Slack Tide: Silver linings to a global pandemic

Even this has some upside.

Let me start by saying I know people are dying, and there’s nothing funny about people dying — well, except maybe the “Death” section of “Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life,” and even then Monty Python’s kind of an acquired taste.

I also realize how lucky I am in terms of my health, financial security and tendency to avoid other people as a general rule.

But while I may be a misanthrope, I’m also an optimist. I’d rather light a candle than curse the darkness (although, honestly, I prefer both — nothing beats a little candle-lit swearing.)

Point is, every cloud has a silver lining, or at least silver laminate. And COVID-19 is no exception.

For example: Here in Juneau, we’ve been practicing self-isolation all along. We didn’t need a governor’s order to spend April hunkering-down. Shelter-in-place? What else were we planning to do this month?

Okay, Folk Fest. But now that it’s canceled, think of all the money we’ll save on hoodie sweatshirts. We can funnel this money into our black market PPE fund.

See? It’s simply a matter of looking at the world through rose-colored glasses (polarized Oakleys will also work in a pinch).

Consider these other silver linings to the current COVID-19 pandemic:

• The sad, abrupt, premature end to a fantastic ski season — at least for those of us too lazy to hike — means surviving yet another winter with both ACLs still intact.

• It’s Cadbury Creme Egg Season, and not even COVID-19 can cancel that. They say “money can’t buy happiness,” but a Cadbury Creme Egg only costs $.59 (plus tax)—that’s not only happiness; it’s happiness in a thick chocolate shell.

• It’s also marshmallow Peeps season. With a manufacturer-suggested shelf life of two years, Peeps make a quality addition to any quarantine pantry. Plus, three words: microwave Peep s’mores.

• Life has granted us the time and creative freedom to explore ideas like, say, microwave Peep s’mores. And can you say “hot dog log cabin?”

• So what if our kids scoffed at our authority as parents; they’re sure to respect us now that we’re their substitute teachers.

• And, we can use this opportunity to verse them in the classics by screening “Wayne’s World,” “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.” Next week begins a longitudinal study of the “Die Hard” franchise.

• One last homeschooling anecdote: The other day my nine-year-old son asked if he could get a pet hedgehog, so I assigned him a short research report on the subject. As a result, I now know hedgehogs masturbate. See? Without COVID-19, none of us would’ve learned that.

• Absent the usual morning rush, we can reintroduce crepes to our weekday breakfast routine. And Bloody Marys. And pie. Why not? It’s a pandemic. If we want pie for breakfast, we should have pie for breakfast.

• Our spouses no longer admonish us for never leaving the house.

• Pants? Who needs pants?

• This past Thursday began the Jewish holiday of Passover, commemorating the biblical Exodus, during which ancient Egypt faced 10 plagues: blood, frogs, lice, wild beasts, pestilence, boils, hail, locusts, darkness and slaying of the firstborn. By comparison, we’re only dealing with one. One measly plague — and we get to ride it out binging on Disney+ instead of hauling stone for pyramids or whatever.

• “Social Distance” is a killer name for a garage band.

• Toilet paper hoarding = the perfect excuse to finally install a bidet in the master bath. Then, all we need is a global catastrophe that calls for motion-activated urinals.

• All the junk we’ve been saving under the auspices of one day making into a planter… Let’s make it all into planters!

• Create the ultimate COVID-19 playlist: “Fever;” “Bad Medicine;” “When the World is Running Down, You Make the Best of What’s Still Around;” “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine);” “I Think We’re Alone Now;” anything by the Cure.

• Sure, the kids home 24/7 may effectively limit any couples-only time to teeth brushing and passing out while power-streaming “Tiger King.” But…most effective birth control, ever.

• Cannabis retailers are among the few businesses considered “essential.”

• Last, but not least — and at the very least — we still have the ability to laugh. Because laughter, as we all know, is the best medicine. Hence, essential retail cannabis.

Stay safe.

• Geoff Kirsch is an award-winning, Juneau-based writer and humorist. “Slack Tide” appears every second and fourth Sunday in Neighbors.

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