I never thought that when the Apocalypse came, I would be scrounging around for toilet paper.
Without a square to spare, am I going to put a sign on my powder room door that reads:
“For Residents Use ONLY!”
Will my parties have to be a BYOTP?
Are we going to have to start wearing Depends?
On the first morning of “Shelter in Place,” I woke up to screams.
“Mom! The dog ate all the granola bars.”
“What?” I said stumbling into a kitchen filled with wrappers and empty Costco-size boxes.
“We only had enough granola bars for ten days!”
“Mom! There is dog barf all over my room!” Lindsay hollowed.
“Clean it up,” I said.
“Where is some toilet paper?”
“NO! DON’T USE THE TOILET PAPER!”
“Where are the paper towels?”
“We’re all out! Crap! Just grab the newspaper.”
“It’s not working. It’s not soaking it up!
“Fine.” I grabbed a real towel, scooped it up and threw it all into the trash.”
“Mom, they just announced school is closed.”
In a Steven King novel, this is where I would be in the lineup to kill someone.
I grabbed the barfing dog and walked out into the cloudy afternoon. The streets were unusually full. I’ve never seen so many kids playing, and other people walking their dogs.
I have watched enough horror movies to know how this ends. I wondered what type of character I would be in this exact situation.
The doomsday type, hoarding toilet paper and canned goods to fill my bunker.
The “You’re overreacting!” type. This part is reserved for the arrogant old man, usually the first one to die.
The stupid jokester, “If I drink too much and get sick, is that the Corona Beer Virus?”
I think I would like to be Mrs. Davis when she asked George Baily if he could give her $17.50 to tide her over during the bank run in “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
We walked, I thought… We’ve survived bad things before: 9/11, earthquakes, Wall Street crashes, evacuations. I fear, we may have really done it this time. Is Earth really mad at us? Global warming, massive fires and now a deadly plague forcing people to stay in their homes.
Or is this what we’ve been asking for along? As a society we’ve been social distancing for years. Text or pick up the phone to chat, stop by a friend’s house for coffee? Do you know your mailman, grocer, neighbor?
Malls have been near extension for months, it’s all online now. Who goes to a store to shop or socialize? Our groceries are delivered anonymously. We date on computers, not in bars. Our closest relationships are reduced to one small device.
That’s when I stumbled upon it…a sign… from Earth, written on the sidewalk in chalk.
We can do this… not just survive this but change our ways.
When this is done, I will become a better advocate for Earth. Use my phone to just talk, share my experiences in person, hug more. Shop in stores with people.
By the time we walked back, the rain had washed the chalk sign away. But I got the message. Together we can do this!
Earth Day, on April 22nd,, seems like a good day to start.
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