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Are You Suffering the Slings of PTVD?

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No, not PENILE TRANSMITTED VENEREAL DISEASE

…that’s so 1960’s and ’70’s.

You wouldn’t believe how many times – while working in a hospital lab in Canada’s Arctic region – in the late 1970’s, I isolated a fun bacterial bug scientifically labelled Neisseria gonorrhoeae on my lab culture plates.

You know… The Clap. Venus’s Curse. The Drip.

Nasty bug (although admittedly kinda cute microscopically) for sure, but with proper treatment it went away more readily than will the PTVD I’m discussing today.

Yes, the PTVD I’m talking about here is Post Traumatic Virus Disorder.

In many ways, it’s spread through person-to-person contact too… albeit socially-isolated contact ie. daily news reports and social media websites.

Remember a year ago (or was it a decade?) when we panicked and washed canned goods before setting them onto a pantry shelf? When we rushed to fill our carts with rare exotic gems such as toilet paper, flour and yeast?

It’s really hard these days to see life through anything except “virus” glasses.

Yup, our days are lived out in some form of Post Traumatic Virus Disorder.. maybe forget the “POST” part… it’s still just Traumatic Virus Disorder.

For about 400 days and 400 nights now (sounds slightly biblical, doesn’t it?) we’ve riddled and sieved and parsed everything we do through the virus filter.

Should I go here? should I do this? will my friends judge me for not wearing a mask at the Starbucks drive-thru? am I likely to pick up – or transmit – the virus if I do that?

For many months, trauma and guilt have been built-in to every decision we’ve made, accompanied by… sometimes righteousness, sometimes worry, sometimes rebellion, sometimes disgust.

And much like the recent American election where opposing sides dug-in to their polarized stances on politics and “swamps”, most of us world-wide have similarly dug-in to a position on the relative seriousness of the COVID virus, the efficacy of masks and gloves, the meaning and dividing lines of personal freedoms.

Families, friends, and neighbours split up on either side of the volleyball net.

They lob volleys of logic or loose thought at each other, stealthily trying to score points, rarely taking notice that they’re actually playing on different courts, so that neither side can win regardless of the quality of their “spike shot”.

It’s become an ugly game.

I have definite strong thoughts about this.

You can probably guess where I come down on the matter with my science-based lab background – but I understand there’s not a great deal of hope in persuading others who oppose me of my beliefs, no matter how well thought-out or expressed.

Or honestly, to be swayed in a different direction myself. The trenches are deep.

Virus-wise, I sweat out and contemplate my choices daily, often many times daily. There are personal and moral dilemma bridges to cross.

Sadly, and somewhat distressing, this divide is an ocean, a divide with no boats available to span the distance without large societal change.

To use the American example once more, the virus is a microcosm of heavily-partitioned Democratic vs Republican thought.

These are large issues, politics and viruses… issues larger than my brain capacity.

I wish I had the mental acuity to work out a solution to the monumental challenges that face us in months and years to come.

I know what I’d like to see, but alas, I don’t have the recipe (*can you hear me singing?… And I’ll never have that recipe again, oh noooooo)

Fortunately (for my mental health), I’m confident and optimistic that there are and will be solutions found along the road to overcome the difficulties. But. It will take time.

When humanity has appeared doomed (eg. during previous World Wars), approaches and answers were brought forward that allowed us to progress into a hopeful future… not a perfect future, but a hopeful one.

It’s tough. But both Penile Transmitted Venereal Disease and Post Traumatic Virus Disorder are largely solvable and will allow us to share “intercourse” once again with our fellow citizens…

Let’s remember what Voltaire said,

Perfect is the enemy of good. Done is better than perfect. The best is the enemy of the good.

Are YOU Kidding ME?

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Coronavirus Lego (1)

Where are you going?

Right… NOWHERE. I can predict that with almost 100% certainty. It’s like I live inside a Magic 8 ball.

But you know why. I don’t have to spell it out.

I’ve got you where I want you *bwahhhh-ha-haaaaa* and now I have to decide what I’m going to do with you.

It’s cruel and it’s powerful and it’s a rare moment in the universe’s history, so far as we know.

I know that you’re likely stressed in some way, so I’d like to relieve your angst a wee tiny bit this week cuz that’s just the kind of nice guy I am. I want you to like me, even if I am a jerk.

Today I’m coming at you with some ideas on how to take your mind off the pretend/reality TV world that over a couple of weeks has transformed into a real/REALITY WORLD… aka…

SURVIVOR- Coronavirus Island

Now you may not consider all of my ideas as fun… after all, fun is in the eye of the beholder – we don’t all love the same music or movies – so skip past the ones that make you nauseous, groan or cringe and move on.

Some are IDEA SEX and some are… *wink* SEXY IDEAS. Either way, surely, we can find one or two things to make you smile through the tension.

So… here are 10 things to do to lift your socially-isolated day out of the doldrums:

 

1. Channel your inner pervert and wear your partner/friend’s: underwear, bra (most noses are adequately protected by a B cup), or sanitary pad as a face mask to the grocery store… if that doesn’t catch anyone’s eye, try practising your moonwalk in the middle of the natural food aisle, plus maintaining 2 metres distance from everyone whilst dancing backwards.

lettuce mask

This works too!

2. Send out this woefully soulful note to your family:

Gal Gadot (or Chris Hemsworth or…) and I were set to have our beautiful wedding this April. However, due to the coronavirus, we will be postponing the celebration of our love. We’re heartbroken. My apologies to our friends and loved ones. Do not ask Gal about this she’s busy…

3. Do like Benny and Joon and make grilled cheese sandwiches with an iron on your ironing board. Young Johnny Depp at his finest…

 

4. Draw a spider on the toilet paper roll.

5. Make up a new national holiday (eg. National Cherry Cheesecake Day, World Naked-At-Your-Front-Window Day). Write to all your contacts and ask them to celebrate the special day on their social media platforms. See if your new holiday goes “viral”.

6. Out of TP due to shortages? Buy a package of paper towels and slice them in half with a sharp knife. For more extreme fun, hang out a few reams of damp toilet paper on your outdoor laundry line for your neighbours enjoyment.

7. Make up new recipes for the times: think… Emergen-C banana breakfast bread, Cinnamon-buns with 15% toilet paper-infused cream cheese icing (a treat at both ends of the eating experience).

8. Do your best erotically seductive dance in front of the pharmacy counter to get first shot at the new shipment of sanitizer.

9. Take an online class such as : 1. Get Stuffed: How To Taxidermy Your Problematic Family Members 2. Tantalizing Toilet Paper Origami Projects 3. Make Your Own Porno Netflix Special – Scintillating Solo Sex For Singles 4. Fabulous Blender Cocktail Recipes Made From Sanitizer.

10. Send an e-mail to all your friends and relatives and give them a silly nickname. The more outrageous the nickname, the better. The more ludicrous it is the better. See if they remain your friend after this lock-up period.

BONUS: 11. Couch Scavenger Hunt – the best way to find all those matching socks (or… used condoms and pizza crusts) you’ve lost and a great way to recover some of your lost virus income in nickels and dimes.

And finally… get out the kleenex (if you have any left)… a little soft nostalgia below to help you through these difficult times…

Toilet paper (3)

 

 

 

Silly is … In My Pants

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PEI Autumn

I’m just beginning to see millions of leaves succumb to their slow, colourful deaths as we pass the fall equinox. It makes dying a beautiful thing.

And it got me to thinking about changes, and seasons, and those things that are predictable in our lives and other things that change and surprise us.

Take the moon for example. We all know that full moons contribute to the “surprise” factor.

Full moons make crazy things happen, things we’d never expect. This past week’s Harvest “Blood” Moon – wasn’t it stunning? – probably had more impact than usual.

Something that surprised me? Maybe it was full moon inspired?

Singer/Songwriter James Taylor got really silly on Jimmy Kimmel’s late night show the other night.

Yup, James Taylor. I love his music but he isn’t normally a silly kind of guy.

“You’ve Got A Friend” and “Fire and Rain” are beautiful, deep, hardly silly songs. He croons serious songs that melt into our hearts and our heads.

Silly? Adding the words, “in my pants…” at the end of each line of Taylor’s music definitely qualifies as silly. ” … But I always thought that I’d see you again… in my pants

So it must have been the moon. Right? Must have been.

Thank you James for reminding me that we all need to be silly sometimes.

Silliness can be an important part of our humanity, our ability to cope when times grow tough. Norman Cousins (Anatomy of an Illness) wrote all about finding humour and laughter in life when confronted with serious pain or illness.

Sometimes I find myself slipping into an earnest seriousness. I have to slap myself on the side of the head to remember to be silly, not to take everything so damned humourlessly. Then I feel better.

Fix the mood and everyone dances like feathers …

There’s a guy who is my age that I work with in the Greek restaurant where I’m a bartender … he’s a server/waiter. Let’s call him Fred.

When everything is calm and quiet, he’s sweet and charming. Full of light humour and smiles. Mr. Congeniality.

But once lineups form at the door, tables in the restaurant fill up, and the hum of activity snarls into a roar, Fred turns into a yelling monstrosity of an animal. He becomes a toddler that only knows “ME“!

It’s like he might just throw himself to the floor and begin crying and stamping his feet unless everyone does everything for him … RIGHT NOW!!

Cosby as Dr. Jeykll

I don’t like Fred much at these moments. His blood pressure readings must be reaching into the clouds way above us.

Later, when customers begin shuffling out of the restaurant, sated and satisfied and a teensy bit tipsy from the delicious libations I’ve poured, Fred sloughs off his nasty mask and returns to his “resting pulse” rate of friendly and charming.

He’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with a serving tray and a menu pad.

I can’t blame the moon for Fred’s tantrums. This is his normal reaction, the way he copes when stress begins to pile on.

I feel badly for him and badly for those around him who have to do their jobs despite his vile behaviour. Fred should try singing, “… in my pants“.

But let me tell you about another server I work with – let’s call him Mark – somewhat younger, who always finds a way to laugh and giggle through the busiest times.

He’s smart and good at his job, just like Fred, but Mark always finds a way to stay calm and goofy.

Mark gets the same work accomplished as Fred but everyone around him is more relaxed and smiley as he does his thing.

Mark works two jobs most days and is on his feet for hours and hours at a time, always with a smile and a goofy laugh. I like working with and being around Mark. He makes me calmer and sillier.

We all have our own unique personalities and ways of coping when things turn tough. It’s hard to smile sometimes.

I know I can stress out and get tense and humourless.

But I’m trying really hard to find the silliness, the humour in every situation. Really good or really bad.

Humour is like air … you can’t always see it with your eyes but it’s blowing and floating around us, helping us survive the tough stuff.

Maybe humour is like a religious tonic for non-believers, soothing us when times get rough, a bridge over troubled waters.

When things get busy in the restaurant this evening … while Fred is flailing disruptively, I figure Mark and I will be hearing “…in my pants” dancing in our heads.

... in my pants ... and I ain't afraid to show it ...

… in my pants … and I ain’t afraid to show it …