Big day ahead of me today. No, it’s not the weekly arrival of the ShopRite flyer, it’s something almost as exciting as that. Oh, yeah, big, big, big day: I’m gonna water the plants! When I’m through doin’ that I’m gonna write on my calendar that I did it … and then I’m goin’ back to sleep. When I wake up I’ll have some of the food that I made a week ago that I have to eat today because there are blue moldy spots starting to form on the edges. See, I don’t want to waste the food …because, as you know, there are people starving in the world. Oh, boy, but there are hairs coming out of the mold, too. Jeez, never seen that before. I’ll have to do a little surgical excising to get rid of those parts. I’ll add it to the stuff I feed the birds and squirrels – they shouldn’t know much about micotoxins. (Don’t look at me like that – what, are they gonna throw up or get cancer? They don’t live that long, so don’t worry about it, okay?).

And, then, let’s see … Oh, yeah, I have to do the mail. I’ve got about three dozen bills sitting on my desk that I have to pay. You know, the cable and internet, the electric company, the oil delivery and a bunch of medical bills from my insurance company that are 5 pages long and that I can never understand. I should have done that – paid the bills, I mean – but up to now I’ve been playing ping pong at the club and didn’t have time. That’s right! Believe it or not, this ping pong addict aint playin’ nowadays.

So, you may be wondering why I’m not at the club anymore. I’ll tell you why: Fear. And Disgust. And some unadulterated bitterness and resentment mixed in with revulsion. It all relates to the fact that some fellow denizens of our ping pong world refuse to wear masks (or wear them incorrectly – under their noses or just on their chins). By refusing to follow Fauci, they pose a clear and present danger to all of us (including themselves).

I did try to tell many of these ping pong brethren to put their masks on, but the animosity engendered by my doing this was palpable. I could really feel the anger and, in fact, even see the hostility on their maskless faces. Well, okay, I could have been a little more tactful, but whatever wrong I was committing by my clumsy insensitivity paled before their double wrongfulness of potentially killing someone, so I’m only partially regretting how I behaved.

One thing I did do, though, which I don’t regret, was that I did earnestly, and with some persistence, bring this grave matter up with management. They listened courteously and seemed even to convey agreement with the need to implement the chief recommendations of the Public Health Service of the State of New York. But, disappointingly, didn’t happen, and I just didn’t feel like being the ‘mask police’ anymore. Turned out, I was talking to the wall and, what with the infection rates and death count spiking, I just figured the risk was even too much for this particular risk-taker. I’ll wait for the vaccine and, meanwhile …. I think I’m gonna let the air outta every bum’s car in the club parking lot who refused to wear a mask. Lao Du