Bring Out Your Dead
So everything lets us down, including curiosity and honesty and what we love best
Hi hi! And welcome to another Bad Sandwich Chronicles Beyond Thunderdome. The past two issues of this here newsletter/blog have been for paying subscribers only, and they’ve both in some small way dealt with the only thing anyone is talking about: Joe Exotic and the fact that everyone involved in tiger handling seems to be polygamous and sexually very adventurous and generally reckless to the point of Caligulan depravity. In fact, it’s ALMOST like the kinds of people who want to juggle handfuls of baby endangered tigers are relentless hedonists who just want everything, buffet style, all the time, whether it’s power, sexual partners/slaves, money, guns, helicopters, huge bags of cocaine or uh…tigers. I mean, good on ya, hedonist tiger people. Seems like a pretty fun life, if I’m being honest.
But enough of that. We’ve actually been talking plague. If you want to see what BSC (BT) had to say about cruise ships and the macro implications of living through this virus, just click subscribe. For less than the price of one night out at the bar (which you can’t even go to anyway right now [apologies to my bar staff readers]) you can get a whole year of top tier, steak-topped-with-gold-leaf level content. But anyway, enough shameless marketing. On with the show:
As of about 4 minutes ago, Chicago just shut down all the parks and trails and shit in the city. Yesterday was an unseasonably beautiful day here, and as a result, the parks and paths were packed. According to most reports, people were crashing into each other on the bike trails and, well, that’s bad in a perfect world, but in a brave new world in which there’s no spare hospital beds bc they’re all full because nobody can breathe right, it’s real bad.
That’s not even taking into account that crashing your sweaty ass into a grip of strangers is probably not exactly a by-the-books example of social distancing. I will say that if you end up with coronavirus because you crashed your unicycle into a group of people who insist on taking up the whole path because they’re carrying their cooler the X axis way, there’s a certain level of cosmic justice to that that I can’t pretend doesn’t exist.
However, the fact remains that going out and doing shit is a weird thing to parse, right? Like, on one hand, you’re just being you, walking around the block, minding your own business. But on the other, if everyone is just being them, then you’ve suddenly got a city full of unicyclists with cracked pelvises and coronavirus infections, so even your harmless stroll is a public health hazard if you assume that it’s something that everyone else is gonna assume they can do too. It’s a bummer, and it’s understandably not something we’re used to understanding as adults.
Every single mom any of us have ever had (shout out to the “I had 2 gay dads” people out there, but I GUARANTEE you they said this shit to you even more), has heard some iteration of “well if jimmy jumped off a bridge would you do it too?” to the point where the notion of it lost all meaning.
Like, to me, the idea of going and walking around the block is at best a victimless crime, BUT if everyone goes out and walks around the block (and they are…my neighborhood looks like a goddamn Richard Scarry tableau these days) then that’s not REALLY social distancing. “If Jimmy went out and walked around the block, would you?” sounds like kind of a dumb take on the classic admonishment but it’s accurate in that, right now, beyond the thunderdome, it’s taking multiple lives life into your irresponsible hands.
So we have to stay inside, even if it seems stupid. It’s stupid to pretend you live in a vacuum when this is a human organism issue. It’s even stupider to just be like “well I’m just one guy, and I’m gonna take pictures of abandoned downtown, because wow…what an opportunity.
See, you CAN’T do that because, asshole, everyone wants to go for walks and experience an abandoned downtown and if they did, we’d all be out and there would be no sheltering at home and then none of this is doing any good at all.
I saw a thing, and it’s an internet meme, likely designed by the Russians or whatever, but it said something to the effect of “I’m an ER doctor and I am in contact w the sick every day. I quarantine myself from my family when I get home after dealing with your sick loved ones…I can’t hug my kids or kiss my husband. Please PLEASE don’t go outside. I’m making this sacrifice for you. You can make a smaller one for us.” And that shit is REAL, MAN.
We have all grown up here in America. We’ve been fed so much bullshit that our egos are as artificially inflated as the breasts on our chickens and the tits of our dairy cows. I read once that there are two kinds of Americans in this world: millionaires and those who aren’t millionaires YET. That mindset is very much responsible for why the republican party can, year after year, get poor people to vote against their own best interests. We’ve been convinced that we’re all rich, monocle wearing socialites waiting to happen, and the notion that the government wants to take my imaginary millions to pay for social safety nets for people like…well, me now…that’s FUCKING OUTRAGEOUS and fuck that completely.
But we are not. We are not gonna be millionaires. We are the grist of this machine. We are the oil that turns the cogs. If you weren’t born rich, you stand a better chance of getting coronavirus than cashing in on some corporate tax break. For real. Consider that. Okay, moving on…
The other thing we’ve all been told, and this one is even funnier and more absurd, is that we are all special. We are not. Even the people among us who are raised to the level of ‘special’ are, 9 out of 10 times just lucky. Is Corey Feldman special? He is not, friends. Is Ted Cruz special? No. He is not. I know only a very few people that I’d say are actually special. People who are touched by something beautifully odd that makes them magnetic and wonderful to people; people who are also talented and lovely and intelligent and insightful, and you know what? They had best STAY THE FUCK INSIDE TOO.
This isn’t an exclusive club that you can go into if you have fucked the owner or sold out the room a few times. This is germs. They only want your cells. They want to live in your lungs. You know how when you saw that scene in King Kong where they get to the island and suddenly it’s King Kong and the T Rex and you kinda feel like, yo, Kong is scary but at least he’s a mammal. We have SOMETHING in common. That T rex is just a fucking bird-dino-lizard, man. No remorse there. I’ll suddenly take my chances with Kong. Well, these are GERMS. They kill bird-dino-lizards like bird-dino-lizards kill us, yo. Wantonly and without even thinking about it. They no care at ALL.
You get the idea. Going outside, tempting as it may be, its just fucking lame. Every time you do it, you’re making this horror of boredom last longer for everyone, and that includes you once it gets to the point where this becomes a martial law situation, which it will. You won’t get to just go beer pong your way through this over at Gavin’s, man. You’re just gonna be that asshole that made it so there had to be armed sentinels outside the 7-11 due to your relentlessly pathetic lack of self control.
So yeah. Don’t go outside. Glad we got that out of the way. All that being said, this quarantine DOES suck. It sucks in lots of ways. Let’s talk about a few of them.
Food: If you have a spouse and, god forbid, a family, food is the thing you’ll likely get divorced over. Figuring out dinner is a neverending, thankless chore that involves frustrating trips to the store and is often met with grumbles and suggestions for how the shit you tried your best to whip up could potentially be less terrible next time, and that’s WITH the benefit of having a fully operational grocery store and the option of saying fuck it and going out to a spot one night a week if you’ve got that kind of financial freedom. In this plague world, you’d better hope these kids like tacos made out of lentils and served in wheat bread, because that’s what you’ve got. Tomorrow? Oh, tomorrow I thought for breakfast we’d make old fashioned oatmeal out of that tube that your grandmother left here two months ago because it’s either that or peanut butter and linguine.
Love: It’s weird to watch whatever your love gland is get squeezed like a travel sized toothpaste tube by whoever you’re quarantined with until they are no longer special or cool, but rather a distant second place to that dude you still Facebook message after your trip to Cabo a few years back and the good looking barista that you hope still works at the coffee shop that you hope still exists when this is all over. It’s a false equivalency that will right itself as all good markets do, when and if things ever get back to how they’re supposed to be, but for now, face it. Your best friend roommate/spouse/children…if you were suddenly on a raft with them and your cool mailman who you haven’t been quarantined with, you’ve got an actual “who do I throw off first” quandary on your hands.
Fuckin: Heh. Good luck with this. Either you’ve already gotten it all out of the way and now you’re boooorrreed and thinkin about that mailman or you are in such close quarters with multiple people where you’re gonna have to make some fundamental morality tweaks to squeeze one in/out. Remember jerking off into the toilet, y’all? I know you do now. God forbid you’re stuck quarantining alone. But hey, at least you can masturbate yourself raw like some kind of caged gibbon. There are videos on Youtube of various vagina substitutes you can make out of Pringles cans and shit. Ladies…uh…I’m not qualified to give much advice here but if I look down at my own penis I’d say a small, half finished Crayola crayon probably could do the trick (burnt Sienna or Grimace purple, depending on mood).
Fear: Are you gonna die? Is your parent or spouse? What about losing your job? What if you just fall down the stairs and break your leg and they’re like “fuck it, you’re not dying of COVID 19 so you’ll just do that Medieval thing where you hobble home and it heals weird and you’re a freak with a leg that looks like a ladder that won’t close right forever. Or hey, what if the pipes burst and your plumber is like “plague prices, ma’am. It’s 1,200 bucks an hour to see what’s up,” (in fairness, I wouldn’t root through germ turds for regular wages either), or hey, what if you’re just in your house and you snap on your kid and it’s a little permanent psychological damage and he grows up to be the next Charlie “diaper guy” Kirk, or what if your spouse or significant other is like “huh, once this is over, I’m going to my mom’s and I’m gonna marry Glen, because I always knew deep down he was better for me and that you were the REAL plague this whole time.” Chances are, you’ll be cool with this last one because, as we discussed in the last bullet, fuck these people, but it may be a bummer in the long run.
Work: Are you LUCKY enough to still have work? What kind of a double headed dildo is THAT though? Sure, staying productive during imposed downtime is insanely important for sanity, but it’s also an attention splitter that is probably gonna suffer when the other contestants for your attention are “does my daughter just have a cold or is she dying” and “I’m gonna go FUCKING INSANE if I don’t get some Ketamine.” And, let’s face it. Your company is definitely on the verge of going out of business anyway and everyone knows it. So you could bust your dick/vagina/other sex organs through this mess 22 hours a day and then end up with your employer filing bankruptcy anyway and you being fucked without of even having the luxury of having been able to re-center your chi each morning or whatever the fuck it is that you need to re-center.
Boredom: Girl, tell me about it. I’m so bored I just intently watched my daughter paint my son’s toenails and then pretended he was an iconoclast for bucking gender norms. We live in the world of podcasts and Spotify where even listening to an ALBUM all at once seems akin to reading War and Peace, so no one’s catching up on their reading or doing anything of intellectual value whatsoever. Most people aren’t even gonna play real video games. They’re just gonna sit there and OD on whatever the new iteration of Candy Crush is.
Fear (the other kind of fear): We’re gonna all be so scared of each other once this is over…or maybe we won’t, I guess. This ends in one of two ways: a complete restructuring of how society works with a level of common courtesy and distance and respect….ORRRRRR, more likely, crazy orgies that none of us are invited to. I’m afraid of every possible version of this and my place in/not in it.
In closing, today I went to the grocery store. I’m healthy. I’ve been in my house for 2 weeks and I’ve been working out every day, so I know my lung capacity is good, and I wash my hands like I work in a massage parlor in Jupiter, Florida. If I’m a carrier, I’m an asymptomatic one. But when I went to the store today I still made a point of staying six feet from anyone. However, at some point, I got a tickle in my throat, and I KNOW that coughing in the grocery store is just not a cool thing to do, so I held it. I held it until my eyes were watering and I was beet red. And it was fucking torture, and as I’m finally walking out, about to unleash this beautiful, orgasmic cough onto the completely socially responsible pavement, far from everyone, this OLD ASS MAN literally walks up to me and coughs in my face, like, as though it were his mission to cough in my face.
So, I guess I don’t know what I’m saying here. Be safe and don’t be a selfish dick, but if you find that guy from the Jewel on Lincoln who coughed in my face, shit in his coffee pls.