Thursday Tidbits

Posted on May 21, 2020 under Thursday Tidbits with no comments yet

The boy in the bubble

(Pete MacDonald photo)


“Livin’ alone, I think of all the friends I’ve known

But when I dial the telephone, nobody’s home

All by myself, don’t wanna be,

All by myself.

All By Myself – Eric Carman


So, it has come to this.

We have “flattened the curve”, just not the one around our waistline. That one will take much longer. We have self-isolated, disinfected, social distanced, and lived like hermits for eight weeks or more. We have “fought the good fight” and done our part to protect ourselves and others from harm. Spring is in the air and the economy is starting to reopen. For the first time in what seems an eternity, there is a ray of hope that life might return to some semblance of normalcy.

And then come bubbles.

“Tiny bubbles, in the wine; make me warm all over -Don Ho

The government of Nova Scotia announced last week, that some restrictions regarding personal contact would be eased ever so slightly. No, we’re not even close to seeing a day when hundreds of people will crowd into a bar to listen to some live music or attend a sporting event with tens of thousands of rabid, beer swilling fans. We have been told that we are allowed to have contact with one other family. They can visit us, and we can visit them. We will now affectionately be known as a bubble.

This has quickly become a litmus test for friendship. Who will be inside your bubble? How can families possibly choose among siblings, children, grandchildren, or grandparents? It must be agonizing for many people.

Why hasn’t anybody called you? You’ve been sitting quietly at home waiting for a phone call, a text, a Facebook message, a Messenger message, a WhatsApp message, an e-mail, an Instagram message, or a twitter message. In desperation, you have even checked your business contacts on LinkedIn. Occasionally, you look out the window for a smoke signal or a homing pigeon.

I hate to burst to burst your bubble, but you have no friends. You have suspected this for a long time but now it’s official. After being afforded the opportunity to co-mingle, no one has reached out to you. No one.

“I cried and cried all day; alone again, naturally.” Gilbert O’Sullivan

Yup. Come to think of it, this is not the first time you’ve been shunned. Remember in your childhood, those neighborhood pick up ball games? The word would go out that a ball game was going to be held in the field out back. Kids of all ages, sizes and abilities would come pouring out of their homes. Two children with obvious leadership qualities would be chosen captains and they would be left with the unenviable task of choosing players. You always had this sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. Previous experiences like this, even when you were playing Red Rover, yielded similar results. You were always chosen last.

You got over these sleights as the years passed. No, you didn’t. You realized at a young age that you were a first-class loser.

You brushed it off as childhood childishness, until you went to university, only to discover that a pattern was emerging. Back in the early 70s, a winter carnival was a staple of campus life. There were lots of outdoor activities, skating parties, snow sculpture contests, variety shows, pubs, and yes, a Winter Carnival Ball. Getting dressed up and escorting someone to the ball was just about as good as it got. Unless you were so socially inept, so much so that no self-respecting young woman would ever get caught dead with you anywhere within a 50- mile radius. And that was before metric. It sounds even worse when you say 80 kilometers.

But there’s always a silver lining. An alternate event was held for people like me. It was called The Loser’s Ball. I attended for three years in a row. Actually, from the reports I got, I may have had more fun at these rollicking events than if I had attended the real thing.

And now, you are a fully formed adult, getting on in years and are now facing the ultimate shunning. No one wants you inside their bubble. Nobody wants you on their team. At first you thought (naively) that you had a poor internet connection, but that notion was easily quashed. You look in the mirror and you are no better or worse looking than you were last week. You go to the grocery store and people say hello, so you are not a complete misfit.

“Double, double, toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble.” Macbeth

All of a sudden, miraculously, you get a call from two different branches of the family wondering if you are in a bubbling mood. So desperate are you for having someone with a pulse to visit you that you commit the heinous crime of accepting two families into your bubble. You quickly realize that you are in double bubble trouble and will likely be hauled away by the Covid police.

Not to worry. When they take you to the lock up, they put you in solitary confinement which is just the way you like it.




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