The Idler

“Hell is other people” – Jean Paul Sartre


Remember me? I occupied this space a few years back. As I recall it was fun to be able to unload a lot of my wackier thought processes on you all. At the same time, I couldn’t help but feel it was sort of contradictory. I wasn’t really idling, idling. I was typing stuff. Since then, you’ll be pleased to discover, I’ve been going at the business of idling with greater purpose, but with much less effort. When it comes to idling, you might say I’m outstanding in my field. This would not be wholly accurate, however. Actually, I’m not out, I’m in. Sitting in my recliner.

Which brings us to the corona virus. I actually prefer some of the other names for it, but I’m afraid “Kung Flu” and “Flu Manchu” might prove to be offensive. You know how super “touchy” everyone is nowadays. I don’t want to say “Covid-19” either, because it sounds a little pretentious. As if the Idler were hanging with a crowd of epidemiologists where we cracked wise about the latest plague. I’ll bet an epidemiologist could mix a mean manhattan, though. All those test tubes and beakers n  at.

Anyway, I’m hearing now that everyone is an idler. You’re all, or most of you, required to idle. I found this a bit perturbing at first, but after sleeping on it, realized it’s not so bad. Finally the universe is turning the Idler’s way, and people have come to see the wisdom in my, you know, lifestyle. I can’t help but wonder, though, if you think idling is just a matter of lying around watching television, playing video games and eating and drinking whenever the notion strikes you. Well congratulations, because that is pretty much all it is. I mean you throw in some strategic napping and book reading – if you’re into that sort of thing – and you got it.

There are, however, certain aspects of this enforced idling regime that cry out for our attention. For instance, who are the jack-booted thugs who have closed the bars and liquor stores? In the words of a famous cinematic idler, this aggression will not stand, man. If picketing were not so physically demanding, I would be walking the line myself. I do, however, urge you young, fit idlers to get out there and make your voices heard: “Hey-hey, ho-ho, wine and whiskey got to flow!”

Finally, there’s the question of supplies. You’ve probably seen the pictures of empty shelves in the grocery stores. You may have also picked up on this scheduling thing they’re doing where shoppers over a certain age can get first shot at the TP and other prized items if they show up first thing in the morning. The Idler’s advice, therefore, is this: Find an amenable boomer and offer to pick him up at 5:30 AM for a trip to the store. Remind him that they now sell beer at some of the supermarkets. You may find it necessary to actually awaken the said boomer. Take an air horn and/or a snare drum just in case. On the trip to the store, let him play the classic rock channel. They can be touchy on this point, so just go along. In fact, tell him how much you liked Billy Joel when he was alive. And that Steely Dan, he was quite the musician. You’re probably going to have to accompany him into the store too. Just hold his arm and roll your eyes at inquisitive cashiers.

I hope that helps. It better, because man, I’m wiped!

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