Nobody wants a pandemic, certainly not one that kills hundreds of thousands and delays the college football season.
That was certainly the mindset last week of Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy, who indicated that May 1 would be a good time to get back to football and who wants his players on campus even if it’s deserted because “continuing the economy in this state” requires his team playing games.
“We’ve got to have a plan,” Gundy said, “… so let’s just stay on schedule.”
Uh, let’s update the scoreboard here:
COVID-19, OSU 0.
Coach, I understand that we must get back to the business of living. But – follow me on this – we can’t do that if we are all dead. So we must stay at home – pause life to preserve life – until the experts say otherwise in regard to this once-in-a-century sacrifice that, we hope, we will never see the likes of again.
It stinks this way, it sure does.
Suddenly, we know why our dogs want to take so many walks.
So, yes, we need sports again. But we also need almost every other taken-for-granted detail of our routine, from schools to restaurants to shopping to libraries to concerts to Costco grand openings.
And, frankly, we need back things that have been missing most or all of our lives: compassion, decency, humanity, sense of community.
But we can start by accentuating the positive and eliminating the negative at home. We can start by appreciating what’s around us and by revisiting the simple delights that surround us.
Play Rack-O with your kids.
Watch any season of “The Larry Sanders Show” on HBO on Demand.
Talk to long-distance friends. In the old days, these were known as “phone calls.”
Send your aunt or uncle a long note. In the old days, this was known as “writing a letter.”
Make your own pizza, and when that fails, order one for delivery.
Dig out your old baseball card box, and if you can’t find a Nolan Ryan rookie card, give all of them to the 10-year-old next door.
Tell your spouse, “We’ve got to talk,” to let ’em know what it feels like to be on the other end of that baby.
Sing the theme song from “Gilligan’s Island” three times nightly.
Board-game doubleheader: Monopoly and Candy Land!
Try to write the Great American Novel, or, at a minimum, at least a limerick.
“Casablanca” and “The Princess Bride,” back-to-back, to experience full black-and-white and Technicolor joy.
“His Girl Friday” and “Broadcast News,” back-to-back, in black-and-white and Technicolor, to experience full print and electronic joy.
Re-enact scenes from the Old Testament; I adore Leviticus Chapter 19, Verse 33.
A foosball table ($104.99-ish) or air hockey (also $104.99-ish) is the best quarantined C-note investment in the land.
Good betting game: Sit on your front porch with a family member and wager on which direction – left or right – 10 people will walk by your house first.*
(* If you don’t have a front porch, just look out the damn window.)
Remind your teenagers about safe sex, in case they ever have sex.
When’s the last time you played Charades?
For 16 and under: Hit your brother for no reason. When he hits you back, roll onto the living-room carpet in full brawling mode.
For 75 and over: Hit your brother for no reason. If he falls to the ground in agony, call 911.
Tell everybody in your home how much you love ’em, twice. Do it now.
Ask The Slouch
Q. Is it true that the first recorded reference of the 6 feet “social distancing” term was in a NCAA basketball referees manual on what constituted a foul when a Duke player drives to the basket? (Stewart Verdery; Washington, D.C.)
A. Boy, I miss rooting against Duke.
Q. Distraught over the pandemic, IOC and NCAA officials walk into a bar and order a bottle of Screaming Eagle Cabernet 1992. How much should the athletes tip the server? (Bobby Weaver; Smyrna, Georgia)
A. You have an uncanny grasp of global sporting economics.
Q. Since you have been “working” from home for years, does it bother you that your employer deemed you nonessential well before the coronavirus showed up? (Dan Cantwell; Albany, New York)
A. Listen, pal, my family also has deemed me nonessential and questions why I even need to be home.
Q. Since the NFL draft will not have a live audience, should a booing track be added every time Roger Goodell steps up to the microphone? (Arthur Polton; Fairfax, Virginia)
A. Pay the man, Shirley.
To enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway, just email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Couch Slouch podcast is available on your favorite podcasting app.
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