My mother is famous for saying, during the worst of times: “You know, there is humour in everything – you just have to look for it.”
And yeah, when you are looking at the remains of a car that you had one payment left on, which some 16-year-old with no insurance just turned into something that looks like the remains of a rusted 1975 Maytag washing machine, that kind of chirpy cheerfulness could be used in court as a defence for matricide.
As far as finding humour in every situation, I didn’t think that there was anything remotely humorous about my recent brush with death at the hands of Covid-19, but now that I seem to have safely avoided the grim reaper, my wife and kids do chuckle a bit at my asking them to leave my bedroom because their chatter was making it hard for me to hear my father and sister who were apparently speaking to me from the back of the room.
Both my dad and my sister went to their reward many years ago.
Hey kids, fevered hallucinations can be fun!
Locked down loaded
While most folks have not actually had the virus, pretty much all of us have been locked inside for a long time.
A very long time.
This is hard on most people. Humans, it turns out, are social animals. The fact that Sean’s Bar in Athlone, Ireland is said to have been serving in 900 AD should have been a clue that we as a species like to gather in dark rooms and tell lies over strong beverages.
Oh, there are the introverts among us like my oldest daughter, who when I called to check on how she was doing being alone in her flat during the lockdown told me: “Dad, I have been training for this moment my entire life.”
Most of us, though, are at the point when we run out holding two beers and a packet of crisps if someone just turns around in our driveway.
As things loosen up a bit, with the governments giving us Plan A, Plan B, Step Six, Addendum 13, all many of us want to know is when we will be allowed to rip up a beer coaster onto a bar, whose lumber “comes from a shipwreck off the coast of Kalymnos, I swear”, while watching overpaid ectomorphic freaks fight over a ball of some sort.
To be sure, we will be complaining about the potency of the drinks when the pubs reopen. There’s no way that Johnny and Seamus are going to be pouring as generously at the pub as we’ve been with ourselves on the kitchen counter.
Make it stop!
One of the main reasons we, even the most Howard Hughes-like hermits among us, will be glad to escape our computers is to get away from the uncountable number of livestreams that now pop up every day.
People you didn’t even know owned a guitar are doing livestreams and warbling meaningful ballads.
And asking for tips.
OK, I’m guilty of doing a few of those myself, but while I admire the enterprising nature of the efforts, there are only so many versions of ‘Wonderwall’ one can endure.
In my case, that number is zero.
Into the great wide open
All in all, it’ll be a brave new world that we stumble back into.
We will all need new day-planners that have the real days of the week and not the ‘Monday, Tuesday, Thisday, Whatthefeckdayisitanyway’ days that we have been counting in our minds of late.
There will be those of us needing to remind ourselves to wear trousers as we venture outside, or at least change out of our yoga or sweatpants before heading to the office for a meeting with top management.
One of the most compelling reasons for us all to get back to our routines – as soon as it is safe, that is – is that it will definitely help keep the ‘homicide in the home’ rate down.
As someone once said: “I married my wife for her looks … just not the ones she has been giving me lately.”
Hopefully the coronavirus quarantine has given us all more time to reflect, and not just to sit on the couch, drink beer, pass gas, watch ‘Tiger King’ and drink beer.
Hopefully we will be a little kinder to ourselves and our planet and not spend so much time harming it and each other.
There could be many great reasons for us to spend more quality time together.
For example, according to one of the endless memes I have seen while spending 22 hours a day on social media, when a plague ended during the Middle Ages there was a bacchanalia-type party that included copious amounts of food and drink and orgies.
If this happens, I’ll make sure that Ben lists it in the entertainment section.
And as 2020, the year that just keeps getting weirder, moves on, do look for my upcoming howlingly funny column about murder hornets!