One of the hardest parts of COVID (besides all the dying) is knowing what kinds of jokes to make. Of course I don’t want to make jokes about COVID (see above) and I’m not smart enough or uplifting enough to have a tweet- worthy “hot-take” on the disease (or politics, or race relations). But since I get paid to make jokes about other things, what exactly do I talk about?
What is the purpose of me?
In the last year I’ve mainly talked about . . . nothing. At least not here. Did the world need one more blog post offering a “hang in there baby” response to the crisis-es-es of the day (no!). Did the world need jokes about other things (maybe!). Can you put an exclamation point after a “maybe”? Apparently you can!!
But since I had no new fiction to talk about and since I was busy working as an archaeologist over the summer and too busy being grateful for having a job where I work outdoors (and I almost got eaten by a bear — yes really), then I posted nothing.
What I kept telling myself was that “if I can make it through the summer” and still be working and everyone is healthy, then I’ll have done it. Whatever “it” was, I never did figure out, but eventually we found toilet paper, so that was something.
And when the schools opened up here in Idaho, I thought: If we can just make it past Thanksgiving with school in session, I’d be so happy. Then I can wrap up the archaeology work and get back to writing silly fiction about fairy poo and in the meanwhile the kids can see their friends (through plexiglass enclosures which have totally worked), and ALSO the kids can, you know, do whatever 8-year-olds do . . . I assume this is dodgeball and games where they pretend to be cats with secret super powers (but not flying, because that’s cheating). Anyway their dodgeball skills have deteriorated by 33% over the summer. It has been measured.
So we made it through Thanksgiving and Christmas, and the flareups of COVID in our small town, and school is STILL in session, and now, whew, I am just so grateful for so many things, and maybe the light-tunnel analogy will hold, and maybe my daughters will drink Country Time lemonade with their grandparents on our faded red porch in the full heat of summer, ice cubes clinking, watermelon crisp, cubed, and waiting.
So although I don’t know what jokes to make now, or if I should mention my new work that’s coming out, or if I ever found “it” or even made “it”, I do know one thing.
I am grateful for my good fortune last year, and I am grateful for the maybes.