The Idler

For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. – H. L. Mencken


The week started off with the president proclaiming, “Only I, the great and powerful Oz, can decide when everyone goes back to work, school, shopping and ballroom dancing!” So then the politicians from the other party, especially the governors, immediately began to howl that he was some kind of dangerous authoritarian combination of Napoleon, Henry VIII and Stalin with a dash of Mussolini thrown in just to make it al dente. So then the president said, “Okay, smart guys, you make the call, and when it blows up in your faces like Wile E. Coyote with a boxful of Acme brand dynamite hand sanitizer, I can blame it on you!” So then the governors said, “Oh no, you don’t!” But it’s probably too late given the public’s need to 1) go back to the pitiful pursuits they were heck-bent on pursuing a month ago, and, 2) blame somebody for everything that goes wrong with them.

We were especially worried about ballroom dancing because, of all the activities you could engage in this side of the vice squad, it’s the most up-close and personal. Okay, maybe chiropractic adjustment would be an exception, but we meant something you could do while sober.

When we were little, there were “Arthur Murray Dance Studios”, a chain of them, where you could go and presumably learn to cut a rug like Fred Astaire or dance the pants off Gene Kelly. While we were reading up on Arthur Murray to make sure we weren’t hallucinating stuff again, we discovered that his daughter, Jane, had married a doctor. And not just any doctor, either, but one Henry Heimlich, inventor of the famous O Henry bar. No, check that, he’s the inventor of the famous Heimlich maneuver. We think the most prestigious thing a doctor can accomplish is to have a “maneuver” named after him. Like at parties you could say, “hey baby, can I show you my maneuver?” We sure do hope that in the coming weeks the president or the governor or Arthur Murray will give us the green light to use the Heimlich maneuver again because right now it’s probably punishable by a $1,000 fine in Michigan. Reports that former Vice President Joe Biden has volunteered to lead the Heimlich Maneuver Restoration Task Force have yet to be confirmed.

Meanwhile, every time we try the LCB website it thanks us for being such a loyal customer then tells us to get lost. We know a guy who got thrown out of a liquor store in Andover, OH. You know, right across the Pymatuning causeway? You get the bum’s rush in West Virginia too. I bet a guy with computer graphics skills could make some money dummying up fake ID’s for booze runs. Be like the good old days trying to get into Chiodo’s, right? Not that we’re promoting any temporarily deceptive or illegal practices, but we can’t say we don’t get the itch occasionally to bust out of jail and do a couple gloveless high-fives. It sure would be nice if his highness the guv would repeal his prohibition regime and let us common folk take the edge off without bending the rules.

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