Well, the first task is to learn how to spell “apocalypse.” No, it’s not the same as Acropolis. That’s a building in Greece. Now let’s get to work on fulfilling the cliché, when you have a lemon, make lemonade. And we are dealing with one godawful lemon.
To get in the mood, you might listen to Skeeter Davis (who?) sing, “Don’t Say No/It’s the End of the World” or R.E.M.’s “It’s the end of the World as We Know It.”
Now time to make some choices. Do you crave: entertainment, self-improvement, or doing what needs to be done?
Let’s get the hard work over with. Isn’t it time that you cleaned out the garage, attic, basement, junk drawers or that really disgusting gym bag? Does your thimble collection need sorting? Have you arranged your box of wire twisties by color? Do you really need all 12 pairs of flip-flops? And why are some of them furry?
There are over 50,000 apocalypse-themed movies that you could be watching, half of which involve zombies.
Do you have a filing cabinet? If so, do you really need to keep tax returns older than 10 years? Twenty years? Do you need to keep utility bills dating to Edison’s introduction of household electricity? Why are you saving credit card bills and bank statements when you can access both online and have been doing so for years?
And if you don’t have a filing cabinet, does that mean you have a desk, a countertop or a kitchen table covered with an Everest of paper, lost eye glasses and maybe even folding money? There could be treasure under that pile or even a missing person.
Now that we’ve cleaned house, perhaps it’s time for some comforting relaxation. There are over 50,000 apocalypse-themed movies that you could be watching, half of which involve zombies.
Are such movies too close to reality? Why not re-watch your favorite movies The Godfather Parts I & II (but not III), Gone with the Wind, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, The Little Mermaid, or Dumb and Dumber.
Just think of all the bingeing you could do on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HBO, SHO and various other streaming channels that nobody ever heard of.
Tired of watching the box? Here’s some pertinent required reading if you haven’t already read them: Boccaccio’s Decameron (nobles in medieval Italy flee the plague and entertain each other with tales bawdy and otherwise), Daniel Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year (not Robinson Crusoe), Samuel Pepsy’s Diary (includes account of plague in 17th century England),” Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death,” or Albert Camus’ The Plague.
Had enough of literature? Try a history of the Middle Ages for a deeper insight into today. Did you know that the Black Death of 1348 wiped out a quarter to a half of Europe’s population?
Now that you are thoroughly relaxed, it’s time to for some self-improvement. Shouldn’t you be learning a musical instrument, perhaps the zither or bell front euphonium. If you are seriously untalented, how about the kazoo? Act now and you can order 72 kazoos for only $8. It’s so important to have an ample supply as you wear them out with the intensity of your musicianship.
Do you have misgivings about a musical career? Consider something more practical? Why not learn Mandarin or computer programming, perfect your golf putts, memorize Shakespeare’s major soliloquies, learn to crochet antimacassars or master the making of cannolis?
You could follow Voltaire and tend to your garden, both figuratively and literally. Social distancing makes it easy these days to keep to yourself, but what about your real garden? You could be preparing that piece of neglected soil and be ready to grow tomatoes, onions, rutabagas and endless zucchinis?
While waiting to put in the seeds or seedlings, you could be methodically pulling weeds by hand and not have to resort to any of those chemicals that were once thought safe but are now known to lead to one’s growing a second head.
And your emotional well being? Have you been experiencing a build-up of deep-seated hostility? Perhaps it’s time to stop kicking the cat and start beating a rug. If you have wall-to-wall carpeting, you’re out of luck.
Still at a loss? Why not meditate, achieve enlightenment and transcend the limitations of corporal existence?
Is transcendence just too hard for you? Why not search for a short cut to escape this overwhelming reality? You could figure out how to summon up spirits from a parallel universe and see if they’ll have you.
As for me, with my daughter working as an ICU nurse tending exclusively to Covid-19 patients on ventilators, I’ll be at work designing a Detest-o-Meter to measure how much I loathe the current White House occupant who is largely responsible for this lethal mess. I could use help, lots of help.
Robin Schore lives in Hopewell Borough.