When it comes to columns, I’m the “in his feelings” guy.
You want a tear-jerking column about the death of a loyal dog? I’m your guy. You want 2,000 words about the toll dementia can take on a woman’s mind? I got you, fam.
But this stuff we’re going through right now? I’m struggling, you guys. And I kinda got … nothin’.
Well … that’s not entirely true. I’ve got some thoughts. Got a few feelings.
I can’t believe these weirdos hoarding all the toilet paper. You guys, what the heck?
I’m still in awe at the rank ineptitude of our infantile-yet-bullying commander in chief. You guys, how did this happen?
And I’m so overloaded with COVID-19 news that I’ve started to not even read the many different news angles the great journalists are coming up with to cover this critical story. You guys, when are we going to get back to normal???
I’m tired, you guys. Tired of people online still maintaining this thing “isn’t that serious,” or that “the numbers just don’t add up,” or “people die of regular flu all the time and we don’t make this much fuss.” As of the morning of April 2 as I’m writing this, 5,112 have died, and some experts say that number could climb as high as 240,000, maybe higher. (But hey, I hope your Facebook post about how all the crybaby liberals were overreacting made you feel better. Cripes.) I’m also tired of hearing about stores that are out of toilet paper (although, I can’t lie, the Mankato Toilet Paper Sightings group on Facebook has been a real hoot).
So I’d like to turn your attention to some discoveries I’ve made, some Netflix recommendations I have and some random thoughts that have occurred to me. (Hey, we’re in a pandemic, cut me some slack!)
So, in the inimitable words of DJ Kool, here we go now:
Early on in the nascent days of sheltering in place and working from home, someone more clever than I (which is just about everyone) opined that, while the virus-fueled apocalypse takes over the world and forces everyone to stay indoors, dogs and cats (and lizards and turtles and rats and ferrets and any other kind of pet people may have) have never been happier!
And it’s true. They are probably much, much happier with their human companions keeping them company.
But here’s what else is true: They still just lay there and sleep most of the time, which is amazing. They still lick their butts. They still bark their heads off when the mailman comes. Still demand to be fed at 6:30 a.m.
Most dogs sleep up to 12 hours per day. Elderly beagles, it turns out, sleep up to 22 hours per day. And elderly chugs (Chihuahua-pug mix) prefer to sleep tucked under a blanket and snuggled up next to whomever is in the room.
■ Racist songs
When I was a kid, I came in possession of a 45 record that became, along with Elton John’s “Crocodile Rock,” a lifelong earworm for me. At age 6, the lyrics didn’t mean much to me. I mean, come on; I was 6. But the tune was so catchy!
If you’re curious, message me privately and I’ll tell you where to find it; I’d rather not churn more clicks for something so blatantly racist.
When a song sticks in your head like that, though, it just never leaves. And on a boring evening with nothing to do, that song popped into my head again.
I’d searched for it before but never found it. Why I searched for it again, I can’t tell you. I’m not proud. But I did. And it was there. And I played it. One minute and 54 seconds of racist lyrics and absolutely insanely good piano work by Jim Lowe with the High Fives.
Everyone and their brother is talking about this new show on Netflix called “Tiger King.”
I’ve watched the first two episodes. Here’s my review after that: It’s really hard to stop watching. So try that one if you’re into train-wreck TV.
But my main recommendation for the thousands of people who use Facebook to ask the world, “Need Netflix recommendations annnnnd GO!” would be this: “Don’t F**k With Cats.”
It’s not what you think. And you’ll be glued. Awful. Riveting. As my esteemed colleague Tim Krohn sarcastically says when he finishes editing one of my columns, “I laughed, I cried, it became a part of me.”
■ ‘Lost in the Flood’ (not)
Speaking of Tim Krohn, he wrote recently in his column about a monumental bullet we all dodged here in southern Minnesota.
Weather prognosticators were warning of floods this year. (I know, I know — they say that every year. Same with drought. And dire predictions about crops. And apples. And millenials. And the general public’s sanity. But I digress.)
Master Krohn reminded us, though, that those predictions were wrong. The precipitation weather watchers feared didn’t come, the region’s snowpack melted gradually and reasonably, and all those fears of wet basements evaporated!
And I know why the weather worked out so favorably for us.
Here’s why: I broke down and had a drainage system installed in my basement so that all future wet-basement scenarios would be rendered moot. Had I not done that, you’d all be renting sump pumps right now, and when your basements were dry you’d be down by the river joining legions of Mankatoans helping build dikes, only unlike previous years, you’d all have to find a face mask first and dip your entire body in Mr. Clean before being allowed to stack sandbags.
That’s all I got folks. This virus stuff sucks. Please hang in there. Take care of each other if you can. Wash your hands. Don’t leave the house if you don’t have to. We’re going to get through this together.
Also, I’m leaving The Free Press. Early June. It’s been a good run. Thanks for the memories.
Robb Murray can be reached at (507) 344-6386 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Robb on Twitter @FreePressRobb.