Chapter 60: COVID Chronicles

May 27, 2020

By Karen

Day 77

Amazing Chives & My Impromptu Field Trip

Before I tell you the day’s news, Tony and Roc wanted to stop in and say hello…

The cats haven’t had much going on except that Tony has become my latest pen thief. This morning he stole one from the kitchen table and dissected it the floor — clicker from clip from barrel. I heard him rattling the pieces around. “What the…?” Either he’s got hidden thumbs or it was very loose.

It’s Day 3 for the chives in their new digs. I thought the roots might need a week to settle in the dirt, but no. The former runt in the middle has taken the lead, and the chive on the left has lagged into last place…

By the way, the chives I harvested from these same bulbs last week are more aromatic than what I usually buy. Probably because they’re so fresh.

My field trip today was to Sam’s Club because I was out of calcium citrate and fish oil. (Actually, the fish oil has been a few weeks, but it’s fish oil. I can’t even remember which doctor suggested taking it or what it’s supposed to do).

But first, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced yesterday that as of May 29, everyone over age 10 is required to wear a mask “anywhere people congregate.” It’s a class 1 misdemeanor not to, and the penalty is a fine of up to $2,500 and a year in jail.

Unfortunately, he hasn’t worked out the enforcement procedure. I’d love to see some YouTube video of maskless Trumpers getting cited.

Now, back to Sam’s Club. At least 85-90% of people were wearing masks. The floors were marked for social distancing, aisles opening onto the register area were dead-ended to keep crowds from assembling there, an employee in front of the registers was keeping customers distanced, and an employee was wiping down the freezer case handles.

My glasses were loose and my mask kept pushing them down my nose. The optical department, where I bought them, was taped off, but a woman was there and kindly adjusted them for me. For the rest of my visit they stayed put — steamed up.

Among the bath soaps, I scored a big bottle of 80% alcohol hand sanitizer (Limit 1). There weren’t many left. I’ll use it to refill the little bottles I carry around.

Although not looking to buy it, I noticed there wasn’t a square of toilet paper — still? really? They did have pallets of facial tissues.

The frozen beef had a limit of 1 or 2 per customer, but I didn’t see limits on the chicken. They didn’t have my usual Tyson patties, but there was a selection of wings, nuggets and tenders from Tyson and Perdue, the two big names in chicken here.

Hormel precooked bacon, which usually sits out in a bin, was in a refrigerated case.

All the salted butter was gone. What remained was about a dozen 4-lb. packs of unsalted butter and huge bags of butter pats.

I bought 48 packages of ramen noodles, WAY more than I wanted, and paid too much (17 cents each vs. about 10 cents last time I bought them in Aldi). Reason: they had a “Limit 1” sign. If this drags on, meat gets scarce and hoarders next fixate on ramen, I’ll be one step ahead of them. It never goes bad, so what the heck, right?

After loading my loot in the car, I was tempted to hit the Taco Bell drive-thru just for a change, but talked myself out of it. My freezer’s gills are busting (not to mention a shelf-load of ramen noodles), so I have no business eating out. I came home and fixed a sandwich and dodged one more chance of getting infected.


Chapter 59: COVID Chronicles

May 26, 2020

By Karen

Day 76

Sliding Door Mystery & Trump Sways Like a Star Spangled Banner

My handyman came today (masked, thankfully) and fixed the sliding glass door. He simply yanked out a rectangle of plastic jammed in the track that kept the door from completely closing. He said he’d never seen such a piece before and could only guess it was under the door by mistake and eventually worked its way out.

But it was sitting in the track higher than the door, because I had to lift the door over it. When it was under the door, you’d think the door would have wobbled or I wouldn’t have been able to slide it at all. Hmm… Whatever.

The door works now and doesn’t seem crooked. If it leaks next time it rains, I’ll have to hire a real door company to figure out what’s up with that. So, fingers crossed.

In today’s mail was a scary envelope from the Department of the Treasury, but it held Mango Mussolini’s bullshit follow-up to the $1,200 rebate, autographed with his Sharpie scribble. He claims he’s “working around the clock to protect hardworking Americans like you from the consequences of the economic shutdown.”

He goes on to lie…

“We are fully committed to ensuring that you and your family have the support you need to get through this time.”

While I’m on a Trump roll, how about Memorial Day? Apparently, Trump was physically unable to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. But to give him the big holiday photo op he’d have had a hissy fit over skipping, they let Trump look at a big wreath and give it a pat.

You could see how he relished playing soldier and feeling very presidential. But first thing that morning, he exposed his utter ignorance of the purpose and solemnity of the day by tweeting…

This brief ceremony at the Tomb provided a rare glimpse of Trump not seated in advance or relying on a podium for balance. Compared to the other men, watch him sway back and forth during “The Star Spangled Banner,” particularly at 1:09, “…at the twilight’s last gleaming.” He’s off balance because he can’t dangle both arms in front of him.

Then pay close attention at 4:20. He’s standing in front of the wreath and crosses his hands over his gut. A quick spasm jerks his hands up, and he tries to cover it with a sweep of his right arm.

Here’s a short clip of Obama showing how presidents traditionally lay that wreath. Apparently, after two straight days of golfing, Trump wasn’t up to all that exertion…

Joe Biden, on the other hand, left his house for the first time since mid-March, in a mask, to lay a wreath at Delaware Memorial Bridge Veteran’s Memorial Park, and he didn’t make it a photo op circus. Because Joe Biden gets it.


Chapter 57: COVID Chronicles

May 24, 2020

By Karen

Day 74

Another Cat Tradition Lives On & Chives Get a New Life

The late Adele became extremely finicky toward the end, but one thing I could always get her to eat sip was Fancy Feast Broths…

I’ve seen them retail for $1.29 each — for 1.4 oz. It’s Fancy Feast pulling off yet another heist by addicting some cats’ preternaturally refined palates to this stuff.

Adele rejected the meat and veg, but Roc loved all that, so I split it accordingly and they both got a treat. (Max had no interest, so he didn’t miss anything.)

I had two packets left when Adele died and let them sit until a few weeks ago. When Roc heard the old familiar sound of me shaking the packet to work the contents to the bottom so I wouldn’t waste a drop, he came flying with Tony, as always, right behind and ready for anything.

Those two little packets turned into a “thing.” Now in the evening, if I walk to the kitchen for any reason, Roc and Tony show up looking expectant. And they didn’t let up during the week they had to wait for the 64 packets I got for 99 cents to arrive from Chewy.com.

Now I can split a packet down the middle and everybody’s happy…

While they snack in high style, want to see what I get? I don’t know what I was thinking when I bought these Cheez-Its®. The name even sounds like a bad idea if you think about it a minute…

I can picture millennial hot-shots sitting around a mahogany conference table at Kellogg, tasked with brainstorming how to recycle overbaked waste on the Cheez-It production line. Finally, one of them looks up from his phone and says, “Why don’t we just call them extra toasty?” And a new brand is born…

If you haven’t tried them, take it from me, there’s nothing special or cheesier, and some do taste almost burnt. I’m glad I only bought one box.

Today I harvested the chives, cutting them way back (except the runt, which I left alone). They grew lots of new roots in water. The original roots look like translucent mush…

Now they have dirt. I put the runt in the middle so we can keep an eye on it. Of course, Tony had to make sure I planted them correctly…

Speaking of Tony, when I tried to brush my teeth last night, the little nipper had other ideas…

Even without a man here, I still find whiskers in the sink.


Chapter 56: COVID Chronicles

May 23, 2020

By Karen

Day 73

ABCs & Mail-In Ballot Retraction

I woke up at 9:30 and it threw the whole day off. Doing chores, I went outside to sweep tree crap off the deck and my new sliding glass door went wonky and refused to close all the way — by about 2 inches. Now there’s a gap at the top you can see daylight through. I had to physically lift the door above the track to close it and then slide a wad of cardboard under one end (best done by two people, BTW) to balance it enough to lock it until one of my handymen texts me back about a fix. I have every reason to believe they will ghost me on this.

The stress of finding this new home repair project (with its security implications in the meantime) propelled my masked self out the front door on a vodka run. But first, some context: Virginia controls all hard liquor sales through state-owned ABC stores (but you can buy beer and wine anywhere). This is solely due to a mix of latter-day prudishness and greed.

When I travel, it always amazes me when I see someone nonchalantly picking up tampons and Jack Daniels at Walgreens.

Anyway, I live equidistant between two ABCs, and my father told me yesterday that COVID had closed one of those. So I drove to the other one.

Well, guess what? Also closed. The sign directed me to the “nearest” store, in a dicey part of town I avoid. At this point, anyone with a functioning sliding glass door who didn’t need a stiff martini would have just gone to Food Lion for beer and been done with it.

But I knew of a fourth store, so I took the scenic route there to give my Saturn a highway workout because it hasn’t been driven in two weeks. It was open and everybody was wearing masks.

Yesterday, Governor Northam said he’ll probably make wearing masks in public mandatory on Tuesday. I don’t know what’s magical about Tuesday, but will love watching all the Trumpers who paraded around the state capitol in their cute little camo outfits with assault weapons stick that mask decree right up their Second Amendments.

RETRACTION: If you live in Virginia’s 7th District, forget what I said about getting a mail-in ballot. Upon returning from the ABC, I had a letter from the county registrar’s office saying my application was denied because the only Democratic primary is in the 4th District. Is my face red!

I blame the pathetic Richmond Times-Dispatch, the only newspaper available in this region, which I read front to back EVERY DAY. I pay attention to this stuff and had no idea what’s going on with the primaries. The RTD is so intent on keeping Trump’s crimes buried, local political news must also be getting lost — or going unreported. In their newsroom, who has time for CURRENT events when you’ve got pages to fill with Civil War developments and sports that aren’t being played?

For dinner tonight I had some leftover baked chicken thigh, so threw it together with rice, onions, green beans and BBQ sauce. Here’s what I mean about having no patience for caramelizing onions…

That’s as brown as they got before I ate them. They were good. Now I need a drink.

BONUS: The amazing Sarah Cooper telling us “How to Obamagate”…


Chapter 53: COVID Chronicles

May 20, 2020

By Karen

Day 70

Surprise! The Chives Aren’t & Tony is Camera-Shy. Who Knew?

Here’s a chives update: Day 10 and they’re going strong. Roc took a chomp on the tallest one last night. Cats Working reader Shelley just informed me that they’re not chives, but scallions. Whatever. Fat chives. Yesterday I cheated and added a drop of plant food to their water. After I harvest the greens, I may put the bulbs in a pot of soil and see what happens. It seems they would be much happier getting nourishment from dirt…

And here’s the runt I’ve been trying to save. I think you can see it’s got a microscopic shoot starting. (That’s why I gave them plant food)…

This morning after I started working, Roc was meowing like a madkitty downstairs. Next thing I knew, he brought me a present…

That weird bird again. I know he fished it out of a large plastic shopping bag where I threw it this morning, trying to get him to do something cute. Of course, he waited until I’d left the room.

Speaking of cute, like his human namesake, Tony always knows when he’s being filmed. Here’s a tiny example. I was trying to catch the adorable pull-ups he does every day on this perch, but as soon as he realized he was on camera, he stopped and scaled the perch the hard way. Notice how he stares right at me before and after…

Remember my rant about Karen yesterday? Last night when I was fixing a snack, I grabbed this bottle from my NakedWines.com stash…

What are the odds I’d have a “Karen” wine? Well, I’m no wine connoisseur, but I’m very sorry to report that this sauvignon blanc was, without a doubt, THE nastiest wine I’ve ever tasted. It smells like cat urine and tastes just as bad (I imagine, I’ve never drunk cat pee). I’ve tried three of the Naked Wines so far, and two of them were not good. The first one named its blend “White Wine,” so I wasn’t expecting much, and I certainly didn’t get it.

BONUS: I was watching The Daily Social Distancing Show with Trevor Noah last night, and coronavirus gave this commencement speech that had me in stitches. Its point of view is spot-on…


Chapter 52: COVID Chronicles

May 19, 2020

By Karen

Day 69

Karen: The Insult & DISTRACTION!

The day started well with Eggo blueberry waffles, blueberries and blueberry syrup…

Can you tell I like blueberries?

Later, in the Man Cave, after finding cardboard crumbs all over the floor, I decided to retire the kitties’ faithful old scratchy thing…

…for a spiffy new one by Laura Ashley. I’d forgotten I hid it in the closet…

All I can say is, what was I thinking? It must have been the price ($4.99). But Laura Ashley doesn’t know cats for beans. The only thing her scratcher’s got going for it is being reversible, but most are. It has nothing to catch the crumbs, and it’s too short. I’ll be surprised if it gets used much. I did sprinkle catnip on it, which didn’t impress Max or Tony in the least, but Roc had to try it out…

After which he promptly adjourned to my office for post-‘nip nap…

Have you noticed a lot of characters on TV shows seemed to be named Karen, and I’m not just talking about Will & Grace. It turns out, my name has been a “thing” for several years, according to Dictionary.com:

Karen is a mocking slang term for an entitled, obnoxious, middle-aged white woman. Especially as featured in memes, Karen is generally stereotyped as having a blonde bob haircut, asking to speak to retail and restaurant managers to voice complaints or make demands, and being a nagging, often divorced mother from Generation X.

There’s a lot more about its origin and uses if you care to read it.

I see people using it on Twitter, usually to comment on video of some unattractive white woman (who probably wears MAGA panties) calling the police on someone black just for being.

I hope it passes out of fashion soon and they divert to Debbies. I’ve known several Debbies in my life who really having it coming.

At least Karen doesn’t end in an orgasm — Ah! — like today’s most popular names for smug young things. That vowel is bound to cause acid reflux post-menopause.

Emma, Ava, Isabella, Mia, Olivia.

(OK, not Olivia — that’s my 2nd cousin’s name).

The rest of you, your turn to be mocked will come. But probably after the old bags with narcissistic “I” names — Judi, Charli, Lexi, Kennedi and Demi — get their turn.

In researching this, I just read that “Nova” is predicted to be popular for girls this year. My first car was a 1970 Chevy Nova. The brand failed to sell in Mexico because in Spanish, “nova” means “no go.”

BONUS: The always-wonderful and not-famous-enough Randy Rainbow dipped into Fiddler on the Roof and released a new Trump parody that is sure to delight you. Enjoy!

 


Chapter 48: COVID Chronicles

May 15, 2020

By Karen

Day 65

Can We Schedule Trump for His Straitjacket Fitting Now?

This week, after the Braskem PPE factory in Pennsylvania spurned Trump’s offer of a mask-free visit and a worthless photo op, Trump got another Pennsylvania plant, run by (I’m sorry to say) Virginia-based PPE distributor Owens & Minor, to play the sap for him.

Braskem workers, at the beginning of the lockdown in March, lived in the factory for 28 days to keep it and their materials from being contaminated. They deserve kudos for not letting a publicity-addicted, disease-carrying orange ass-clown anywhere near them.

At O&M, Trump did his usual ill-prepared reading of a self-congratulatory speech. But when certain phrases would penetrate his rotting brain, he went off on stream-of-consciousness ad libbing that had to be embarrassing for everyone who had to listen to him. Here’s a snippet…

Somehow these gems failed to get him big, mocking guffaws from the audience:

“Nobody ever said they died” of the flu.

“We’ve been doing testing at a level that nobody’s ever done it before.”

“We’ve done more testing than all other countries in the world added up together.”

The numbers change by the second, but I just fact-checked him a bit.

Using Worldometers for world population (which I froze at 7,784,682,600), I calculated the U.S. (330,753,490) portion at 4.2%.

He half-lies (about speaking with anybody), then blurts a fact:

“I’ve spoken with many presidents and prime ministers. They can’t believe what we’ve been able to do with testing…. They can’t believe the job we’re doing.”

Let’s see how we really stack up against 214 other countries

COVID World U.S. U.S. %
Total Cases 4,595,718 1,471,967 32%
Total Deaths 306,789 87,825 29%
Cases/1M Pop. 590 4,450 754%
Avg. Deaths/
1M Pop.
39.4 266 675%
Rank #13*
Total Tests 10,874,018
Tests/1M Pop 32,877 Rank #36*

*Ranking indicates how many other countries have higher figures than the U.S., by my own count.

Just today, 913 Americans have died so far, which is 238% of the country ranking #2, the U.K., at 384.

Trumpers are screaming to end all precautions so they can get fake nails, tats and go out drinking.

Another bit of truth unconsciously dribbled out of Trump’s mouth. Speaking about tests, he said, “We came up with things that nobody even believes.”

Then this, which should be as oft-quoted as his idea to inject people with disinfectants. After bragging at length about our fictional testing prowess, Trump claimed:

“We have more cases than anybody in the world. But why? Because we do more testing. When you test, you have a case. When you test, you find something is wrong with people. If we didn’t do any testing, we would have very few cases. They don’t want to write that. It’s common sense.”

Trump is clearly referencing his own dementia. He’s been tested and his doctors know the truth. He’s saying if they hadn’t tested him, he’d be just fine.

Now for some comic relief, here’s brilliant Sarah Cooper doing Trump talking about creepy Stephen Miller’s wife, Katie (Pence’s spokesperson) testing positive…

And talking about our “strong” death totals…

And my favorite, Trump launching his loony “Obamagate.” I haven’t seen where anybody knows yet what he’s talking about…

BONUS: American Idiot has maintained a running list of Trump’s stupidest statements about the COVID-19 pandemic, right up to yesterday. Check it out.


Chapter 47: COVID Chronicles

May 14, 2020

By Karen

Day 64

Whatever Happened to Bedspreads & More Kittens!

The chives (or spring onions) are coming along nicely. Here we are, Day 2 to Day 4…

Several are splitting into two stalks. One toward the back hasn’t sprouted yet. I’ll leave it a bit longer to see if it’s a late bloomer.

The cats aren’t touching my experiment, but their play area is a hot mess today…

They’re throwing toys pulled out of the teaser around. The paper’s getting tatty again. You can see Tony’s rubber band, blue sparkle ball AND discarded collar. I think he’s timing himself to see how fast he can ditch it. He still finds his lettuce twisty endlessly fascinating…

Cats Working reader Randi from Denmark asked if we can buy mothballs in the U.S. I have no idea. Does anybody? But it got me thinking about things we used to buy that you can’t find anymore (like carbon paper).

Another example, fountain pens, my favorites. Back in the ’70s, you could buy a cheap, yet lovely, Scheaffer refillable fountain pen in any drugstore for a few dollars.

Then fountain pens disappeared for decades. Now they’re back. Pilot makes a very nice Varsity disposable fountain pen. But during the long pen drought, I once spent $80 on a fancy Levenger fountain pen whose gold nib was DOA, so they sent a replacement that was equally useless. That fucking pen never wrote a single sentence.

Now Scheaffer is back. I’ve got a couple of their new pens and they’re as good as ever.

But what I really miss is bedspreads. Remember those? One big piece that went to the floor on all sides AND covered the pillows. You didn’t need to a bed skirt, a quilt or duvet, and pillow shams. After you smoothed out the bedclothes, one last swoop of the spread and the whole bed was made. Tuck it under the pillows, and done!

Now I’ve got four rows of pillows on the bed and a quilt (queen-size to match the mattress), but it’s too short and leaves the box spring hanging out in the middle like the bed’s got a muffin top.

Here’s one last video I found of Tater’s kitten, shot by my sister when the kittens were 17 days old…

Prince Harry and Georgi Girl (who now goes by Gigi) were adopted together by Katie, Keri’s neighbor two doors away, who co-parented the litter with Keri. They both turned out long-haired. Skylar, shorthair, was adopted by a friend of Katie’s, and all I know is she lives with a dog. And the tortie, Mary Sue, stayed with Keri and became a a partner in crime with Alfi, Roc’s former BFF. Here’s Mary Sue and Alfi today. Yes, Keri has trained them to eat meals at her kitchen island like this…

Reader Tracy supplied more details about the tiny gray tiger kitten I showed you yesterday:

A man in Tracy’s neighborhood feeds feral cats, so they’re always around. A cat in that group probably had a litter of kittens. Neighbors saw the mother cat and kittens in their yard, but then they all disappeared.

One day, mewling was heard from a narrow, almost inaccessible “no man’s land” created by fences erected closely together between houses. The fire department was called, but they declined to help because of the tight space.

So, using a ladder and a rope hanging from a tree, the kindly neighbor climbed the fence and lowered himself by rope between the fences to rescue the kitten. Tracy took the kitty to her vet because Tracy has a dog and her husband is allergic to cats. No one knows what happened to momcat and her kittens.


Chapter 44: COVID Chronicles

May 11, 2020

By Karen

Day 61

The Great Chives Experiment & Let’s Get Real About Reopening

This morning I made some leisurely scrambled eggs with fresh chives and sour cream…

Anthony Bourdain used to advise lightly mixing the eggs so they still have white running through them. Gordon Ramsay and Eric Ripert are thorough mixers, and I side with them.

Yesterday after the tuna melt experiment I was ready to grow my own chives. I’m putting what I’ve got on everything now to use them up before the crop comes in. I cut off the greens and put the roots in water, which needs to be changed daily. Now we wait…

My only sunny windows are on the front in the afternoon, so these are on the kitchen windowsill, where Roc and Tony hang out a lot. They both sniffed but didn’t try to taste. They seem to be aware they shouldn’t knock over the glass, too. Onions are extremely toxic to cats, so if/when the chives begin to sprout and anyone takes even a single chomp, we’ll have to abort.

OK, this morning’s news set me up for a little rant:

When I turned on the TV, a British reporter on Morning Joe was talking about how they’re reopening England. He said, “It’s complex, it’s a jigsaw.”

Then the Richmond Times-Dispatch ran a story about reopening Virginia that sounded like there’s some deadline we need to meet.

There’s nothing “complex” about it, and deadlines for doing it are bullshit.

Virginia has 25,070 cases, with 850 deaths. Virginia ranks about 48th of the 50 states for testing. This is our situation right now…

Does this look like Virginia’s on a trajectory to consider reopening ANYTHING?

The way forward couldn’t be simpler: NATIONWIDE, as long as large numbers of people are sick and dying, we all stay on lockdown. Period.

We’ve already shrunk the economy by 80,000+ consumers in two months. Without testing everybody every time they’re in public (which we’ll never do), half-ass patchwork reopenings without prohibiting all out-of-town travel CANNOT work.

Businesses will pay the same overhead for a fraction of customers while having no clue as to who’s spreading COVID. This accelerates long-term economic shrinkage by causing more mass death.

That’s no “recovery” by any measure, even if it makes the brain-dead, gun-toting protesters with tiny penises happy.

I suggest that idiots who follow Trump’s example and flout the rules for masks and distancing get legally binding tickets with huge fines for reckless endangerment. The essential businesses now open who have to serve these people should be empowered by the states to issue those tickets.

The airlines are showing the folly of premature reopening. Instead of taking the quick route to bankruptcy by flying their full fleets with an average on domestic flights of 17 passengers per plane, they’re canceling most flights and cramming more people onto a few planes.

So they save money and get a trickle of income today, but probably kill off some of tomorrow’s repeat customers.

The argument that people “have to get back to work” is equally specious. Bringing home a paycheck today won’t seem so wonderful to your family when they frame it as a memento of the last dollar you ever earned because you’re dead.

I hate being stuck at home. But if we fuck this up — and it looks like we certainly ARE — we’re back to Square One. All these weeks in quarantine will be for nothing.

If staying alive means pissing off Trumpers, let’s go for it! Let them protest en masse, infect each other, and fine them bigly for the pleasure. Once they cull their own herd, they’ll leave the world a kinder, less racist, more intelligent place.

BONUS: This essay keeps making the rounds because it’s a brilliant take on Trump from a British perspective. If you haven’t seen it, check it out.


Chapter 40: COVID Chronicles

May 7, 2020

By Karen

Day 57

Conquered My Grocery Phobia & Got a Faceful of Tony

I almost chickened out, I’ll confess. Since freelancing and never setting an alarm, I’m no longer one of those leap-out-of-bed-and-out-the-door types. This morning I did dressed as if to go out, but by the time I did my morning routine, Food Lion was well past its freshly scrubbed first hour. Besides, work was rolling in, so I started thinking up excuses. Remember, the last time I saw a grocery store was March 11.

But at lunchtime, I grabbed my mask and just went for it. And I’m really glad it’s over.

Cars in the parking lot seemed about normal for midday, not a good sign. As I put on my mask, I saw other customers wearing them, which WAS a good sign.

But just inside the door, the wipes dispenser was empty and the only carts were family-of-eight sized. The Lion’s subtle message to, “Load up good because you don’t want you dropping by,” perhaps?

I didn’t see the sign on the cold produce room about only five people allowed in until I left it. But it was OK, with only me, another masked customer, and an unmasked employee stocking salad greens who didn’t budge when I approached to grab a package.

In fact, lots of stocking was happening and hardly any employees were wearing masks or moving if you needed what they were blocking. I get it. In their shoes, I’d be fed up with customers and getting a little passive-aggressive myself.

Nevertheless many shelves were bare, and the meat section was slim pickings. I bought rice because there were only three bags left, even though I won’t need it for a couple of months. No telling what the crazy hoarders will fixate on next. I also got a couple of bags of dried beans and a package of ground turkey I hadn’t planned on, maybe as my last fresh meat for a while.

Frozen processed meats were still plentiful, so I got bags of Tyson chicken patties and Any’tizers Honey BBQ Bites because those will get scarce with all the Tyson plants closing.

What I didn’t score was yeast, butter and a quart of skim milk. The yeast was gone, and so was flour. The only butter left was expensive European two-stick packs. And skim milk was only in half-gallons expiring next week, so I made do with nonfat coffee creamer.

Another impulse buy was a bunch of green onions so I can try regrowing them, an easy trick I found online the other day.

The maskless cashier was behind plexiglass, but he came out around it to hand me my bags so we were an arm’s length apart, and the guy in line behind me only gave me about four feet, even though the floor was marked.

Yesterday, just as I finished posting the day’s entry, Tony showed up and wouldn’t take “No” for an answer when it came to quittin’ time and me popping open a can for his dinner…

And Roc says “Howdy!” from the linen closet, which I couldn’t pry him out of after I made the mistake of opening the door for a second. Any seldom-seen inch of the house is a big treat for them these days…


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