The governor of Pennsylvania announced that the state owned liquor stores, the only places to buy wine and liquor in the state, would close due to the coronavirus. As soon as the news hit our Apple news feed, all the usual city sounds were drowned out by the slamming of front doors as the entire populace of Philadelphia collectively lurched out their front doors to make an emergency run to the liquor store. Cabs, Ubers and city buses were sideswiped aside by the stampede of rabid Eagles fans jostling to get the last bottle of the Joel Gott Cabernet at the mega-store on Market street.
This temporary Quaker type prohibition was the signal to us all that life was about to change. Coronavirus had also given me the perfect excuse to succumb completely to my natural, slovenly state, ruling the Clampitt household with an iron fist from my
While others convene on Zoom to play games I’m using my computer to buy more stuff I don’t need. I’ve spent more time on line shopping than I did when I had a full time job with an office. It’s like Satan has taken over my inbox. He tempts me constantly with promises of new, chic clothing at a never before seen price. These deals won’t last so get them now! At these rock bottom prices I could parade around Philadelphia looking like a six foot super model. (after applying Satan’s special promo code – CoronaNow-which miraculously adds an additional six inches on my inseam) If I ever leave the house again to wear any of these designer bargains. Did I mention each brand donates thousands of masks with every purchase?
I hate to cook. If someone else cooks it, I’ll never complain. Doesn’t matter what it is. Haggis, pickled pigs feet and chitlins? If someone else serves it, I won’t burden them with a list of my character virtues- vegan, gluten intolerant, conscientious objector, and averse to all white foods. When this thing got started I had the perfect excuse not to cook. Coronavirus lurked in the grocery store, hiding in the fresh vegetables, waiting to pounce on my fingertips when I stopped to squeeze the mangoes. It hid among the bags of salt and vinegar potato chips that call to me lovingly as soon turn down the snack aisle. Luckily for me, Prime Now and all the other delivery services are booked solid until the second coming of Jesus. The new loves of my life are Uber Eats, Grub Hub, and Caviar. There’s no going back.
Because I’m stuffing my face with Indian food every day, and wearing athleisure clothing instead of skinny jeans, I’m able to ignore the fact that I probably won’t fit in to anything but a towel once this whole thing passes. I can now, without guilt or even a second thought about my dishonesty, blame it all on this damn virus. Even if I (we) wanted to go the gym, they’re all closed. No more sweating at CrossFit alongside those energetic millennials who perform Herculean feats of gym magic every time they show up. I have the perfect reason not to finish the month long Ashtanga yoga introduction to which I obligated myself in February. There I see women who are all hitting triple digit birthdays rolling around on the floor with both legs looped around the back of their necks. The teacher carried on an entire conversation while she demonstrating yoga nidransana.
I could do yoga every day for the next fifty years and at best may be able to touch my toes. I don’t need to check the odds to know my feet will never get near my head in any position. So I might as well quit now. But instead of slugging through the hard work at accomplishing a goal, I’ll use the coronavirus as the excuse.
Covid 19 has provided the perfect rationale for me not to do anything I don’t feel like doing.
I haven’t cleaned out a closet or organized the storage area in the basement. I’ve not scrubbed anything. All of cleaning tools are just as dormant as they always have been. I have had to dust myself off occasionally. One of the drawbacks of my new sedentary life style. My eyes have gotten some exercise watching what’s on my computer screen. I now type with my index finger.
Then the top shelf of the pantry fell in, shaking me from my Netflix induced stupor. Of course it brought down the four shelves below as it emptied twelve types of flour and a full one liter bottle of Chinese black vinegar I ordered off Amazon for the times I needed a teaspoon full for a recipe. (Why someone who doesn’t cook has these things is a mystery worth delving into) The sheer magnitude of the clean up forced some blood up in to my brain.
It was the cosmic slap across the face I needed. I realized that I’ve got to get going. On something I’ve been putting off for years.
Some of you know that this blog started in 2010 when I lived in Japan. What you might not have realized is that since 2010, I’ve lived in Tokyo, Montreal, Philadelphia, San Diego, and then Philadelphia again. In fact, this is the 6th time I’ve lived in the Philadelphia area. The first time was 1987 and the culture shock was so bad I swore to forever hate the city of Brotherly Love.
This time is a little different. Now we live in the middle of the city itself- not the suburbs where the good schools reside. I’m going to set aside my Grinch like loathing for the moment.
I’ve decided to give Philly another chance. Treat it like a tourist. Explore all the nooks and crannies. Learn the culture. Eat the food. Find out what’s interesting about the place I’m in. If I can eat fish sperm I guess I could try scrapple.
Now’s the time. So, once a week (or more depending on the tremendous opportunity for adventure that unfolds) I’ll be regaling you with tales of Philadelphia. Largely based in fact; perhaps enhanced with some embellishment designed to keep you reading. But since it appears we are all in this for a while to come, I may as well get out of bed and see what I can see from six feet away.
Stay well Friends.