Masks, Masks, Vaccines, Boosters, Yay!

So, here we are in 2022. It appears that nothing at all has really changed, at all. We’ve just circled back to bite our own behinds! Same smell, just a different year.

Skippy, I guess we all need to just settle in, be obedient, and do as instructed. It has worked in 2020 and 2021, and now with the same obedience we enter 2022 and it appears we are having the same results!

Yay! More mask fun! More vaccines and more boosters.

But, but. . . . like a see saw the numbers just go willy-nilly as if there is no rhyme or reason.

And introducing a new strain to scare ourselves with. . . More fear-mongering from our pharmaceutical and media sponsors.

Will the fun ever end?

How long will this go on?

One mask, two masks, three masks. . . .perhaps five or six will help.

Boosters, Boosters, Boosters? Boosters!!!! Yay!! Yay!!

Vaccines, vaccines, vaccines galore but that pesky virus just won’t go out that dang door and be no more!

What to do? Does anyone have a clue?

Maybe go to Florida and party at a bar? Or maybe go sunbathing in Cancun?

Oops! Somebody forget to wear their mask! But, rules for thee do not apply to me, so saith the gods of fearmongering.

On an airplane? Strap yourself in and tighten up your mask, unless of course you are on a private jet. The rules do not apply to you, of course.

Arbitrary, Arbitrary. It’s all arbitrary, Skippy. Rules for the peons on the bottom who are bullied with fear of losing their jobs if they do not comply with the arbitrary rules.

Fear so thick you can vomit it out (into your mask).

Unless, of course, you aren’t wearing one as you party in Florida or sit on a beach in Cancun or enjoy a flight on a private jet.

So, here’s to 2022 and more of the same.

I’d like to leave you with a few Haiku I wrote. I find them to be quite witty. And, please, I beg you do not comment with that irritating bunk about how mask can save lives. If that were true, then how come we are still where we were two years ago?

Here’s my Haiku:

Media

Fearmongering clowns

Gleefully spew their venom

Laugh as we suffer.

Pharma

Greedy parasites

Fill our bodies with poison

Make our fear their bread.

At the beginning of 2022, I am tired of the constant, unrelenting, grinding fearmongering that is the media and the pharma industry. Haven’t they capitalized enough already?

Don your mask, roll up your sleeve, go get your booster, et cetera and et cetera. But, please media and pharma, just shut up already!

We get it! Viruses are dangerous! Alright, already!

Let’s circle back to normal, why don’t we, Skippy?

Jenny W. Andrews copyright 2022

Is There a Point?

Okay, so let me get this straight. There is another virus that has suddenly appeared that is a threat to humankind. We are supposed to cower in the corner with, perhaps 4 or 5 face coverings in 2022, I suppose. Perhaps, we should just lock ourselves in our houses and order our food online. Perhaps, we should disconnect our phones and our internet and isolate so as not to spread our germs to our loved ones. Perhaps, we should quit our jobs.

I am just so disgusted with the fearmongering, the constant, incessant grind of hearing about some freaking virus that is going to wipe us all out. The media and the governments of the world are taking a vile, evil, demonic joy in making us afraid to associate with our loved ones and of going about our daily lives with confidence and God-given joy.

I hate to be the bearer of the cold, ruthless truth, but death is inevitable. If you live long enough you are going to die of something. Cancer is a big nasty bastard that killed my mother, my sister, and probably is going to kill my brother in a few months. Heart disease killed my beloved cousin Billy at age 32, my father and my aunt Sally. Oh, wait, cancer killed my cousin Doreen, as well. My other sister is now suffering from a genetic disorder that is so brutally horrific in its devastation of this beautiful, kind and intelligent woman that she can barely walk across the floor without wincing in pain. She is only 61 years old. It’s probably doubtful she will reach 70.

My first mother-in-law whom I will honestly say was not my favorite person died a few years ago of heart disease and Peripheral Artery Disease. She was 84. My second-mother-in law, whom I loved as if she were my own mother, died of cancer at 62 years old.

My nephew died young of a heart attack.

My mother’s nephew died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at a young age because this life just became too painful for him after his wife left him.

Death! Death is everywhere. It isn’t a matter of if; it is a matter of when.

No vaccine, no booster shots, no vegetables and fruit diet, no exercise plan can stop our inevitable march into that dark night.

It comes for us all.

I have lost almost everyone I have ever loved to those unrepentant bastards: cancer, heart disease, and suicide.

My heart grieves for anyone who has lost a loved one to death for whatever reason.

I am marching closer to that dark night; I am 60 years old.

And, I am sick of this constant grinding drone of the news media and so-called expert babbling on with a satanic gleam in their eyes spewing out their vile rhetoric designed to scare us into submission.

But, what’s the point? What is the endgame here?

Oh, I tried to forget, but the memory just stabbed me. This is the birthday of my brother George. He died at 16 years old while swimming with friends the day after he finished 11th grade. He and a group of guys headed to the lake. Damned death snatch him from me, and I wasn’t even born yet.

What is my point?

LIVE. LOVE. LIVE. LOVE. AND DO IT WITH WILD ABANDON. TIME IS SHORT; YOU CAN NEVER GET ONE IOTA OF A SECOND BACK.

Oh, what I would give for just one second to sit with my uncle Carlton. He died of a heart attack at 42 years old when I was 9 years old. I remember crying at his funeral. I remember my daddy having to be carried from the church because his grief at the loss of his brother was so strong that he collapsed. I had never seen my daddy cry or appear weak. That day is forever emblazoned on my soul. My daddy cried and I never forgot it.

Grief. Trust me, I understand it. I understand fear; I understand all too well how fear can immobilize you and warp your reason, logic, and judgement.

This post is not about vaccinations; so, don’t get this post twisted.

This post is about realizing that life is too short to cower in the corner and be immobilized by the inevitability of death. It comes to us all sooner or later.

REACH OUT TO THOSE WHOM YOU LOVE; TELL THEM EVERY SINGLE DAY THAT YOU LOVE THEM. GO EAT CHRISTMAS DINNER WITH THEM. LOVE THEM AND CHERISH THEM. DON’T LET SOME FEAR-MONGERING FOOL WITH A HIDDEN AGENDA STOP YOU.

Life is excruciatingly short. One day, someone you love will not be with you.

My mama Gracie Lee, my daddy Oscar, my uncles Carlton and Bo, my aunts Eltrum, Sally, Myrtle, Gladys, and Mary, my sisters Selma and Sara Jo, my brother George, my cousins Billy and Doreen, my nephews Dennis and Randy, my mother-in-laws Patricia and Shirley, my father-in-law Charles, are all gone. Gone. Dead. If there were words I had wanted to speak to them, I do not have an opportunity to. They are all gone from this life. I can only pray that God in His infinite wisdom will one day reunite me with my loved ones.

This life is painful enough without constantly being reminded about the specter of death every time we turn on the internet or television.

We know it; they know it, and they are evil in their capitalizing on our fears.

My prayer for 2022 is that we all disconnect from the media and spend less time on social media and more time sitting at the kitchen table with our loved ones simply talking, laughing and relishing the preciousness and sacredness of this fragile, time-limited life.

So, there is a point.

The point is life is short so love with abandon.

Love, after all, is greater than fear.

Love is eternal.

God is love.

Blessings to all.

This is my last post for 2021.

Pray for me; I pray for you.

Jenny W. Andrews Copyright 2021

NOTE: The holiday season is very difficult for some people. Reach out to someone if you are depressed and need help. Tomorrow is another day. Trust God’s love and his comfort. You are not alone on this lonely planet.

Not a Hallmark Holiday

NOTE: Hi everyone, tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day and that means that families will be gathering around the turkey, et cetera and so forth. . .but, the reality is that families are complex social systems and the reality is that oftentimes these gatherings are fraught with emotional baggage, such as abusive and bitter histories that make the holiday less than joyous. Out of obligation, some family members feel pressured to attend these Thanksgiving Day dinners. Those family members who opt out of the mind games and abuse and choose not to subject themselves to the family drama are often left to feel inadequate and ostracized from their family and society as a whole. We are supposed to all be the Hallmark movie family with the two sets of happy, smiling grandparents, wonderful parents, and loving siblings; of course, all our houses are two levels with spacious lawns and even more spacious dining rooms in which we gather with generations of family and dear, lifelong friends. Oh! Only if this were reality! Well, it isn’t true for everyone. If it is for you, then bravo for you and have a Happy, Happy Thanksgiving. But, if your Thanksgiving Day feast is more like “I’m going to turn off my cellphone, put on dark sunshades, grab a novel and a notebook, and head to Starbucks for a holiday latte, and be totally incognito until January 5th,” then this short story is for you.

Short story: Not a Hallmark Holiday

Pollie Johnson polished the pink porcelain figurine. Carter Cumbee had been restive in his long, dramatic life. Never satisfied, he had changed jobs like most people changed their underwear. She laughed at her witty analogy regarding her mother’s third cousin, twice removed. Looking around at her family gathered for their Thanksgiving feast, she bit her bottom lip and felt the pit of her stomach churn and lurch a bit. But, they were her children and extended family. And, well, nobody’s perfect.

Ganymede jerked the tablecloth from beneath the Thanksgiving dinner plates. Aunt Sue and Uncle Hobart scooted their chairs back, their chair legs scraped against the hardwood floor. Plates shattered, teacups clattered, silverware hurled heavenward. Grandma Martha’s turkey toppled over and landed with a sickening thud at the white paws of Miss LeMeow, Pollie’s 14 year old Himalayan cat.

Mouths agape, Julius, Cyrus, Cyrene, Lydia, and Micheala, Ganymede’s siblings, jumped to their feet and stared at the hardwood floor strewn with stuffing, green beans, sweet potato pie, and the turkey.

“But, why?” Julius screeched, his hands shoved towards the culinary mess.

“Because he has to always be the center of attention. It’s always like this. Always,” Cyrus yelled in response, and slammed his white linen napkin against the white linen tablecloth.

“He just likes to ruin everything for everyone.” Micheala and Cyrene chimed in together.

Lydia clutched her sides and screamed. “I’m panicking. Panicking. Can’t stand this!”

“What the heck is your problem, Lydia. No wait, let me guess. Your ulcer is acting up. Always something with you. You, you hypochondriac.” Cyrus lowered his voice and spoke deliberately as if he were lecturing a small child; then, he sneered.

Ganymede knelt down and scooted Miss LeMeow up and scratched her behind the ears. He rested his nose against her warm, pink nose. “Miss LeMeow, it was an accident. My foot got caught in the tablecloth. It’s too long.”

She nuzzled his neck and purred.

Pollie blinked back tears and looked at each of her adult children as they yelled, criticized, and berated each other. Opening her arms, she asked Ganymede to give Miss LeMeow to her.

One hour later, Pollie and Miss LeMeow sat at a booth at Starbucks. Miss LeMeow’s pink tongue licked at the tiny styrofoam container of milk Pollie had placed on the floor. Jumping, Miss LeMeow landed in Pollie’s lap, snuggled up and fell asleep.

“Next Thanksgiving Day, Miss LeMeow, let’s make this our tradition.”

Miss LeMeow’s bright blue eyes opened. Pollie felt sure that she saw a smile cross the little cat’s face.

Jenny W. Andrews Copyright 2021

American Irony

As of late, I have noticed the increasing number of homeless standing in the shadow of recently constructed million dollar condominiums in the downtown riverfront area of my city. It is a cruel juxtaposition of wealth and poverty in this land of alleged riches and opportunity; a land where people from other lands are risking life and limb to set foot into this mirage, this smoke and mirrors, this illusion, this sleight of hand. Poverty is real and it is increasing by leaps and bounds in this land. It is ironic that the land known for its wealth and opportunity is fraught with poverty and lack of opportunity. There is a face, an American face, that the world would never recognize if all it depends on are the images of the wealth of Hollywood stars and movies, the Big Tech executives with their massive wealth, and the nearly complete lack of coverage of the American homeless crisis.

Why am I writing about this?

Well, for the last few months, I have driven past several homeless men and women who have increasingly began to gather at the intersections that I travel to get to work. I have noticed that the county’s downtown library parking garage is now becoming a homeless encampment with tents, blankets, boxes, shopping carts, and a growing group of homeless. I have witnessed homeless sprawled out on park benches along the sidewalks. With them, they hold duffle bags and other bags that indicate that they are carrying all their worldly possessions with them.

Why is this happening?

How could this happen when billions of dollars are being wasted on other nations when Americans need the help here in this very city that I live in?

This is a crisis of epic proportions. It is growing and I am witnessing it first hand. I have seen women with small children, and on several occasions I have seen men with signs indicating that they are veterans and will work for food.

On a personal note, a dear friend recently informed me that they are potentially facing homelessness in the northern city they had moved to for work. Life has a way of falling apart in mid-step; oftentimes, homelessness occurs through a series of events that just go terribly wrong, so never think it cannot happen to you.

It most certainly can, and especially in this land of smoke and mirrors, sleight of hand, financial waste, and lack of compassion and care for its own citizens, and apathy from the rest of the world. The world sees the United States through a distorted rose colored lens much like a toy kaleidoscope with all the pretty, pretty colors swirling inside it.

Maybe it wasn’t always like this.

But, in 2021, it is painful to watch this decline. Truth is housing is way too expensive, wages way too low, and health care costs criminally excessive.

The real United States should be shown to the world. The homeless camps, the grinding poverty, the abandoned storefronts, et cetera, et cetera.

The American dream has devolved into the American nightmare; it is painful for me to witness it. In the past 40 years since I was a college student, I can truthfully say that I have never seen such decline.

Just a few days from Thanksgiving Day, I ask that you join me in praying for the homeless Americans who at this moment are sleeping in tents beneath overpasses, huddled in doorways in sleeping bags, digging in garbage bins behind restaurants in search for food, and living in tents in wooded areas on the outskirts of any number of American cities.

The stark reality is that there is no “American dream.” That is an illusion.

As we approach Thanksgiving Day, please be thankful if you have a roof over your head and food in your refrigerator.

Not everyone has food and shelter, including in the United States of America.

Jenny W. Andrews copyright 2021

Multiplicity of Memo Acquisitions: A Short, Short Story

Note: It has been almost 30 years ago since I worked in the legal department of a major mortgage company. This short, short story is actually based on some “corporate language” that our supervisors and management staff cooked up. I guess they thought all the verbal acrobatics made them sound smart or something, but it made me laugh. I hope you get a laugh out of it, too.

Story:

“What do you suppose it means?” Abigail stared at the pink Post It with the block letters. “Candace, are you listening to me?”

Candace gathered up the loan closing files and inserted them into the alphabetized cabinet slots. “Read it to me. I need to get this done.”

“Okay. Here goes. Legal review specialists and post closers will be reassigned to interface positions with primary goal intentions to achieve and acquire transferrable skills. Steve left this at my cubicle and wants to see me at two o’clock in his office.”

“Uh?” Candace suspended the last file half-way into the alphabetized slot. “I need to read that myself.”

Abigail handed over the pink Post It to Candace and said, “It makes no sense.”

“Steve sent it so naturally it makes no sense,” Candace said as she took the pink Post It. “Interface? Transferrable skills? Uh, why doesn’t he just come out and say what he means? He’s probably the single worst supervisor I have ever had at this mortgage company.”

Abigail eyed the natural scenery landscape posters with peppy little captions such as each step is a step towards greatness which lined the hallway to Steve’s office. She paused and cringed at the sharp pain behind her right eye. The mere thought of him made her migraine flare up.

“Steve, you wanted to see me?” Abigail stepped through the half-opened door.

“Yes, Abigail. Sit. I have been reviewing your work logs. You have slipped from ten complete reviewed files to nine from the usual ten. As a legal review specialist it is imperative that you exhibit team work, therefore, you are assigned a post-closer mentor so that interfacing with other team players will assist you in achieving and coordinating your goal acquisition.”

Abigail stared at Steve as he leaned back in his swivel chair. It sounded as if a drum was thumping inside her head. He swiveled in a half-circle creating a motion that made her nauseous.

“I’ll try to do better, Steve.” She rose to leave as visions of her unpaid medical bills, childcare bills, and late rent replayed inside her pounding head.

Jenny W. Andrews Copyright 2021

Hydrangeas: A Poem

Delicate deep blue petals spill onto the rain-drenched ground.

Little white clapboard house squeezed between two other little white clapboard houses, like life left to gasp at its final defeat.

Nothing ever blossomed there,

except those deep blue hydrangeas Mama grew beneath the black wrought iron banister next to the front steps leading out.

Railroad track across the dirt road, I thought of it as a potential exit strategy in the event that the inevitable occurred.

In front of our little white clapboard house, that railroad track laid itself out among tangled weeds, and escaped hydrangea petals.

Jenny W. Andrews Copyright 2021