Minimum Security Prison

China’s practices may be considered inhumane at times but when you’re dealing with humans sometimes you have to be. Too many Canadians and Americans are taking for granted the freedom they have left by disobeying their government’s physical distancing guidelines. These guidelines have recently evolved into rules which if continue to not be effective will evolve into some kind of martial law.

People don’t like to stay home for an extended period of time. When humans don’t like something they have this ability to rationalize silly justifications.

My grandfather didn’t fight in the war so that the government could tell me to stay home!

Coronavirus? They’re just trying to scare us like with that AIDS bullshit back in the 80s. Remember that? Madonna? Monkeys?¬†

So because they won’t get their balls tased and then get thrown into a gulag, people continue to gather within a tongue’s distance of each other.

Somehow the stock market has been rallying for the last 3 days even though many businesses won’t touch physical currency. Cash is king until no one wants it. This virus couldn’t have come at a better time though. Fifteen years ago there’s was no tapping of a credit card or Netflix.

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“Please. Do not step into my office.” I never saw this coming.

At the bank, I was inquiring about a line of credit. They interrogated me at the door on whether or not I’d been out of the country recently or felt ill. They put me in isolation while I waited for a financial advisor. Instead of shaking hands I bowed but made sure to never take my eyes off of my opponent. I was forced to be seated outside of the office. She said it was a precaution because of the virus but I believe it’s because I had no reported income. It was over before it even started. I was shown the way out without even hand sanitizer as a consolation prize. You need to play by the rules to flow freely in this system unless if you’re much better than the rules. If you walk in with 100 ounce gold bars strapped around you like a dynamite vest the rules do not apply to you. You’ll warn them that with one push of the button you’ll detonate the purchase of a yacht. They’ll beg you to step into their office even if it blinds them. She would have said, “Mr Johnson, I want to have your baby.”

 

 

Corona Sunday

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My volunteer gig and piano lessons have been temporarily suspended. My gym and the movie theatre are temporarily closed. Other than the aforementioned, my life isn’t much different. Social distancing is normal for me. The average person has probably been pissing their pants with the loss of income or at least the possibility of it, as well as seeing their financial investments plummet in record time. The worst is probably having to spend all day with their partner and kids.

People go through stages of grief. When some shit hits the fan they tell themselves it’ll be okay. When more shit hits the fan they start to worry. When explosive diarrhea ensues they start to panic and the panic becomes a virus that slowly picks away at them. In January of 2009, I expressed that it was too late to sell my investments so there was nothing to worry about. In March of 2009, I stormed into my financial institutions and demanded my money be taken out of the market. They thought I was a crazy man. One guy pleaded against it. “Noooo!” He was no match for me though. Putting his head on his desk was his sign of surrender. The other guy could not have cared less. “It’s your money,” he said. Of course, I sold at the bottom. The next few months the market soared 30%. I was so good at picking the bottom that Wall Street had plans to implement the Mr. Johnson Fear Index to gauge the best entry point during a crisis.

Even after the Wall Street Crash of 1929 optimism persisted for some time. John D. Rockefeller¬†said “These are days when many are discouraged. In the 93 years of my life, depressions have come and gone. Prosperity has always returned and will again.”

I’m somewhat relieved that my piano lessons are temporarily suspended. I like them but I don’t like paying for them. If Walmart summoned the unemployed to participate in this wartime effort, I would comply even though I ordinarily detest going to a job. I would be convinced that my role serves significant importance. In my old age I’ll tell war stories of how I was part of the Walmart 5th Battalion.

 

Not Good

If I had to guess I would say World War 2 was much scarier than what we’re all going through right now which is why I believe we will get through this. Even the countries who lost the war rebuilt and ended up prospering greatly. The Allies may have won the war but they’ve been declining slowly ever since. Unions made people soft and whiny.

Japan had 2 nuclear bombs dropped on them but they came back to build better electronics, cars and possibly everything else. For almost 30 years the winners of New York’s, Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, ate roughly 21 or fewer hot dogs in 12 minutes. In 2001, along comes a man from Japan who blows them all away by eating 50 in 12 minutes? As he walked away from the podium, Takeru Kobayashi, screamed to the fans, “your cars suck and so do your hot dog eaters!” Okay, I made up that last part but I’m sure everyone else was thinking it.

A country’s coronavirus fears will not subside until it is announced that they’ve ‘flattened the curve’ or found a vaccine. Taiwan and America both discovered their first cases of the virus on the same day. I can’t find the graph now but it displayed American infections had gone parabolic while Taiwan’s looking like an unambitious mole hill. Then you have Italy and Spain who are in full lockdown because they didn’t take the virus seriously enough. What would you expect though from countries that have siestas?

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In Canada and America there’s a laxed lockdown meaning the government has advised us to stay home but there’s no enforcement. People are still eating at restaurants and playing basketball in groups. It might be too painful of a move for the government to shut down the whole economy so they’re hoping this minor lockdown will suffice.

We might all be screwed because of these fuckers…

Don’t Worry Do Nothing

Right now, one of the most important jobs out there is the shelf stocker at the supermarkets. Marvin at Safeway is now the equivalent of Sam the fireman in New York during 9/11. We’re all a little more important during this crisis than in most decades of our lives. You could be the one driving the Ferrari or the unemployed 40-year-old — it doesn’t matter. The only status that matters right now is if you’re doing your part to potentially not spread the virus because we’re all equally good at being an infectious host.

For shits and giggles I have had a backpack of supplies in case an emergency situation arose. I never thought of the possibility that the emergency would require me to stay home rather than dart out of my home to escape a tsunami aftermath. I even bought a life jacket for my dog.

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Life always has its way of telling us when it thinks there’s too many of us. For most of history, war, famine and disease have always been great methods to decrease population. During these times, nature is saying, show me you’re worthy or lucky enough to beat me and you get to live.¬†Advancements in technology has been our fortress of defence. Human behaviour has always been our downfall.

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Wash Your Friggin Hands

A trip to the supermarket isn’t usually very interesting but I was kind of excited to be checking it out this morning.

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Toilet paper, canned tomatoes, canned corn, canned beans(only certain types) and bottled water have been cleared out. Apparently, people don’t fancy all types of Heinz beans — the Deep Browned and Maple variety didn’t get as much love. Apparently, they are like the fat kid getting picked last for sports. The only pasta left was gluten-free and macaroni. I’m not sure what the fuss is about hoarding bottled water since you can just get it out of the tap for free. Some must be thinking the water system will be contaminated. The shelves of flour were all empty as well. I didn’t know home baked goods were a necessity during a crisis.

This panic is extreme but the situation is serious. Nike and Apple have announced store closures in America. Starbucks is only providing limited service. Surely, more will follow. The fed just cut rates to zero today — a move not done since the Great Recession. According to the wonky predictor of the stock market during off-hours the market is going to get killed tomorrow. Investors are thinking these big moves from the government are signals that things are a lot worse than they have been letting on. But who knows what the markets will do especially during times of volatility. The sentiment that I’m gathering is that the bottom is not as near as some wanted to believe. The only bright spot currently is that coronavirus cases in South Korea and China have been dropping which means it’s containable if drastic measures are implemented.

My friend has been panicking over this pandemic. He drove around the whole city hunting for any sanitation products he deemed to be worthy. He ended up buying 24 litres of bleach.

“Why do you need so much bleach?”

He said he’s going to make a cleaning solution to wipe surfaces around the home. My second question was: “so why do you need so much bleach?” Of course by the end of the night he’s drank 6 beers and gets in his car and drives home. The fear of the unknown is much greater than the familiar dangers.

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It’s becoming frowned upon to leave your home to go gallivanting in public places without good reason. Anyone who could barely find the motivation to go to the gym before all this virus stuff happened is not going to the gym. Cool partiers who brag about their usually envious night outs will be seen as assholes. Revenge of the nerds! Every dog has its day.

The message seems to be: Stay home. And wash your freaking hands you filthy animal!

 

 

 

Food Fight

After my volunteer gig today I felt like eating Japanese ramen noodles. I’m also cheap so I also felt like not spending $20 for a bowl of noodles. I sat around silently debating with myself. It was Cheap vs YOLO(you only live once).

The case for Cheap was that you can refill your glycogen levels with far cheaper alternatives. Cheap argues that you can eat to live instead of live to eat. Paying $20 for a bowl of noodles is giving in to the machine regardless if the noodles are handmade and the broth is made with good ingredients. Cheap’s closing argument was that I should be ashamed of myself for even considering such a decision. It’s a waste of the court’s time.

YOLO called me a cheap fudge, adding that only a loser would ponder so carefully on such a trivial matter. “You believe you’re going to be destitute one day and painfully regret the time you spent $20 on a bowl of authentic ramen noodles? Loser. Oh, it’s not about the money? It’s about the principle?” YOLO suggested that I might as well kill myself now if that’s how I’m going to live my life.

It wasn’t that long long ago that I could get a bowl of wonton noodles for $3. Something happened to property and pork prices since then. Everything edible seemed to double in price. Apparently, the world does not care if I go on a hunger strike.

Indulging in overpriced cuisine is a socially accepted cousin of drug addiction. Instagramming your food is akin to Instagramming the cocaine you’re about to snort. It’s so good you have to try it. No one has to pay $20 for a bowl of noodles. Maybe the next time I take myself to court I’ll settle for a can of beans and half a gram of cocaine. No matter how palatable and aesthetically pleasing a plate of food is it will eventually turn into feces.

So the story ends with me paying $20 for a bowl of noodles but still feeling like a loser. Let’s hope I never have to give a handjob to some old guy for $20.