No Sheep No Sheep You’re the Sheep

The carryout and delivery pizza business is not only surviving the Coronavirus lockdown, it’s thriving. But it’s going to have to thrive without us after last night’s experience.

We wanted to watch the season opener of Bosch on Amazon streaming, and, it being Friday, thought it’d be fun to eat pizza in front of the TV. I called our local Rosati’s and put in a carryout order. They said it’d be ready in 40 minutes, so I waited before driving down. Friday night for us is, unfortunately, Friday night for everybody else: the place was packed. Our Rosati’s is in a nearby strip mall, a narrow storefront with a counter inside. When I got there, customers were lined up outside. Inside, others were bellied up to the counter, some wearing masks, some not.

At the counter, there was no way to keep any kind of distance. I’m glad I had the foresight to bring my mask. Our pizza wasn’t ready, so I waited out front with a few others, spaced out and wearing masks. Others insisted on waiting inside, though, and that’s where the barefaced ones camped out. It seemed to me they were making a statement, like the folks in the photo. “Look at us, no sheep here.” I don’t know, maybe they’ve been that way all along, maybe they were mimicking the Tea Party-style lockdown protests taking place around the country. At least none of them were open-carrying, but I reckon it won’t be long before they are.

Our pizza was finally ready, an hour and a half after I called it in. If I came home not covered in Coronavirus cooties, it was only the luck of the draw. I won’t go out again for carryout pizza until life’s back to normal … it’s not worth the risk. Our next pizza will be home-made. Pizza sauce is easy to make, and as I recall, our bread machine makes excellent dough. Our old oven pizza stone is in one of the cabinets and a never-used one is in the Weber out back, should I decide to try doing it outdoors.

Pizza was a novelty in the 1950s when Donna and I first experienced it. Back then there was basically one version: New York City-style with pepperoni, mushrooms, and anchovies. To this day that’s our idea of what belongs on a pizza. Anything else is messing with tradition.

We’re bingo birdseed. The local Wild Birds Unlimited outlet has a website for online orders, and as with pizza you can opt for pickup or delivery. Since the store’s only four miles away I’m going for pickup, hoping the experience will be less stressful than last night’s. I ordered 25 pounds of seed a few minutes ago; it’ll be ready at 1 PM today. I’ll make Mister B’s day and take him with me.

Back to rugged individualism: I totally understand the frustration over stay-at-home restrictions and business closures, but the people taking to the streets in protest are those who can afford to stay home and order on line, not the poor & desperate who soon won’t have homes to stay in. Not only that, they’re clearly on one side of the political divide, and isn’t that the trouble with everything these days?

It all started with Hannity, I swear. First I knew of that asshole was back when I drove for the VA, 2006 to 2008: I dialed in a random radio station one day and heard this guy talking about an airline crash … and blaming it on on Democrats. I was all like what the fuck, not realizing I was hearing the future of political discourse in America.

Every damn thing about the current plague is coated in partisanship, and for once it’s accurate to say both sides do it. One side is happy to watch Trump flail & flop as thousands die and the economy goes tits up; the other is cool with death & depression so long as Trump continues to spite the libs. Probably the only people genuinely above it all are those happy few struggling for their final breaths in ICUs and nursing homes around the nation.

I know, I know, Hannity wasn’t the first to turn everything political. Rush was there before him, and from watching The Plot Against America on HBO I now understand Walter Winchell inspired them both, though from the other side.

Looking back on earlier pandemics, Spanish Flu in particular but also those that were still killing tens of thousands when Donna and I were children … smallpox, tuberculosis, polio, scarlet fever, diphtheria … quarantine has always been the most effective way to control spread, along with avoiding crowds and even wearing masks.

Smart people take precautions, and if that makes smart people look like sheep, well, what else is new? The stupids will always roll that out as their first line of attack. The real sheep are those who let the stupids get to them and quit wearing masks because they want to look tough. Be smart, friends!

© 2020, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.


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