Opinion: Pet Peeves



By Mark Crantz

I didn’t believe it could happen, but I’m more afraid of sneezing than I am of gunfire. The other day at the grocery store the person behind me sneezed. I hit the deck. Yes, it was socially awkward. I blamed my fall on a trick knee. It saved face and I believe the rest of me.

If you’re old like me you can’t be too careful regarding this coronavirus. Experts put me in the high risk group. They suggest a prudent course of action would be to limit travel, like, going to rock concerts. No problem for me. The trick knee wouldn’t take me to a rock concert. And even if I had a knee replacement, the rock stars of my era are dead. I miss you Lawrence Welk.

When there’s trouble, I’m not the guy you want in the foxhole with you. I don’t think ahead. I can’t see the big picture. I lose focus quickly.  Other guys would focus in on who’s shooting at us, while I’d want to know why the foxhole doesn’t have a fox in it. “Oh no, my good buddy just got shot. Foxhole vacancy here.  Won’t you be my neighbor?”

I just had a birthday. It was a relief. I was tired of telling people I was 67 and a half.  Saying I’m 68 is easier.  The grandkids phoned in and said they were coming to celebrate. My trick knee gave out just hearing that these petri dishes were coming to visit.  Let me be the first to tell all grandparents to watch out.  They look all cute and cuddly, but beware.  Cleanliness is not their strong suit.

They can take you down before your next nap time. If you must see them, do what I do.  Double wrap.  Roll yourself in Saran Wrap, then add a protective bubble wrap outer layer.  So, they don’t think you have gone nutso, tell the grandkids you landed the lead role in the senior center’s upcoming play, ”King Tut.”  They’ll think you are a great mummy and will enjoy popping your bubble wrap during their visit.

My wife is someone you would want to have around during a crisis. Two weeks ago she planned for the worst. She went to the pharmacy and stocked up on my medications. She fought the pharmacist for extra months. The pharmacist fought back. My wife fake sneezed and got the extra months. Then it was off to the grocery store for food with long shelf lives. Now we are up to our behinds in velveeta cheese, spam and peanut butter. But our behinds should not despair. Another must have item will come to the rescue.  I’ve never seen so much toilet paper. I’m not sure I can meet my wife’s expectations. Even if I was a young guy with a fast metabolism, I wouldn’t be able to use that much toilet paper in three life times. Of course, a new pandemic diet of velveeta cheese, spam and peanut butter will likely cause a severe case of constipation and negate the need of toilet paper. But who knows?  Better wiped-safe than sorry.

My wife got me some great birthday presents. She’s sending me on a seven-night, “who knows how many days” around the world cruise. First port of call Italy, then around to China and finally landing in Seattle, Washington. Then, she booked my first standup comic gig in an assisted nursing facility in Kirkland, Washington.

I’m looking forward to it.

Crantz tells the Indy that he plans to establish a toilet paper hotline for those caught with their pants down during the pandemic.           

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