so the house rules were:
2 squares for pee, 3 squares for poo.
She’s still friends with them and sent them a group text asking weren’t they glad she trained them all those years ago? She’s got a lot of positive traits, which is why the TP wasn’t a deal breaker.
It got me thinking. I will spare you my 3 squares thoughts, which between us, I think only works if you’re in your 20s. ‘Nuf said. However, the 2 square idea had some legs. By sheer habit, I just pull a bunch down from the roll. That would be paper over the roll, not under, because under is stupid. Also, I will submit, there is no way you can do this with that cheap, tissue-paper-like, 1-ply you get at work. But with real 2-ply, premium TP, what if I tried to measure out 2 squares?
Fascinating, as Spock would say. If you do have personal boundaries, you may want to skip over this next part. Also, this part only applies to women. I don’t know what you men folk do with your hold and shake nonsense and personally I don’t want to.
So what happens is that I learned why American (women) use so much:
1) You have to be patient and make sure you’re really all done, and nobody has time for that. We perfected the fast food take out window and can shove a Big Mac down our gullet before we even get back into traffic. You think we’re going wait to fully be drip free?
2) Even if you are patient, there is a seep through factor, I’m not gonna lie. Now before you stop shaking my hands (I mean when this is all over), the beauty is that we’re supposed to be washing our hands like the dickens anyway, so, problem solved. If the 20-seconds of washing removes a virus, a little pee doesn’t have a chance, right? Have I said too much? I warned you. Just be grateful I’m not addressing the 3-square situation.
The Food Situation
So first of all, you need to know I love English tea, and I am sorry to report I got caught with my English Tea pants down. At the beginning of this week I only had two lonely bags left and then, this:
This is a very sad state of affairs, but I have only myself to blame. I can always get more, I said. I’ll go when I have time, I said. I don’t drink it all the time so I should be OK waiting, I said. But guess what, when you’re trapped at home daily, needing a second hit of caffeine and the little market around the corner which you are so grateful for, but also is more of a Lipton tea place, these are the very dire consequences.
Which brings me to the little market. I’m sure you have all encountered the “what can I substitute” game as you shop and come upon the vacant areas where food should be and what is missing seems more random that lottery numbers. My friend Mike likened it to a Chopped cooking challenge. Whatever, I open cans and throw stuff together and eat it. Foodies and their damn recipes. Who understands them? But more on that in a minute.
What I’m really here to complain about is in the little market, which I am totally grateful for, this is what they had for crackers:
Seriously? Savory onion? Who eats these? No one, which is why they are literally the only cracker in the store, which the exception of “water crackers,” which also no one eats because they taste like a Eucharist wafer. These crackers must be the last ones left in the Keebler’s warehouse, and they are now shipping out this crap from the way back.
Did I buy them? Are you daft? Of course, I did. One must make sacrifices during these difficult times when one wants cheese and crackers. But still. Who eats savory onion crackers willingly? And if yes, what is wrong with you?
And now a special call out to all you foodies and your “helpful” “pantry recipes.” Oh. My. God. I hate you people almost as much as the giggling young ones downstairs. “Pantry” to me means basic stuff, so I’m puzzled by why you even need a recipe. Open a can of beans, heat some frozen vegetables and maybe some meat. Salt and pepper. Maybe garlic and oregano. That is pantry shit, it ain’t no 5-start restaurant. Here are things I saw as ingredients for “pantry recipes” I found online:
Anchovies. Um, have you ever ordered pizza in a group? What’s the one thing most people will say they don’t want on it? Exactly. Then why in jumpin covidisphat would I have a can of it in my pantry?
Capers. Well, aren’t you fancy pants. Regular food people don’t go to the store during an pandemic to make sure they have enough capers.
Barley. Um, OK, that would probably be like 4th or 5th down the list of grains/carbs people keep on hand. Ya evah heard of rice? Beans? Lentils? Cripes, I even have quinoa. But Barley? Just, no.
Roasted red peppers. Maybe if you’re Eye-talian. Otherwise, I say, no.
Coconut milk. See capers rant.
Fresh lemons and limes, or fresh herbs. Who has these things just hanging around? And if you do, how many of them are you are sending down the disposal when you find them months later shriveled up in your fridge? Call me crazy, but in my book “pantry” is shelf stable.
All I’m sayin’ is, foodies, these are not recipes for what Cheezwhiz people have in their pantries. These are recipes for what you have in your pantry. Which is fine, have at it with your Chopped cooking challenge, but don’t call it a pantry recipe, OK?
So, there you are, my week of CronaWatch 2020. Tune in next week when I stand in front of the various bottles of olive oil for 10 minutes, wondering if I should stock up, or is that unnecessary panic buying? What if they don’t have my kind when I come back next? Only time will tell.