The Public Eye

printed 01/01/2021

After spending seven months developing a symbiotic relationship with my desk chair in the dark shadows of what is laughingly referred to as my home office, it occurred to me that 2020 did not completely suck.

True, it did deliver more crapola than a junk bond salesman driving a manure spreader on a beanfield in spring, but it did have its redeeming qualities, such as:

1. Luckily, we were not deserted by gravity and sent flying off into space, which is always a plus.

2. It did not rain frogs, even though the Weather Channel has names for such frog-storms should they occur.

3. Because of the shortened baseball season, the Orioles were only half as bad as they were the year before.

4. Leading thinkers of our time have finally agreed that the moment has arrived for a national discussion of a possible connection between 5G connectivity and the rise of the Lizard People.

5. And finally, despite being flooded by gallons and gallons of rain last year, not one Kraken so much as poked its head out of the storm drain in front of my house (thanks Public Works for keeping the drainage system free of monster squid and whatnot).

Beyond that, everything went wrong. It wasn’t just the galloping covids either, as baseball fans will recall the stubborn tarp that refused to be unrolled during a shower in the sixth inning of an early August Nationals-Orioles game.

No matter which way the field crew pushed or pulled, the tarp rolled itself up in the opposite direction.

My guess is that either the tarp was possessed by a Triple A call-up demon, or the members of the field crew were trying so hard that they ripped a hole in the fabric of time and pushed right by their past selves going in the other direction.

I prefer the latter theory, as that also would explain how a one-day election can go on for a month-and-a-half.

And let’s not forget the toilet paper crisis that threatened to leave us all hanging out to dry. Among other things, it caused me to buy, at $9 a roll, a 10-pack of novelty potty paper on which is printed in pink, “I Love You From Top to Bottom.”

Staff members refused to use it, perhaps out of fear of a possible ink transfer.

One other thought did occur to me during my exile: we might feel differently about wearing masks if viruses were the size of chickadees.

Although a sneeze or cough releases thousands of particles into the air, it’s easy not to take notice, because these things are invisible and therefore not alarming. But were an “achoo” to be followed by 20,000 chickadees shooting out of your nose, well, that might draw some attention.

Amazingly, chickadees flying out of one orifice or another is one of the very few things that did not occur during a year that was … how should I put it? … a category 10 poopnado.

But it’s over now, and when things clear up in 2021, we should have a ceremonial calendar-burning bonfire on the beach. If we can do that in early March, I’ll be finished with all the dental work I’ll be getting after cracking a tooth on, yes, Christmas day. How did that happen? Beats me, although it was still 2020 after all.

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