Apocalypse Now


‘There is no Danger Man sign for this. Yet.’

I had a fun phone chat with Contractor Man yesterday. (That’s all he and I can do these days, work having screeched to a halt on the Ken and Barbie House weeks ago; bathrooms half-tiled, kitchen cabinets all made up with no place to go, etc., etc., etc., whine whine whine. I know; one-percent problems at their very worst. I’m done now.)

Decisions, decisions a century ago. (We went with the checkerboard, and it was actually a few weeks ago, though I’m hard-pressed to believe it today)

Anyway. It felt really good to at least talk to Contractor Man. And I think I got him to laugh when I asked him, “Remember when deciding whether to go with charcoal or black grout was keeping me up at night?” Ah, grout nightmares. Those were Innocent Times indeed.

Today, instead of choosing grout, I’m rifling through my dresser drawers for suitable social-distancing mask materials. (That’s The Child, sporting her safety solution at the top of this post.)

Maybe I could repurpose this schmatta, donned only a few weeks ago to pretend I’d climbed Mt. Kinabalu

Not that I need a mask all that much. I was telling someone just the other day that even before the Time of Corona I hardly ever went out. At least not here in Amagansett. Even in normal times I’d pretty much stick to The Compound. I’d glom all my errands together and do them once a week in what I call my “Vector” — I’d load up the Honda and drive to the dump. Then I’d drive to the post office/IGA/liquor store where I’d load up and drive home.

But I acted like that then because I’m basically a socially-averse curmudgeon. Now it’s because it’s not safe out there. As Andrew Cuomo, our governor and my New God, said just yesterday while warning New Yorkers to keep on social-distancing, “This virus doesn’t spread itself.” So, sure, I still do my Vector, but now the post-office ladies work behind sheets of plastic and I have to stand in a socially-distanced line to get into the IGA, where they limit customers to 30 at a time. Oh, and Maureen, the only clerk at the liquor store, is out sick with, yup, it.

Even my beach isn’t safe. This is Indian Wells at the end of my road. (Photo taken by my friend Durrell Godfrey whom I haven’t clapped eyes on in ages)

So, yes. I’ve been trying not to go out. Instead I stay in and read (Hilary Mantel; all the Wolf Hall books), cook (my freezer is full of soups and stews), knit (two sweaters so far, and counting). And of course I’ve been consuming many soothing beverages.

Apocalyptic chili. Vats of this are in my freezer

Apocalyptic cocktail hour. A Manhattan pairs nicely with baby-sweater-knitting

Streaming? Sort of. If what I’m watching doesn’t mess up my knitting. (Yes, I started on Tiger King. But I confess that I find Friends more addictive.) Oh! Have you seen John Krasinski’s SGN? The one with the original cast of Hamilton is wonderful. In my opinion. The Child hated it. I asked her, “You hate John Krasinski?” “No, I hate Hamilton.” “You hate Hamilton??? Now you’re going to tell me you hate kitties.

Oh. Now might be a good time to ‘splain about Danger Man. Those of you who have been reading my stuff for a while (bless your faithful hearts) may recall a story about this.

“Danger Man” is that little stick figure who is always getting swept away by tornadoes or tsunamis or crushed by falling rocks or falling fridges or getting his butt licked by flames in airports. You see him on signs just about everywhere, warning you from all kinds of danger.

Why, just a few weeks ago Danger Man and his entire Danger Family was being pummeled by falling fruit

Well, I haven’t seen a Danger Man sign for coronavirus. Would it be Danger Man coughing superimposed with a big circle with a line through it?

Maybe something like this? Except it’s Danger Man and he’s coughing, not prancing around naked

Got any good Danger Man ideas? Your suggestions are most welcome. Now, mind Danger Man; grab that bandanna and those gloves and stay six feet away from each other. Better yet, stay home. If you get bored, I’ve got an archive chock-full of amusing blog posts you can explore.

Amagansett, New York. April 2020


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6 thoughts on “Apocalypse Now

  1. So, I’m ashamed to say I’ve only read one book of Mantel’s and it was her collection of short stories. I need to read her series and her latest–but in order–and for that I’d need my work to stop and my kids to grow up. Are you on her latest yet?

    • Hey Becca! Hilary’s short stories are amazing. When your work stops (mine has) and your kids grow up (mine has) those books’ll still be there. Stay safe, and thanks for reading!

  2. Oh, Alice, you crack me up! Being stuck at home has been interesting for sure. I’m not what one would exactly call crafty, but I did manage to make some pretty hearts that I taped to my front window the other day, as a way to show solidarity in this pandemic. And today I bought a big band of rubber bands so I can try to make homemade masks. Plan on using this gorgeous material that I never used at our last house. Lucky for me, Hubs and our kiddo have some sewing skills! As far as binge-watching, our go to these days is either Schitt’s Creek or Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. If you haven’t caught them, I highly recommend!

    • Hey Rhonda — Thank you for sharing your solidarity! I’d make some hearts too, but no one would see them. We’re on the end of a loooong driveway and no one knows we’re here. Well, except now they will, if they read the comments. You have a stash of gorgeous material? Not me. Tho I suppose I could knit some masks. I have plenty of stashed yarn! Thanks, too, for the streaming suggestions. I’m halfway through Season 7 of Friends (!)

  3. Gretchen Seibert

    I, too, am reading Mantel’s final Wolf Hall novel and enjoying it so much! I find her style challenging, so I need to read a chapter or two when I can really concentrate. Did you see the tv series which starred Mark Rylance as Cromwell? It was excellent and if you are looking for some great viewing while sequestered, you may be able to find it. Stay well!

    • Great Minds, Gretchen! Yes, I found the PBS series and rewatched it while rereading the first two books. I’m about a third of the way thru the final book. I too find her style challenging — def NOT a light read! But so rewarding. Speaking of reading, thx for reading my post (!)

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