I’m so lonely with the self-isolation and self-quarantine stuff, that it’s gotten to the point where I now welcome all robocalls. Even though I fully realize that these calls are computer generated and most of them are recorded, I’m still so grateful and heartened by any and all of these efforts to contact me. And, so, I no longer want the FTC to stop them, since these telephone conversations sustain and support me during these shelter in place and keep your distance days. Without the PPP Group, they at least provide me with a healthy substitute of social nourishment. And they fill my heart with such comfort that I could … kvell.
Yeah, I’m kvelling, especially when a Nigerian prince calls me up with tremendous investment opportunities. His Royal highness tells me that he’s got a colossal amount of money that he can’t get out of his country without my help. Me! He picked me! And I love him for that. He only wants my bank account number so that he can transfer the funds, and he’s willing to give me 10 percent. Ten percent for doing nothing!!!! Now that’s truly generous. I don’t even know that I would give 10 percent were I in his princely shoes. But, I had an even better idea, which he graciously listened to before summarily hanging up. I told him I would marry his sister or daughter – either one, didn’t matter to me – and he could thus get the money in an even easier transaction. Well, I tried desperately to get back to him, but to no avail. Some problem with his phone. I miss him deeply.
Look, I’m not that naïve. Sometimes I recognize that the calls are an obvious scam, but at this point in my social isolation, I don’t even care. I just want some contact with the outside world. Someone, puh-leeeez call me. I need a human connection. Nigerian Prince, please call me back. Pretty please!
My desperate need for contact has even drawn me toward non-bipedal life forms – specifically, birds, which I feed every morning. Well, they have protoplasm, too, and besides, they’re my friends. My favorite visitors are the titmouses, whom I’ve learned to mimic – at least I’ve learned to whistle back some of the various tunes they have in their songbook. I do it quite well, too, if I do say so myself. But I think there may be a problem with this. Since it’s spring, and the males are singing their lungs out, my responding in kind may signal my being a competitor or a challenger for their territory. Or, it just might be that I’m competing for a female titmouse! Ah, tough nuggies! Times are rough. It’s every man for himself. If I win the heart of a female titmouse, I’ll treat her well. All she has to do is clean the nest every now and then, and I’ll give her plenty of black oil sunflower seeds. And if one of those aggressive male titmouses attempts to intrude on my territory, I’ll shoot ‘em with my peashooter. I keep it handy.
My desperation has even infringed on my usual ping pong preferences. Currently, during these Wall Street COVID-19 days, I’m even willing to play table tennis doubles, which I frankly detest (why should I share the glory with some other schlub?). Plus, there are other indications suggestive of the new me. I go to sleep at 7 now, and the only reason I get out of bed before 10:30 in the morning is I have to take my medication.
Jeez, life has really gotten depressing under the stringent guidelines requiring me to stay holed up in my residence, which could just as well be some uninhabited deserted island in the Pacific. Life in Connecticut just isn’t the same as it was. God, I’ve really changed. For example, I stopped shaving, which is quite unusual around here because, as you all well know, in Greenwich and Stamford everyone is clean-shaven. I caught a glance in the mirror this morning, and it occurred to me that I’m starting to look like Robinson Crusoe. To think like him, too. Damn, but I can’t get the notion out of my head that my neighbors are all savages – marauding cannibals. And I was really frightened this morning when I discovered some strange tire marks in my driveway. They weren’t from my Subaru, either, my having taken a mold and checked them against my Pirelli Scorpion ATR’s. Damn! Gonna have to protect myself. Build an observational tower to keep track of the devils, my hostile neighbors. Shore up my fences. Scour the grounds for rocks to use in my slingshots and catapults. I fear I’m gonna end up like Cagney in White Heat (“Made it, Ma! Top of the world!”) or Pacino in Scarface (“You wanna f. with me? Okay. You wanna play rough? Okay. Say hello to my little friend!” . Ya want maw? You f’n… (Editor: additional expletive deleted)! Ya think ya can take me? You need an Army to take me. I’ll take you all to f.’n hell. Who ya think ya f.’n with? I’m Tony Montana! … I’m still standin!” (Al Pacino, Scarface).
So, what else does one do under these new Corona circumstances, besides fortifying his property lines and traipsing around ShopRite and Stop&Shop looking for toilet paper? Well, I tried watching Leave It To Beaver reruns, but after awhile I found them to be a smidgeon out-of-date. Well, maybe a little more than a smidgeon. Beaver’s old man is always the understanding King Solomon, while his mother – little ‘ol Mrs. June Cleaver – is basically a shut-in who never had a job and who mainly keeps the place clean. Even I’m not that sexist … although, between you and me, I’m not a hundred percent certain that most ladies should vote.
Without Leave It To Beaver in my TV lineup, I was forced to watch Perry Mason as my fallback or default choice. But then I noticed something peculiar that annoyed me so much, that I can’t watch that show anymore, either. Ya know what it is? The same actors keep reappearing as the murderers and suspects. The same ones! Who can believe that crap? What? CBS couldn’t find any more killers on the lot?? Jeez, a guy can get disillusioned, know what I mean?
I heard one psychologist on the cable TV suggest that this was a perfect time for everyone to learn a foreign language. It’s good for maintaining your cognitive abilities, she said. Okay, that seemed pretty reasonable, and I always wanted to learn Chinese anyway. Previously, I had attempted Mandarin through fortune cookies. There’s a new word in every cookie, ya know. Of course, the bad thing is that to learn the whole language you got to eat a lot of cookies. Expect to gain at least 20 pounds before you can say hello, how are you? Which is what happened to me (had to buy a new pair of pants). But now there’s the internet, and I figure that by the time I’m finished with hunkering down during these Virus Days, I should be able to count how much money I’ve lost in the stock market, and how to say in perfect Chinese: Brother, can you spare a yuan? Lao Du