Ever since the pandemic began, I’ve been feeling like a bump on a log — a bump who’s in over his head. Even though I’m as fit as a fiddle, I don’t know whether to fish or cut bait. I realize we’re not out of the woods yet because I still can’t see the forest for the trees. I’d be laughing until it hurts, if it weren’t for my mask.

It’s better to be safe than sorry, so the mask is no skin off my nose. I’m going bananas, though, from keeping my powder dry. I want to fly the coop so badly, but I have to hold my horses. Every morning, I get up on the wrong side of the bed, just to see that the grass is greener on the other side. I grasp at straws to make the best of a bad bargain.

It goes without saying that we’re going to hell in a handbasket. I used to go to town on the weekends but now I’m on my last legs and can no longer cut the mustard. Instead of going haywire, I’m hoping to get my second wind. It gets my goat, though, when my wife tells me I’m making a mountain out of a molehill. I tell her to go fry an egg.

After all, we live in the land of milk and honey, even if we’re currently in a pickle. Just because you have a bone to pick, it doesn’t mean you can have your cake and eat it too. Although half a loaf might be better than none, we can’t continue this hand-to-mouth existence. We need to get the show on the road before the whole country goes to the dogs.

We have to face the music and explore every avenue. When push comes to shove, let’s pull out all the stops. We need to knuckle down if we’re ever going to stick a fork in this pandemic. It may go against the grain but we just have to cool it. Even though this crisis is more than we bargained for, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

Keep your shirt on! We don’t actually skin cats. You can take a raincheck on raking me over the coals for threatening cats because I’ll have the last laugh. All things being equal, I’m tired of the whole kit and caboodle. Especially the caboodle. I used to be happy as a clam, now I’m hanging by a thread. I once was the big cheese. Now, I’m biding my time, while my family eats me out of house and home.

The long and short of it is I’m scared out of my wits because we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Sure, misery loves company but these summer days are as slow as molasses in January. Even when it rains cats and dogs, it rubs me the wrong way. I don’t want to take the wind out of your sails because we’re holding on by the skin of our teeth.

We may be bloody but we’re unbowed. We’re all keeping a stiff upper lip, though it’s hidden under our masks. Sure, these days may be as dull as dishwater but we’re going to get a handle on the pandemic. We’ll be sadder but wiser, and the sky will be the limit. We’ll no longer be packed in like sardines. We’ll be living in the lap of luxury. We’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.

So be of good cheer. Remember that the bigger the coronaviruses come, the harder they fall.

John Rice

John Rice is a columnist/novelist who has seen his family thrive in Forest Park. He has published two books set in the village: The Ghost of Cleopatra and The Doll with the Sad Face.

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