Typing instead of griping

The natty new baseball cap I ordered from The New York Times arrived the other day, and it’s a solid accessory/hair-hider. Though gaspingly overpriced, the black cap embossed with a gothic Times logo is as plush as a teddy bear and slips on with snuggly élan. (Now where’s the New Yorker tote promised with my subscription? Does anybody actually use totes?) 

The cap came speedily, an anomalous on-time arrival. The mail’s a mess. Of seven books I’ve ordered, three have gotten lost in transit and the rest have taken up to a month to come. I’ve received four refunds. The pandemic’s to blame, and The New Yorker was civil enough to apologize for the tote delay, citing the crisis. (I so don’t need a tote.)

The crisis. Damn. We’re whipped and we never had a fighting chance. Stuffed indoors, grounded from going out to play, we are occasionally embalmed in boredom. But there are things to be done. Typing beats griping. Thumb wrestling: a reliable time-passer.

This whole topic is as tired as we are, a cliché looking for a new angle, a brand-new nag. What am I going to do, write about the dog again? Regale you with what I ate for lunch? Chat about the movies I’ve been watching? 

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    The Marx Brothers: comic chaos

Done. I’ve rewatched some Marx Brothers, riotous rapscallions of Dada-esque anarchy, and the peerless noir “The Big Sleep,” in which Bogart’s smooth, smoke-wreathed private eye falls dangerously hard for the dangerously young Lauren Bacall while on a gnarled murder case. Howard Hawks crisply directs William Faulkner’s script, which is based on Raymond Chandler’s pungent detective classic. The movie sits in my personal pantheon of bests. Likewise the Marx Brothers masterpiece “Duck Soup.” (Speaking of soup, that’s what I ate for lunch.)

Outside, children shriek and gambol — my shriek and gambol days ended at 35 — their exuberant simian antics echoing through the streets and the trees and surely breaking social distancing guidelines. So what! They’re young and invincible! Barring them indoors is like corking a volcano. It’s gonna blow.

Children are not my tribe. I have none, and I’m grateful for that. I do not feel bereft in the least. Parents do not arouse envy in me. (In fact, I consider it this way: bullet dodged.) My nephews are terrific and as close to parenthood as I ever want to get. The only creature that calls me Poppa is the dog, which affirms twin beliefs that I’m part canine and he is made of magic.

After reading and a walk, it’s back to the keyboard, one of my few comfort zones. Warmth is not a comfort zone. Temperatures are rising, summer’s rottenness creeping in. People love this stuff — heat, sweat, sun — another popular phenomenon I spurn, like dinner parties, reggae and the American version of “The Office.” (I’m typing and griping.)

Which means summer hibernation will come naturally. I love A/C, loathe UV. But really, will there even be a summer, or will it just be streaming? Will people sit in wide, loose circles on patios, sliding down face masks to sip rosé and eat guac? The annual September block party — will that too be nixed? Maybe not. Eighty households can Zoom together at once, right? Surely. Hot dogs and deviled eggs, those are your responsibility.

4 thoughts on “Typing instead of griping

    1. Thanks, Gregory. So nice to hear from you, even on this rather embarrassing platform. I miss you, too. We had a blast. And we had one of the coolest entertainment sections ever! I hope you’re flourishing and happy. — Chris

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  1. “Does anybody actually use totes?”
    Of course! I always take2 or 3 to the grocers with me, put all my shopping in when they don’t offer boxes.

    “Outside, children shriek and gambol”
    Aha! That’s why America suffers unnaturally high fatality numbers. Isolation is for everybody, old young, kidz and, yes, even Americans. We’re all in this business of saving humanity, apart but together.

    And, same as you, my little workdesk with 3-4 computers on is my safespace, my comfort zone. It’s where I “work”, where we eat and where we watch moovies.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never wanted kids, and I think this pandemic makes me extra grateful I don’t have them. I’m so sick of listening to people whine about having to entertain their own children – I don’t understand why they chose to have them if they don’t want to spend time with them! I recently had to deal with some people complaining on the council I work for’s Twitter about a clinic being turned into a Covid-19 testing centre, because apparently their children play in the parking lot. I really shouldn’t have had to point out that they should not let their children play in a car park at the best of times, and certainly not now!

    Liked by 1 person

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