Fair Food and Other Pandemicky Musings
This summer has been unlike any summer in my lifetime – and unless you were alive and kicking in 1918, unlike any in your life also.
I thought by now, July 2020, we’d have the old Coronavirus on the run. But nope. Cases here are on the rise. And instead of a disease, it’s become a political football – and it may be the only football we see this year. Anyway, every day 50,000+ people are being diagnosed with it -whether that’s because we’re doing more testing or they’re counting everything including flu, typhoid fever, measles, etc. as Coronavirus case. Who knows what to believe?
To Mask Or Not to Mask
According to some, wearing a mask violates their “constitutional” rights. Now I’ve scoured the constitution but I do not find the word “masks” in it. Good luck if you want to try. People want to make masks optional. While I wear a mask out of respect for others, just in case I have the heebie-jeebies, I can see how making laws optional would be nice.
If laws were optional, I’d choose not to pay taxes. If I weren’t so chubby, I’d walk into a store on a hot summer day with a “No shoes, No shirt, No service!” sign, without a shirt and shoes. If I smoked, I’d light up a ciggie in a restaurant. I’d drive 100+ mph down the turnpike if the traffic weren’t too heavy. I’d roll through stop signs and red lights if I didn’t see anyone coming. I’d toss McDonald’s wrappers out my car window -Nah, I wouldn’t, I don’t want a littered countryside. But according to some, any law that infringes on my right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness should be optional.
Anyway, all of this politicizing of the Pandemic or POP as we should call it has created a lot of fodder for Twitter, YouTube, the sketchy TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and so on. And so now social media has become fecund soil for videos and Tweets and reTweets for those who are making scenes by not wearing masks in stores where masks are required – not optional.
If a woman refuses to wear a mask in a store or place of business that requires masks, and throws a dirty-word-filled tirade and/or starts throwing things — she’s referred to by social media users as a “Karen”. I don’t know why. I thought Karen was a nice name. I broke my nose trying to impress a girl named Karen once, but she was not impressed. Not then. Not ever. I wonder whatever happened to her?
I digress – if you don’t know what “Karen” is, just search “Karen” on YouTube. I’d post a video here, but they’re always filled with “colorful” language and even if I gave you a warning, I’d be scolded and called bad names. I got some nasty emails once – a long time ago – for using the word “crap”. I realize, I just used it again, sorry. But it was just for example.
The Pandemic Rolls On
Here in the USA, we’re used to leading the world in stuff. Like we were on the moon first and we have more money than anyone else – I don’t – but the 1% do. We have more people in prison than any other country – or we did until they let a bunch of cons out due to the Coronavirus. Now, as of July 9, 2020, we have more cases of Covid-19 than anyone else, although Brazil’s giving us a horse race. But still, this is only what Johns Hopkins University says.
The USA leads the world in cases of Covid-19 says Johns Hopkins, others will tell you we only have more cases because we do more testing and/or we’re including measles, mumps, food poisoning, and other ailments into the Covid-19 group.
Oh dear, what can I do, who can I trust, who’s telling me true?
Sheltering in Place & Fair Food
I bet you’re wondering how I’m going to work fair food into a tirade about the pandemic? Oh, ye of little faith.
Back in March, we were “sheltering in place”. I wonder what inane drivel-head comes up with these kinds of names for things? SHELTERING IN PLACE place sounds like something sheep do.
It’s probably the same group that comes up with names for EXPENSIVE prescription drugs like Fayux, Flobrax, Ozempic, Pradaxa, et.al. The first two I just made up for fun. If a drug company is interested in using Fayux or Flobrax, let me know. For as little as $1 million, you may use those names. Flobrax would be a good name for a laxative drug.
I digress, again During this time of surging cases of Coronavirus, which just happens to be almost smack dab in the middle of summer, the number of festivals in my area has dwindled to zero.
Where I live, almost every little town has a festival sometime during the summer. From June through Labor Day, every weekend, three or four festivals are going on near my little town. But no this year. And while we’re not being ordered to shelter-in-place by our governor or government, I’m an old dude with comorbidities.
I hate the word “comorbidities”. I don’t like any word with the word morbid in it. When you get to be as old as I am, morbid thoughts are banned from the mind. Cuz they ain’t funny no more – to put it in the vernacular.
So, I’ve ordered myself to “shelter in place”. And if I do have to go out among the townsfolk, I always wear a mask. And I always carry hand sanitizer in my pocket and Clorox disinfecting wipes in my car.
Normally, this time of year, I’d be planning on going to a different festival each week. Each festival has a theme, normally based on a kind of food or a type of fruit. We used to have a Blueberry festival, a Bratwurst festival, a Melon Festival (of which I’ve written), a Beer festival (one of my favorites), a Potato festival, a Cherry festival, even a pumpkin festival.
One of the things all of these festivals have in common is a plethora of food. Not healthy food, no way! Greasy, fried, fatty, sugary, starchy food – you know – the kind we all crave.
This year since I can’t go to a festival, mainly because no town is brave enough to have one, I had my own festival last weekend. There’s only one kind of place you can buy fair food or festival food without going to a festival. In my area, we have what we call “Dairy Queens” but they are not. Dairy Queen is a big-time soft-serve ice cream franchise. What we do have are mom & pop ice cream stands with names like “The Dairy Isle”, “K & B’s Drive-In”, “Twisty Treats” and the like.
These places serve up food that is every bit as fatty, greasy, sugary, and starchy as the best festivals serve. So last weekend I planned my own Festival of Eats. I drove to each of the three closest “drive-ins”.
I had foot-long hotdogs, french fries, huge, greasy french fried onions, fried mushrooms, I had Slurpees. I had waffle cones. I had milkshakes. I had snow cones. I even found a place that had elephant ears. And no not real ones.
This is an elephant ear, dear.
There’s not much to do when you’re “sheltering in place” other than eat. I walk 4 or 5 miles a day and sweat like a waterfall but still, I’ve gained ten pounds since March. If I didn’t walk, I’d have gained thirty. Now I’ve eaten myself right into another comorbidity.
I saved a menu from one of the drive-throughs for you… just to make you salivate.
If you plan things right and you live in a state that is not too classy, I bet you can find greasy, fatty, starchy, sugary, DELICIOUS food like this right around the corner. If you live in a fancy or healthy state – drink a green smoothie or eat blowfish tartare on rye crackers.
Something is going to kill me sooner or later – I’d just as soon it be later. And I’d rather it be food that does me in rather than Covid-19.
I’ll have the bacon cheeseburger, an order of french fries, an order of kraut ball, and a jumbo chocolate malt… please.