It’s hard finding fun and funny in the news these days. But it’s there. From ill-timed stories about dream vacations to ads for swimsuits, it’s there. It does prove, however, that not all the news (and ads) are truly fit to print in these days of disease and worry.
With that in mind, here are a few stories, headlines and ad promotions that caught my eye recently. Some raise questions. Some I offer as observations from one middle-aged muddler to another.
Our “Patriotic” Duty?
Nationwide stores are launching online sales. I admit it’s tempting, but also weird. Shop for what? A new dress? To wear where? When?
Yet, is it our “patriotic” duty to shop and inject money into the cratering economy? If so, what’s “in” when you’re sheltering-IN-place? And will it still be “in” when we finally emerge from this terrible time in our lives? I’m twisting myself in knots trying to figure this one out!
What do you think, my fellow middle age muddlers? Is shopping a healthy distraction or too frivolous for words?
Timing is Everything
Looking for more fun in the news? Well, then you, like me, might be amused by the many ill-timed ads and articles placed and not stopped before the virus caused the economy — and our lives — to ground to a halt? A few of my favorites:
“10 Tips to Travel Like a Pro”
“Your (sic) one newsletter away from your best life ever!”
“18 Time-Saving Tips – Ingenious ideas from (and for) busy women everywhere.”
Last night I saw a commercial for toilet paper. That ad was a total waste, just like flushing money down a toilet. Who needs a reminder to shop for tp? Was the company just taunting us? Why, hunting for toilet paper has become more popular than searching for Waldo. In fact, I heard book publishers are re-doing all the Where’s Waldo? books, replacing the popular character’s image with the Charmin bears!
And in the Category of Observations
In the midst of the gloom and fear, I’ve been cheered by the cleverness of editors and writers who quickly repurpose already-written stories to make them coronavirus-relevant. Case in point, this one from Vogue: “The 11 Best Hand Creams to Apply After Frequent Washing,” originally tied to winter’s polar vortex and it’s impact on dry skin.
And for those of you who love entertainment stories, we now have celebs-who’ve-got-it stories, with the “it” sadly being coronavirus. It’s a ghoulish spin on celebrity watching, if ever there was one!
Foodies sheltering in place and survivalists alike are finding solace these days in a host of articles like “Vegetables and fruit that stay fresh for months,” “15 foods you can eat past their expiration date,” and “immune-boosting foods.”
For the self-help crowd, there are helpful tips on “How to stop touching your face.” I personally read that story seven times. Since we’ve been told to avoid touching our faces, I simply cannot stop doing it. Nerves, I guess.
One story suggested rubbing an onion on your hands. The theory? The odor would dissuade you from putting your fingers to face. Alas, in my case, Handsome Hubby fell victim to my onion-laced paws. I went to caress his cheek and instead brought tears and loathing to his eyes. He immediately sought shelter in another place!
Please don’t think I’m making light of these articles. In truth, I’m devouring them like hotcakes. How can I help myself? I’m on Day 9 of sheltering-in-place here in the SF Bay. Besides binge eating, tracking down rumors of bootleg supplies of toilet paper (I am KIDDING, people, just kidding.), and writing my Sheltering-in-Place Journal on Facebook every day, what is there to do but read, read, read and surf the net? By the end of this ordeal, we will all be viral experts. And trust me, with all this reading online, I’m searching hard for any fun in the news I can find.
Meanwhile, one of the unique “pleasures” of sheltering-in-place has been discovering virtual dinners. Dining a la Café Zoom (thank you, Pat Sakai, for the phrase) is the closest thing we have to be close to the people we care about these days. Zoom, in case you’re a Luddite like muddling me, is an online video-conferencing platform which now in the Coronavirus Era is suddenly getting traction as a way to share dinner and conversation with friends and family.
Some people are going all out, dressing up and cooking the same meal. Me? For my first Café Zoom dinner, I dressed up from the waist up! Waist down, I confess, I wore baggy mom jeans. It’s a trick from my TV anchoring days — look spiffy up top, but decidedly casual (think cutoffs and flip flops) below the anchor desk!
So, my friends, I’ve don’t have a clever close to this week’s blog. Just good wishes to you all. Stay healthy. We’ll get through this by muddling along together — at a safe distance of six feet.