The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Spring is in the air up here in the Bee Ex (Bronx).  Springtime snow is swirling through the air, spring-y ice is coating all the pavements in a delightfully slick surface, and springtime birds are most likely freezing to the branches on the soon-to-be-blossoming springtime trees.  It’s great to be alive!

Just think how far we’ve come.  Two percent of my friends and family are now getting their first vaccine doses, and I am confident my turn will be coming in mere months.  It’s enough to make me want to book a flight to Cancun.  Just today, I heard that FEMA sites are opening up here in NYC!  FEMA!!!  Wow.  Last time I heard about them, they were screwing over New Orleans right after Hurricane Katrina.  Then, apparently, they were deemed unnecessary for four years, but now they are back and actually serving the public!  It’s like Eisenhower-era national exuberance all over again.

I’m hittin’ the road to happiness! What could go wrong?

We’re not there yet, I know.  Only today, I was forced to lightly toast an English muffin, coat it with supermarket cream cheese “spread”, and cover that with Costco Norwegian smoked salmon medley.  Oh, Barney Greengrass, will you ever forgive me?  Because, frankly, it wasn’t half bad.  Then, I turned on the kitchen tap and clean, unfrozen water came out.  I turned on the TV, and watched digital images of people burning furniture in Texas. I reached for my iPad and saw the Times had an op-ed entitled “Must we dance on Rush Limbaugh’s grave?”  Taking a bite of my muffin-Costco-hybrid, I assumed the answer was “yes”, and swiped left.

I know it SAYS bagel on the label.

Back to Texas for a sec.  It’s a warning to us all.  Americans such as myself tend to like extremes and avoid the middle.  Like for example with ice cream.  May I have a hand-churned creamy scoop of vanilla? 

No. You’ve got to choose between mango-mocha-banana-cherry-sprinkles-lavender explosion, or a lemon water sorbet.  On one side of the scale, we have zero-tolerance for any type of regulation that would impede wild-west capitalism.  This leads inevitably to societal breakdown, conditions that could politely be called “third world”, and an “only the strong survive” mentality.  On the other side of the scale, we have everything so tightly regulated that you can’t start a business in your garage in England , you can’t eat at your desk in France, and you get jail time for selling lunch from your house in California. 

um, does this have corn sweeteners in it?

Maybe there’s a happy medium?  Could we try good government run by intelligent humans producing common-sense regulations that actually help the general public?  Call me a dreamer.

Still, I’m hopeful.  There is light at the end of the tunnel. Just last week, I felt comfortable enough to go to the local Dominican barber shop for a haircut.  The guy in the front immediately directed me to the back of the store, where they keep the women in large rollers under helmets.   

I hear tell she had to go to a BARBER!

Although there’s nothing wrong with that approach to personal grooming, it took me a while to explain that I wanted to get a trim from one of the barbers instead.  The Hub helped translate “just lop off 3 inches all the way around, I don’t need no stinkin’ rollers” and before you knew it, I was adequately trimmed.  We’re headed in the right direction, folks.

Just 3 inches off the ends and skip carving your initials into my sideburns.

As soon as I can, I’m going to celebrate by getting my teeth cleaned by a real dentist.

Dominican barbers don’t do that.

Screw Disney World, I’m going to the dentist!

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