Gentle Reader: Like all of you, Days 1-4 of my coronavirus self-quarantine were largely spent laughing at toilet-paper hoarders. Then I needed toilet paper. Sh*t got real. In case some future archaeologist or home invader finds my mummified corpse in the chimney, I decided to keep an epic journal of my experience so future self-quarantinees may learn from my harrowing days of deprivation. If somehow I survive … nevermind.
Self-Quarantine Log Day #5: We’ve eaten the dog. Cat is armed and considered dangerous. Saving water by drinking NyQuil. No coughing but sleeping all day. Toilet paper running perilously low … only 7,439 rolls left. If you find us dead, we must have eaten some … bad dog.
Self-Quarantine Log, Day #6: The Roomba is watching us. Make it stop. I fired a warning shot at a jogger this morning. Mary traded the neighbor’s dog for beer. Rationing toilet paper, three squares a day … on the bright side, lots of hand-washing. My thoughts are turning darker: If we’re all connected to Kevin Bacon, then what happens if Kevin Bacon gets coronavirus? #PrayForKevinBacon
Self-Quarantine Log, Day #7: I’m having fun on Facebook: Name deadly pandemics using only the letters of your first name. Developing moist feelings for Dr. Birx. Missing human contact. Long, soulful conversation with a Pakistani telemarketer this morning. Nice guy. Cat still at large, three tuna cans missing. Finding enlightenment in unexpected places … I streamed every John Cusack movie on Netflix and realized that since 1983 I thought he was Nicolas Cage.
Self-Quarantine Log, Day #8: Dystopia isn’t so bad when you have cable. Scary moment when I realized nobody has sterilized the Purell bottle. I look forward to my daily sponge baths with windshield-washer fluid. Out of desperation, we ate a can of pork and beans that expired last October, now farting funny. Skyped with tele-med doctor and she hung up on me. Literary agent reports New York City’s social order has disintegrated, so a free-wheeling, funny cannibal cookbook might earn a seven-figure advance.
Self-Quarantine Log, Day #9: Bug-zapper now wired to Ring doorbell, just for laughs. Ninja cat is in our air ducts. Suddenly realized people are calling because I’M the “senior citizen” they’re checking on. One of the voices in the chimney has convinced me that “Waiting for Godot” is a romantic comedy. Photoshopped a fake AARP card to get into Seniors-Only Hour at Walgreens. Cabin fever has muddled my mind, starting to “get” Nickelback.
Self-Quarantine Log, Day #10: Cat has stolen my identity; Amazon drone delivered $500 worth of Friskies today. Things have gotten so wretched that we’re forced to wash with basil-infused soap. I resolved to listen to the experts and buy gold. Haven’t slept for three days since sex nightmare involving Speaker of the House. Signed a book yesterday for “Henry Bemis from Burgess Meredith.” I’ve named the dust bunnies.
Self-Quarantine Log, Day #11: One of the voices in my chimney has started a podcast. Cat is now prank-calling the vet. How the hell did I miss COVID-1 through -18? I’ve lost most of my pocket money betting on NCAA games from 2016. I hope my stimulus check arrives soon. Imponderable questions rise in the middle of the night: How come there’s no website for Liberty Boochamoop? Why are pot shops “essential” in Colorado? Is Kevin Bacon OK?
Self-Quarantine Log, Day #12: Cat scrawled “Be afraid” in his litter. Mary starting to complain that I never take her anywhere. However, nightly NyQuil cocktails in the laundry room bring us closer together. Donated our fish-tank cleanser to the less fortunate. Taking online class in sign language so I can finally be a TV star. HomeAdvisor spam says my neighbors are adding stylish safe rooms. Halloween skeleton on the front porch scared the hell out of the paperboy. No paper today.
Self-Quarantine Log, Day #13: The chimney voices are social distancing … it’s about the flue. Siri is hitting on me. Small change under our sofa cushion is now worth more than our 401(k). Should stamp-lickers be prosecuted? Zillow found us an ideal post-pandemic retirement spot so remote that news about Bunker Hill hasn’t yet arrived. Cat baked my favorite cake and the frosting says, “Find The Hairball.”
Self-Quarantine Log, Day #14: Do “serious underlying conditions” include an irrational fear of passing logging trucks? NyQuil is empty; Listerine martinis aren’t that bad. March came in like a lamb and went out like the Black Plague. If UV light kills coronavirus, why do they tell us to stay indoors? I haven’t worn my hair this long since 1971. In a fit of pique, I told Mary, “Cats suck!”— a voice in the chimney replied, “He said to tell you, ‘OK, Boomer.’”
Self-Quarantine Log, Day #15: Raw Chinese bats just don’t sound scrumptious anymore. Mary’s tele-teaching has hit a snag: Teenagers who can hack into the CIA with a musical greeting card suddenly can’t figure out how to email their homework. I called my 85-year-old father and I told him social distancing isn’t so bad … No, Dad, I said, “SOCIAL DISTANCING ISN’T SO BAD.” Did you know: During the 14th century’s Black Plague, town criers blamed Edward III for not stockpiling parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.
Self-Quarantine Log, Day #16: Oh baby, Mary is wearing that sexy new fragrance, Lysol No. 5. Do we get Easter off? “Going viral” used to be a good thing. Weird thing, Netflix sent “Night of a Thousand Cats” … but we didn’t order it. FitBit reports I’m averaging 319 steps a day. Woohoo. Overnight, somebody tacked a “No Smoking” sign on the fireplace. My sister invited us to Easter dinner; I should probably turn her in.
Self-Quarantine Log, Day #17: Panic about infected groceries and social distancing forces me to wipe my own banana … and that’s not a euphemism. I’m strangely encouraged by this fact: Right now, you’re more likely to be slain by coronavirus than a serial killer. This enforced isolation has proven that nothing is impossible if you have duct tape, spackle, and a shrimp de-veiner … Mary built a bomb shelter. I spy something in your camera roll that is … oh my.
Self-Quarantine Log, Day #18: Mary made me a stylish face mask from Saran Wrap that ties snugly at the throat, which she calls the “end all” of virus masks. She’s such a good wife! The cat is now holding one of the chimney voices hostage and is demanding a suitcase full of unmarked salmon. On the bright side of COVID-19, we’re saving money on gas, Date Night, and raw-bat appetizers. Just finished our US tax return; our generous contribution to your stimulus check will be two one-hundred thousandths of a penny. You’re welcome.
Self-Quarantine Log, Day #19: Remember when your mother had to yell, “Go outside and play”? She knew this would happen. Two of my six degrees from Kevin Bacon have tested positive. People are fussing about gaining the “Quarantine Fifteen” but I’ve always been an overachiever. I read on the Internet that some quarantined folks are starting to hallucinate, but one of the chimney voices said it was fake news.
Self-Quarantine Log, Day #20: When my e-church’s virtual preacher passed the digital plate after his streaming sermon during our cyber-service last weekend, I donated bitcoins. Pinterest suggests some beautiful face masks made from pallets. Proof that things never change: During the Black Plague, before the invention of toilet paper, panicked citizens hoarded leaves, corn cobs, and snow. Crestfallen because Dr. Birx still hasn’t called. Dessert last night was pickles.
Self-Quarantine Log, Day #21: Shhh … this morning, I sneaked outside to snatch some illegal sunshine. My nightly impressions of great silent film stars simply aren’t pulling Mary out of her quarantine funk; I might be forced to rethink my modern dance interpretation of Sylvia Plath poetry. Troll cat posted a one-star Amazon review of my last book. I polled 18,935 instant immunologists on Facebook and they suggested 18,934 ways to beat coronavirus. Thank God, somebody knows everything.
Self-Quarantine Log, Day #22: Prohibition started about this time in 1920; who knew that 100 years later you might still be arrested for going to a bar? We can’t go out at night because our neighborhood is being terrorized by roving bands of Mormon youths. Match.com is now promoting phone sex. Cat is up to something. People think Bill Gates was prophetic when he predicted a killer virus … he must have watched “The Andromeda Strain” and “Omega Man” when he was just a young nerd.
Self-Quarantine Log, Day #23: Good Friday could be better. Recently, I referred to this pestilence simply as “The Virus” … maybe we’re all just characters in a Stephen King novel. We wash our plates four times a day because I heard china is lying about the presence of coronavirus. If Mad Max had extra toilet paper that movie might have ended differently. One of the chimney voices does a hilarious impersonation of Dr. Fauci. Cat stole all my tube socks to make contraband masks that he sells to his drinking buddies.
Self-Quarantine Log, Day #24: My crush on Dr. Birx is only boosted by the fact that as a high school sophomore she won a science-fair prize for her exhibit on paleobotany and rocks, two of my personal obsessions. One of the chimney snitches warned me that Seal Team Cat is planning an “Easter Surprise” by booby-trapping eggs. We ordered NutriSystem just to avoid going to the supermarket. And not because we’re fat. We aren’t fat.
Self-Quarantine Log, Day #25: Easter is here! We’ve been safely self-quarantined for weeks and life is good! Now we get to spend quality time outdoors in the sunlight. A chimney voice warned that the cat booby-trapped our Easter eggs, something about being wired to the power transformer out back. But I suspect it’s the cat’s lame attempt at psy-ops. Here’s a pretty one in the flower bed and it doesn’t look likeZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Ron’s widow Mary added this Post Script: The cat was under the bed the whole time, dammit.