14 Previously Important Things That May Not Be So Important Right Now.
- A keen preference for Brawny over Bounty when you’re running out of paper towels to wipe down likely Covid-19 surfaces, children, mates, selves and everything else with Clorox, however poisonous chlorine bleach used to be, and whether Bounty really is the “quicker picker upper.”
- Having to live tragically with gossamer one-ply bathroom tissue, un-quilted and unscented, that you managed to snag at Kroger at 8:01 am after the senior shopping hour because the Scott family pack of 36 rolls with 1,100 sheets per roll (“4 rolls last 4 weeks”) was all that remained.
- The landmark U.S. Supreme Court “toilet paper” decision in Bunching v. Folding, ruling for Folding because as smarter Europeans know, it saves paper, trees and the planet, plus it makes more sense from a hygienically cleansing perspective. In a related decision, the high court, citing scientific facts, ruled for the plaintiff in the case of “Over v. Under” involving how to fit the toilet paper roll properly into the toilet paper receptacle. Case closed. Not that it matters anymore as long as we have toilet paper and no guests.
- How you look on Zoom. Everyone looks bad. Even gorgeous Pitt, Clooney, DiCaprio, Margot, Scarlett, Megan and every one of People’s Most Beautiful People. If the 2020 issue comes out with anyone beautiful looking beautiful, it’s fake news and definitely the enemy of the people.
- How your home looks on Zoom. While we first snickered at your background with the disturbing collection of Hummel figurine children in the special display case, who is anybody to judge anybody’s taste in décor anymore?
- How your spouse looks on Zoom when he or she walks by your Zoom conference call in ratted hair and sweats like nobody can see he or she and he or she doesn’t give a rat’s.
- Ever again caring about how you look, for our corporeal beings that appear on Zoom, and sicken our families for too much of seeing us, are but fragile shells we’ll soon enough discard, like molting cicadas, yet contain, all too fleetingly, our immortal, immutable spirits. “There is not one big cosmic meaning for all,” Anais Nin wrote, “there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.” Other famous quotations you find from Googling “the meaning of life,” “existentialism,” and “best Jewish humor about abject futility” will start to make a lot more sense and relieve your despair, for you are not alone even if you technically are.
- If you’re a Bernie-loving, America-hating Democrat socialist, how Amazon is a horrible greedy capitalist job-killing, worker-abusing pox on humanity that paid no taxes in spite of soaring profits for billionaire Jeff Bezos. Nevertheless, what do you mean Amazon is not sending a crate of Charmin two-ply scented quilted bathroom tissue by tomorrow? I ordered it this morning!
- If you’re a Trump-accepting, America-loving patriot, how Amazon is owned by typical limousine liberal Jeff Bezos, owner of the fake news enemy of the people Washington Post and lavish contributor to anti-American liberal causes. Nevertheless, what do you mean Amazon is not sending a crate of Charmin two-ply scented quilted bathroom tissue by tomorrow? I ordered it this morning!
- Other drivers who don’t drive as perfectly as you. Now that you’re not sitting in traffic for 1.5 hours to get to and from work, you miss that asshat mother-grabber who not only dangerously cut you off, he flipped you off! You hoped his lane slowed so you could get a look at him, and give him a look that says, “That thing sticking out from your steering column is called a turn signal, you enema bag!”
- Time. Women suffering clueless men, i.e., men, have stressed there was never enough time to juggle work, babies, marriage, flaming batons and chainsaws. (This can be as dangerous as it sounds, so I advise: Hand off the baby to nearest protective services and leave the marriage before someone gets hurt.) Fortunately, now there’s too much time because you don’t need to bathe, shave, dress, commute, coddle baby because you miss baby, work on the marriage, etc., because you’re literally stuck with each other, no way out, or maybe don’t have work anymore. Enjoy while it lasts!
- Earworms that were once irritating, awful catchy tunes that crept in your brain and you can’t get them out, even with violent forehead smacking. Now you can sit back and let these timeless hits take you away from the brutal reality of being with family 24–7. For example, remember “Too Much Time on My Hands” from the prog-rock legend Styx? You’re welcome; it goes like this: Is it any wonder I’ve got too much time on my hands?/It’s ticking away with my sanity/I’ve got too much time on my hands/It’s hard to believe such a calamity/I’ve got too much time on my hands/And it’s ticking away, ticking away from me.
- Booze for breakfast on a Wednesday. On “sales trips” to Chicago to see your colleague/lover, you used to huff haughtily at airport people drinking beer at breakfast during the work week. Now you can say to side-eyeing spouse, “Hey, airport people drink beer at breakfast during the work week all the time — what’s the problem? Hair of the dog, my love, hair of the dog.”
- Not reading. This used to be important because many other things in life were much more important than reading. But now, to soak up the time and escape family and real life, you can read. Even books. Yes, I said it: books. With many pages and plot lines, characters and stories that compel and inspire pondering, etc.
Or perhaps spend just a spare few minutes with a brilliant, hilarious article that teaches important life lessons, written by a Washington writer who is descending into quarantine madness during this historic pandemic.
Let me recommend “14 Previously Important Things That May Not Be So Important Right Now — Nor Perhaps Ever Were.”
Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer.