I’ve been binge watching the show How It’s Made for the last 2 months, what’s going on outside?

Covid 19, Burmese Pythons and on the horizon, Murder Hornets! Which of these topics is most important to us right now? Answer: the new traffic lanes at the Circle of course! Looks like the cut through drivers are going to get a big surprise when normalization gets normal. Will it be a shock for drivers arriving for their regular cut through when they find big changes at the circle? Does anyone think they’ll accept these changes and negotiate the lanes in a civil manner? Neither do I.

We can’t travel too many places right now though Disney World is scheduling their first phased opening this month. Fortunately, Mickey and Minnie have been wearing gloves since they’ve been ‘born’ so they’re safe. Due to oversized noses their masks are 3 square feet and lucky for them they don’t have to cover their ears!

Every cloud has a silver lining. Having said that, anybody else getting 22 days to the gallon? If gas prices keep falling, Exxon-Mobile might have to lay off some members of Congress. I’m so bored, I went outside knocked on my front door, came back in and asked “Who is it?” Things have changed and in some ways for the better. For instance, people have started wearing pants for their on-line meetings.

Many of us have discovered a room in our house called the kitchen. Ah, the kitchen! Being cooped up could have its surprises like when some of you realize that your partner can cook. The recipe books are being unearthed and scanned and not for meals in a minute because we’ve got plenty of time to prepare a complex dinner. We look for those exotic dishes, you know, the ones that don’t include tuna fish and macaroni. We are also seeing a plethora of cooking delicacies on Facebook. How does that make me feel? I wrote Facebook Blues; I Don’t Care What You Ate today. https://youtu.be/AZZxbSUwfug

Some have developed an appreciation for paper products, yes, I mean toilet paper! This toilet paper thing isn’t really a new tissue issue. It has roots on the late-night Johnny Carson Show. During the gas crisis in the early 1970’s he mentioned an unsubstantiated rumor. “You can laugh now but there is an acute shortage of toilet paper.” he said. There wasn’t, but it didn’t matter. America panicked. Millions of shoppers swarmed into grocery stores and began hoarding toilet paper like it was toilet paper. We haven’t changed. Fast forward to today and once again it’s reared its ugly head or should we say bottom? Is toilet paper what people first thought of when they saw a global pandemic on the horizon? Lucky for us, there was good information on the internet. We visited the website https://howmuchtoiletpaper.com/   which enlightened us to the fact that we’ll be ‘out’ in two weeks.

With the so-called shortage these days, some of us are lucky to get an off-brand that feels like a fine 400 grit sandpaper. Here’s the bottom line. It isn’t that we’re more full of it than before, but usage might have been a lot higher if the survey included Washington D.C. If this trend keeps up, we’ll spend more time focused on our butts than Kim Kardashian.

Prior to the hoarding, toilet paper manufacturers identified “luxury” rolls selling to the tune of $1.4 billion in sales. Luxury bathroom tissue. They may be quilted or rippled, embossed, perfumed, colored or patterned, chemically treated and infused with aloe.
You could even order some with your boss’ name on it.  Of course, to do this you’d still have to have a job or a boss for that matter. In the ‘old days’ pre Covid 19, if you really wanted that secure feeling that you’re giving yourself the best toilet tissue you’d trade up to Charmin Ultra, a toilet tissue that received an award for best feel given by a trendy marketing group. The award ceremony must have been a real hoot. Can’t even imagine the shape of the award. “And the tushy trophy goes to…..”

Mother Nature has said go to your room. It isn’t that we can leave the planet, so here we are with time on our hands. Let’s talk civility and the grocery store aisle.  Remember, these are your neighbors, so after you grab that last container of Clorox wipes don’t forget to say thank you; see you in the hood.

We’re in the middle of a new normal. Around here we’ve been waving to passing cars because despite the dark windows, they may be our neighbors. In the old days people had to glue a coffee cup to the roof of their car to get waves. Now, we wave to anything that moves in the fervent attempt at human contact. We crave companionship. If you’re speaking to your neighbors, at a 6-foot length of course, you’ll find that many of them are discovering ‘Honey-Do’ projects that have been slid under the rug for way too long. Junk drawers are being cleaned out, closets are revealing clothing from the last century and that vomit soaked ticket stub from an Iron Maiden concert at the Hollywood Sportatorium you thought was lost for all time, will now occupy a hallowed space in the newly cleared out junk drawer. Well, that brought back a memory you thought had faded into obscurity.

Isn’t it more than pleasant to hear all the birds? Yes, the birds. After living here more than 40 years, they never sounded as sweet to us or have we heard as many since we have the time to slow down and listen. If we all do our part and not get antsy, we’ll do alright.

Buzz and Kathleen Fleischman have both contributed to this column. They maintain a six-foot distance yet hold everyone close to their hearts.

Buzz Fleischman is a Humorist and singer/songwriter of ‘irregular songs for regular people’ and a character actor who has appeared in and voiced TV commercials and radio. He currently hosts and produces the Joltradio.org interview show “On the Record and Off the Wall’.


Buzz was the humorist on the NPR affiliate WLRN for 12 years and has been a featured speaker for significant local and national conferences, conventions and organizations. He is a docent at the Curtiss Mansion and is fascinated by the history of Miami Springs and its interesting residents. http://www.theradiobuzz.com




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