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WILSON: Leave me alone

These are strange times…strange times, indeed.

I have survived blizzards that left people snowbound and hunkered down for nearly a week. I have witnessed tornadoes that flattened miles-long swaths of buildings, tore through forests by tossing trees like toothpicks and obliterated once thriving villages. I have smelled the smoke and felt the burning in my eyes from uncontrollable wildfires unleashing their devastating power and wrath. I have endured the oppressive heat of a summer when vegetation along the side of expressways dried, turned to tinder, and ignited by the hot exhaust of passing vehicles.

I watched on live television as the third game of the World Series came to an abrupt ending, as Candlestick Park and the entire San Francisco Bay area slid sideways. I watched as a three-year drought turned most of Texas and Oklahoma into a dried, cracked, barren expanse of parched earth — only to be followed a few years later with flood, after flood, after flood.

I’ve seen some weird stuff.

Whatever this new thing is called… coronavirus, COVID-19, Gawd-Awful-Damned-Disease…it is making people behave in very strange ways. I enjoy studying history, but I do not recall the solution to any cataclysmic, world-wide catastrophe having ever been toilet paper. Yet, throngs of people made the conscience effort to defend their lives and livelihoods from this global curse, by charging off and threatening others with bodily harm over toilet paper.

Social scientists, over the next few decades, will study and write expansive treatises about the TP Phenomenon of 2020. I predict they will all come to the same conclusion, “I have no idea, not even a wild guess, as to what the heck happened.”

New phrases have leapt into our lexicon — “social distancing,” “self-isolation,” and/or “quarantining.” I have decided to ignore these new terms and the new set of rules that accompany them. I simply do not have the time for such nonsense.

My adult kids, dealing with the challenge and anxiety of protecting their young children, have chastised me for my cavalier attitude concerning all of this. Likewise, I have been frequently rebuked by a young lady that thinks I am an incredibly brilliant person that is constantly doing incredibly stupid things. They have all made valid points — but it ain’t changing my mind.

I am 12 years into my 10-year plan to completely remodel my home. This project is already two years behind schedule, with another three years’ worth of work yet to be started. I’m behind schedule for two very simple reasons — scope creep and age creep.

Scope creep is when the plans for a project expand (but the budget remains the same). Age creep is when a person starts a project at a young and vibrant 55 years of age — and is still working on the same project at a much older and less spry age of 67. It is for this reason that I simply do not have the time, patience or attitude to social distance. I have work to do – leave me the hell alone so I can get a few things done around here.

Please, do not stop by my place just to check on my progress — if you didn’t bring a tool belt, stay away. I appreciate everyone’s concern, but I’m on my hands and knees, installing flooring. With every wellness check phone call, it takes me 12.5 minutes to struggle to my feet and hobble over to the phone. At my age, that is 12.5 minutes that I simply cannot spare.

As far as keeping at least 6 feet between myself and everyone else in the world — unless any of them know where the on/off switch is on a hammer, they need to distance themselves from me (not the other way around).

I rarely grocery shop and, therefore, rarely expose myself to the craziness of the pandemic pandemonium — I am very skilled at hitting the drive-thru at Wendy’s and getting a 4-for-4 meal (who’s eating healthy, now, huh?).

In another month, or so, I’ll check on the status of the world. If normalcy has resumed, I’ll see if the young lady (who thinks I do incredibly stupid things) is up for a gourmet meal, a bottle of wine, and a night on the town. Maybe I’ll invite her over to my place to see my new living room.

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