Quote of the Week:
I’ve read enough books to know it won’t be long before I am opening the last can of pineapple.Conrad Quartermaine, Musician from Mount Dora, Florida
Vic @ Home
Alcohol is beginning to have diminishing returns. I’ve eaten too well; if I don’t slim down soon, cannibals will covet my flank for steak. Mother has run off again. She’s learned I can track her cell phone and has gone back to wearing a beeper. Josefina is designing hieroglyphs for future civilizations, warning them to purchase yeast, elastic and toilet paper before the apocalypse comes to town.
Social Distance Backlash
John Chardonnay, an ex-pat from the English fishing village of Deal, currently runs the Upchuck Crow poolside bar in the Floridian suburban golf community Hawk Haven. Business is light during the pandemic, but John and I still sip the occasional whiskeys from opposite sides of his screened-in patio, discussing the latest absurdité du jour. Over the weekend, we discussed rebellion in the streets.
“Fucking lovely, I tell you.” John is more sunburnt than an Englishman has a right to be, but he is half-Australian and those genes explain what flesh hasn’t melted away. He searches around his bar until he rediscovers and seizes his iced beverage. “Now, where was I? Ah yes, fucking lovely. I am as much in favor of businesses re-opening as the next bloke, but this is no way to go about it. Even if you are disposed to believe this flu pandemic is overhyped, there’s no harm in taking the most elementary precautions. These people are out there protesting in Michigan and Texas, arm-in-arm, old ladies with ‘Free Hug’ signs, thousands of people on the beach here in Florida… Look, I believe their point is valid, but you don’t have to be fucking daft in order to prove it. If this coronavirus is half as dangerous as the scientists say it is, we’re going to have a fascinating Darwinian social experiment on our hands. Natural selection will kill off the idiots walking hand-in-hand, while rewarding the paranoids and germophobes. God bless them, I tell you.”
Josefina has come by with a growler full of local IPA to top off my drink. She adds to John’s rant, “Minorities are contracting the disease at higher rates due to systematic racism. It will be interesting if the next demographic of the population to be at risk are sociopathic idiots.”
“Don’t expect the average IQ to rise any time soon, love.” John Chardonnay warns. “There are plenty of idiots on the left side of the aisle who are safely indoors. Idiocy will always prevail. Mark my words.”
Liberty and Coronavirus for All
Josefina Jesús María visited Craft Shack this week to purchase enough fabric to begin making masks for her favorite restaurants in an effort to protect her favorite people: those who serve her food. While at the fabric store, Jo was surprised to find the cashier was without a mask. When asked, the cashier (name tag “Bethany-Annie”), said she refused out of “personal choice.”
“You see this on television – protesters saying it is their right, their liberty to not wear masks.” Jo says, displeased. “They do not understand the mask isn’t just for their protection. It is like driving at night with your headlights off as a ‘personal choice’. You’re not only risking your safety, but the safety of everyone around you. I told Bethany-Annie I didn’t want her wearing a mask for her sake, but for mine, and by the way, chinga tu madre.” A bit harsh, but deserved I mention. Jo explains, “I thought I was being nice, or at least diplomatic, by speaking Spanish when I told her to go fuck her mother. What are the chances this white girl speaks Spanish? Well, it seems Bethany-Annie did missionary work with her church in Kissimmee and knew exactly what I was telling her to do. My bad…”
Game of Telephone: Origins of the 5G Conspiracy Theories
“Excuse me, sir…” An elderly woman is waving a piece of brie at the man behind the deli counter at OMG! (“Organic Market of Gaia”). “Sir, I only wanted half a pound.”
“Fucking morons!” the cheese-monger says, oblivious of the woman as he speaks at me. Beady eyes are his only distinguishing feature as the rest of his head is hidden behind hairnet and facemask. “Setting fire to these cell towers. They’re so fucking blind to what is going on around them, but they have such stubborn willfulness to being led astray, they fly into a rage at the drop of a hat, which only further impairs their cognitive reasoning!”
“Sir?” The old woman attempts negotiation. She is patient, and judging by her shopping cart full of white wine and crackers, she is in good spirits.
I didn’t ask for this conversation, but I nod and add to the kindling by saying, “Yeah, the trouble started with some bullshit in Belgium, as trouble is wont to do.” I was referencing an article in Het Laatste Nieuws which featured misinformation about the possibility of 5G towers causing coronavirus. You would think it was no big deal, because really – who reads Het Laatste Nieuws, right? Apparently, the Dutch do and once they got their hands on this literal “fake news” they ran with it in anti-5G propaganda. Now, paranoids as far away as New Zealand are setting fire to cell phone towers. But this isn’t what I came for. I just wanted to pick up parmesan cheese and to check on Ned de Vers to ensure he wasn’t bleeding-out in his bathtub.
“It is like a game of telephone.” Ned, the cheese-monger, says as he absent-mindedly grates parmesan cheese. “Have you played this? Where one shithead whispers into the ear of another shithead and that shithead whispers into the ear of the next… But never mind that! Where all this 5G conspiracy originates from is China.”
The woman gives up and accepts her full pound of brie.
“Yeah? How so, Ned?” His name tag reads “Mario”, but I know Ned de Vers from the pre-Apocalypse when we both attended the group therapy meetings of GORP: Greater Orlando Recovering Paranoids. He’s a good kid, but I normally avoid the cheese counter because this.
“Blame the mis-direct on the vodka-sweating Russians!” Ned de Vers says as he hands me $63 worth of parmesan while taking a sideways glance at the next masked-patron in line before giving them a “Just a second, please.” Ned turns back towards me and lowers his voice. “Russian TV is pushing the dangers of 5G tech cos they want to delay the advancement of rival countries. The Russians are pushing conspiracies to influence the paranoid to do things like set fire to 5G towers. Why? Because it is taking them longer to catch-up technologically.”
“So you’re good?” I ask, wishing I hadn’t come. But I am still curious, “You mention the re-direct…?”
“Away from the true conspiracy!” Ned de Vers lights up behind his surgeon’s mask. “China’s own 5G installation has fried the brains of their own citizens causing widespread death and brain dysfunction. China doesn’t want the world knowing they were microwaving their people with their cheap-ass 5G antennae. They setup 5G across the country and zapped a half million people to their death and they are thinking, how the fuck do we hide all of these barbequed corpses? Someone has the bright idea to release one of the catchy viruses from the Wuhan clinic which could do a lot of damage, but not actually end the world. The crème de la crème of the People’s Republic think this is a good idea to lean their population and hide the deaths from 5G brain-microwaves and here you have it… they started the pandemic to cover-up those killed by cell phone towers.”
“Interesting.” I tell him. “Stay on the Meds, Ned. Just remember, THEY might be out to get everyone, but THEY aren’t necessarily out to get you.” It was one of our GORP mantras. “Stay healthy, bud.”
“Don’t trust anything the media is saying!” Ned de Vers says after me. “Don’t trust anyone!”
On the Subject of China
This time of year, Reverend Chette is normally spring-cleaning his meat-smoker in preparation for summertime experimentation ahead of the fall football season. This spring is no different, though there is some doubt on how much sport will occur this year. If there is no Alabama football this fall, Chette may never forgive the Chinese.
Isn’t it too soon, I ask Chette from my undisclosed location in Central Florida, for the president to blame Chinese labs for the coronavirus?
“Heck no.” Reverend Chette responds from somewhere near Muscle Shoals in Northern Alabama. “Treed raccoon doesn’t need to see a yapping hound to know the dog is down there. Listen, it is easier to stop a cover-up than it is to uncover a conspiracy after the fact. We can’t wait until we can prove the virus came from the Wuhan laboratory. We have to go on the offensive now, regardless what the WHO or Fauci says. If we learn in the future we were wrong, we’ll apologize. But we cannot err on the side of politeness, like the WHO, when dealing with the Chinese. Do you doubt for one second the Chinese are already two chess moves ahead of us?”
“So we have to cut corners before they call check-mate. If we assume the virus came from a Wuhan lab and are wrong, I will be the first to fall on my sword. But let’s say we are right. We know either #1, it was an intentional release, in which case, we are at war; or #2 it was accidental. Let us assume the lesser: this is a case of manslaughter and not out-right murder.” Reverend Chette was a lawyer before he ever disguised himself within the clergy. “And the Wuhan Lab accidentally released Covid-19 because some jackass in the mailroom ate the wrong ham sandwich. If it was entirely accidental, we still know China would have absolutely hidden the truth from us as long as possible. There is no doubting that, right? And we know China would have looked at this growing pandemic under a lens of ‘how do we make this work for us’? Tell me if I have the wrong idea of the People’s Republic.”
Reverend Chette wasn’t saying anything I wouldn’t expect out of China.
“My answer to your question, therefore, is ‘no’. Trump is not wrong to accuse China for releasing the virus. The very best scenario is that the virus was not released from a Wuhan lab and I’d be as tickled-pink as a sow in shit if it comes to pass I am wrong. But if we assume this virus is lab-created and review the possible scenarios for which worst case we need to strategize against, we have to come to terms that the Chinese are working against our best interests. And we have to think, what does that mean with regards to information coming out of Beijing? How could they be using this to influence geo-politics worldwide, from the oil-price wars to upcoming elections? We can’t go Pollyanna on this one and assume there are no nefarious hands at play. We have to act on the possibility and the plausibility China is aiming to upend the West.”
We’re talking the decline of Rome?
“We’re talking the end of democracy as we know it.”
What’s Vic Drinking Tonight?
Vic Neverman is drinking because reasons.
Tonight, we have enough fingers to make a fist of gin mixed with various citrus, bitters, tonic and, to help quell inner turmoil, half an ounce of my dog’s bacon-flavored CBD oil.