By Tim Hayes

What if, at some point today, every inhabitant of planet Earth froze in place, looked up to the sky, and listened intently to a booming, sonorous baritone ringing down at us from the depths of space:

“APRIL FOOLS! I just wanted to get your attention, Kids! Ha, ha! Everything will be back to normal by supper! Have a heavenly day! Don’t forget to vote!”

Ah, the Almighty. What a kidder.

Alas, no such luck. We’re screwed again. So long, March. Hello, April. And we’re still homebound.

So what have we learned in our first month of social distancing, class? That it’s difficult in some ways, wonderful in others. That the more we all do it, the faster this nightmare goes away.

And that…even as the harrowing statistics pile up…even as millions of everyday heroes provide care and deliver food and clean facilities and safeguard our streets…even as some leaders behave shamefully and others admirably…even as the path ahead still remains maddeningly cloudy…and even as all of these factors combine to thrash our emotions like hay in a John Deere tractor…some slivers of lightness still emerge to celebrate and share a chuckle over.

Here are some dribs and drabs for your perusing pleasure…

— The kitchen cupboards have never been so damn organized. And what a scavenger hunt THAT turned out to be! The Hayes Family Coronavirus Cleanout Forgotten Food Longevity Award went to a packet of taco mix, found in the dark, dank, abandoned recesses in the very back of the lazy susan, dated January 2007. Congratulations and good riddance! Adios, amigo!

— Billy Eichner on Twitter: “Ok kids, I am drawing the line at your ZOOM bris.”

— Anna Kendrick on Twitter: “I guess I’ll never be able to lie to myself again about all the shit I would do if I just had the time.”

— Had the chance to catch up electronically with a lot of old friends from my high school marching band recently, which led me to search out some photos from that long-haired era. All I can say is that, if I can’t get a haircut for another month or more, my shaggy, shoulder-length 1974 faux Keith Partridge mop is poised for a screaming comeback. And anybody who looks at me will be doing the screaming.

— Oscar the Grouch on Twitter: “SCRAM. GO HOME. AND STAY THERE!!!”

— Saw a story the other day explaining how retailers are seeing an unusual jump in orders of online tops – shirts, blouses, t-shirts, sweaters, and the like. No parallel increase in the sale of pants and skirts, though. And for one simple reason: With every interaction taking place through computer screens and cameras now, nobody sees you from the waist down anymore. What a time to be alive!

— Jesse McClaren on Twitter: “Everything is scary, but if you just sit still, and take a deep breath, you can scream really f—–g loud.”

— Photo seen on Facebook, painted onto a backyard fence: “You are not STUCK at home, you are SAFE at home.”

— We close with this quote from Lin-Manuel Miranda: “Someone – not me – taught my son to say ‘excuse me’ every single time he farts, so now bedtime consists of Harry Potter and the Fifty-Six Excuse Mes.”

Stay safe, stay sane, stay home. Signing off for now. Excuse me.

Copyright 2020 Timothy P. Hayes