Staying Safe is as Simple as Washing and Wiping

Staying Safe is as Simple as Washing and Wiping

The most important thing you can do to stay safe from Covid-19 is wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Don’t forget to do under your fingernails. You’ll know you’re done when your hands start to bleed.

The most important thing you can do to stay safe from Covid-19 is wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Don’t forget to do under your fingernails. You’ll know you’re done when your hands start to bleed.

I come bearing good news: According to Harvard scientists (and Harvard scientists are never wrong), the Coronavirus pandemic should largely subside by the end of next year, or possibly early 2022. Plus, a 63% effective vaccine is less than 18 months away.

Okay, maybe not so good news. But on the positive side, the Seattle Mariners will likely finally end 15 consecutive losing seasons since Major League Baseball plans to cancel the current season.

The Coronavirus is affecting our lives in countless ways. Schools are cancelled, people are working from home, and “My Corona” is the #1 song on the pop charts.

If you’re like most of us, you’re probably anxious about proper Social Distancing in the midst of this plague – unless you’re a complete idiot – or the Governor of Georgia (but I repeat myself). Exactly how far apart should people be? Six feet? Ten? My daughter says it’s roughly the distance I can throw a baseball, so 15 feet. Some experts recommend at least one zip code of separation, just to be on the safe side, and wearing an extra layer of bubble wrap whenever you leave the house.

Then there’s the mandate to wear a mask. But where? At the grocery store? Walking your cat around the block? What about in your backyard? Or while doing yoga in your bedroom, naked? And what constitutes an adequate mask, or for that matter, “naked?”

Let me ease your mind. Nobody is telling you to shelter in place 24/7 (with the exception of mayors, governors, and those annoying Harvard scientists). You needn’t be sequestered in your man cave for the next six months, binging on The Real Housewives of New Jersey (although, I must admit, Season 3 exceeded my expectations). Furthermore, you’re free to wear a bandana, dark glasses, and a hoodie when out in public (just use caution when entering a bank). And for God’s sake: DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE! (Admit it. You just scratched your nose, didn’t you? You’re hopeless.)

When shopping, only buy the absolutely necessities – like 12 cases of Nutella. If someone has nabbed them first, don your surgical gloves, shove that shopper to the ground, grab the jars, and run. Piece of cake (that’s in aisle 3).

When shopping, only buy the absolutely necessities – like 12 cases of Nutella. If someone has nabbed them first, don your surgical gloves, shove that shopper to the ground, grab the jars, and run. Piece of cake (that’s in aisle 3).

I offer you a solution to this madness. Simply do what I do: Wash and Wipe.

The Coronavirus germ can hang around for an exhaustingly long time, perhaps even weeks – much like my freeloading brother-in-law, Ralph.

You can try to wait out the contagion, scarfing down tubs of Chunky Monkey, slowly giving up on all your hopes and dreams. Or you can neutralize that pesky peril by washing and wiping.

The general rule of thumb is this: Wash your hands any time you touch something potentially infectious, like a shopping cart or a doorknob or a tiger. (Dobermans, however, are perfectly safe.) Better yet, wipe down the shopping cart, doorknob, and tiger before you touch them.

Let me explain how this works. Imagine it’s time for your monthly Costco run. You decide it would be fun to take the kids, but you’re running late for the special early bird Senior shopping hours. So instead of giving 6-year-old Sarah and 4-year-old Tony their baths, you teach them how to sponge themselves with Lysol wipes.

Everyone is buckled in when you realize you forgot to wash the seats. You improvise by spraying the interior with the garden hose, explaining to your giggling cherubs that it’s raining inside. You arrive at Costco and find the parking lot already swarming with vehicles beating you to an open space and your chance of getting the last remaining toilet paper just got flushed down the toilet. So, you hunt for a spot in the overflow area four football fields away. Sarah jumps out and climbs into a shopping cart, dragging Tony in after. “STOP!” you scream, but it’s too late. You take one of the fourteen jars of sanitizing wipes you keep in the trunk and wash the urchins and the entire cart.

Inside this mega-store, Sarah plays fetch with Tony, throwing him boxes of Cocoa Puffs and paper towels and everything else she can get her hands on. You intercept the paper towels, praising Sarah for the good find, and you load up with enough peanut butter, cereal, paper towels, dental floss, and Purell to last through the next nuclear winter.

Back at Scooby Doo lot N, you finally locate your car and immediately start wiping down the bags, as well as the kids, before piling all into the car. You use another jar of towelettes to disinfectant the steering wheel, dashboard, and every surface your hooligans touched while fighting in the back seat.

Finally home, you send S & T to wash their mitts raw. You unload the groceries, including the 60” flat screen TV you bought on impulse (your wife will eventually forgive you) and restock the pantry. Mission accomplished? Um, not quite. Ask yourself: Who else might have pawed these containers of peanut butter, cereal, and dental floss? Perhaps a band of Coronavirus-positive terrorists infiltrated Costco and spat on everything – and now, their infected germs are in your house.

What’s more, all the tainted groceries are nestled in with other items in your cupboards. Breathing deeply, you remove every bag and box, and the shelves and cabinet doors, and give them all a meticulous scrub. Don’t forget the counter. I bet you grabbed the wipes after you touched the contaminated stuff. Rooky mistake. Use another wipe to clean the wipes.

This man is risking serious infection. Oh, no, not from holding the TV remote. He’s watching one of Trump’s daily press briefings. Highly toxic. Be safe and turn off your TV whenever the President is talking.

This man is risking serious infection. Oh, no, not from holding the TV remote. He’s watching one of Trump’s daily press briefings. Highly toxic. Be safe and turn off your TV whenever the President is talking.

Remember how you told Sarah and Tony to wash their hands until they bled? Were you aware they first played hide ‘n seek? Since it’s impossible to know precisely which chairs, tables, and pets they touched, waste no time in cordoning off those rooms and animals before further harm is done.

To be prudent, I recommend setting a controlled blaze to the affected rooms and rebuilding that wing of the house using state-of-the-art sterile hospital cleanroom construction materials. Or perhaps just sell your home now before the market tanks.

Finally, wash your hands every 30 minutes. A timer will help. (You can scale back to once an hour during your REM sleep cycle.)

That’s it. Easy-peasy. Follow these simple steps and you’ll sleep rest easy, assuming you remembered to wipe down your phone, remote, keyboard, gerbil, outlets, and well, you get the idea. You’ll be fine. Just DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE!

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

PS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by posting a comment, giving it a Like or sharing this post on Facebook.

Check out my latest humor book: YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LIFE: Misguided Parenting Strategies That Sounded Good at the Time

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2020

Your Majesty, Are You Looking for a Replacement for Prince Harry?

Your Majesty, Are You Looking for a Replacement for Prince Harry?

Dear Mrs. Queen, Your Royal Highness, Exultant Majesty, and Fellow Corgi Lover,

I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but things are looking quite promising that I shall take Harry’s place as a member of the Royal Family. Be honest: Does the crown make me look fat?

I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but things are looking quite promising that I shall take Harry’s place as a member of the Royal Family. Be honest: Does the crown make me look fat?

Hi. I’m Tim Jones, your biggest fan. You probably know me from my world-famous humor blog, View from the Bleachers. Not ringing a bell? No worries. My wife’s never heard of it either.

Hey, I read on Twitter that Prince Harry and his American wife, Meghan Markle, have decided to bail on the whole Royal Family thing. That royally sucks! Is it okay to say “suck,” Your Holiness? (No, wait, that’s the Pope. My bad, Your Majestiness.) Apparently, Harry will forgo the titles of His Royal Highness, The Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel. That’s a lot of titles to forgo.

I understand Harry was sixth in line to the throne, after Prince Charles and a few other princes, dukes and a possible viscount. I imagine you’re in quite a tizzy about what to do in the event – God forbid – Prince Charles and the lot of them are wiped out in a horrible cricket mishap, now that Harry has gone AWOL.

I understand your anxiety over this regal scandal. I suffer my own disgrace every time I admit to being a common humor writer. But not to worry. I’ve come up with a win-win solution to both our problems. Just spit balling here, girlfriend, but how about you appoint me to replace Harry. Prince Tim. It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? I hear ye – Not another American in the Royal Family! But I would be far less annoying than Meghan (let’s face it – she IS a bit of a “princess,” if you know what I mean). And my clothing allowance alone would save the British people millions.

Personally, I believe I’m extremely well qualified to step into Harry’s riding boots. With a little stuffing, they would fit me grandly. And I have often thought of myself as being 6’1”, just like Harry is.

I should mention that my last name is Jones – of common Welsh origin. From what I hear, the English have always gotten along famously with the Welsh – almost as cordially as they’ve  co-existed with the Scots, not to mention the Irish. One big happy family. Also, my wife is Canadian, so I’m pretty sure she qualifies for partial credit as a British subject. She told me that as a child growing up in Toronto, she was required to sing the British national anthem, God Save the Queen in school. She still remembers most of the first verse.

Full disclosure, I do share part ownership of an ancient castle in Scotland, being of the Clan Hannah (on my father’s side). I promise, I will not fortify the ramparts, nor will I use this strategic locale to rally the Scottish opposition. I remain a loyal subject in service to my Queen. However, if you don’t see fit to bestowing upon yours truly the title of HRH (that’s short for His Royal Highness, in case you weren’t familiar with that term, Liz – or do you prefer Beth?), I can’t be responsible for any plans on the part of my fellow clansmen to storm Buckingham Palace with catapults and battering rams.

I don’t want to make a big fuss about my castle. All I need is a modest 20,000 sq. ft. hangout with a drawbridge and turrets. This one isn’t bad, but the movie room is cramped and the Wi-Fi is rather unreliable.

I don’t want to make a big fuss about my castle. All I need is a modest 20,000 sq. ft. hangout with a drawbridge and turrets. This one isn’t bad, but the movie room is cramped and the Wi-Fi is rather unreliable.

I know you Brits love your pomp and circumstance. So, do I. In fact, I attended an all-boys’ private military prep school. I still have my uniform with lots of medals I earned (or borrowed), a sash and even a sword – consider all the pounds and pence you’ll save on my costume for parades. (I could use the name of a good tailor, as it might need to be taken out a tad.)

The more I ponder it, the more it’s crystal clear I’m your perfect replacement for Harry. At age 65, I’m almost the same level of maturity. I know how to drink tea, and I’m pretty sure I know the difference between a scone and a crumpet. I’ve visited London once and I am almost fluent in your foreign language. And, not to brag, but I can do a pretty spot-on drunk Harry Potter impersonation.

I am a little fuzzy on what my duties will be. Can you flesh this out for me? From what I read in People Magazine, it sounds like Harry’s role required him to represent the Royal Family at ceremonial occasions, like hospital grand openings, ribbon cuttings, charity fundraisers, chasing foxes on horseback and dressing inappropriately at late night costume parties. I can do all of these. I also read that Harry has often been a bit of an embarrassment to his family. Me, too!  Just ask my wife and kids.

Speaking of my wife, her name is Michele. What title would you recommend for her? I was thinking something like Princess of Cambridge, Duchess of Gandalf, Baroness of Hogwarts. But I’m totally open to your suggestions.

I also have a question as to my official residence. Is Downton Abby available? If not, I am humbly open to your recommendations. However, if you can swing it, I wouldn’t mind a castle with a moat and a drawbridge – to keep the Irish riffraff out. Nothing fancy. I’m a man of simple tastes.

By the way, can you explain what you call your country? Is it England or Great Britain or the United Kingdom or Camelot? Why can’t you all just pick one name and stick with it? It’s horribly confusing to your humble servants on this side of the pond. Also, I kinda’ need to know the name of my future kingdom, for when the time comes that I take your place.

Which reminds me: When I become Prince, will there be a coronation for me? That would be awesome. All I ask is that at the reception, you not sit me next to the Earl of Norfolk or his wife, Lady Astor. They can be such intolerable bores, always talking about their prize-winning primroses.

I’m still unclear how many of these soldiers will be assigned to my personal protection. I shan’t need more than 100, to be sure. I’ll definitely swap those stuffy tops for Seahawks jerseys.

I’m still unclear how many of these soldiers will be assigned to my personal protection. I shan’t need more than 100, to be sure. I’ll definitely swap those stuffy tops for Seahawks jerseys.

I look forward to hearing from you regarding next steps. Please call my cell. I’m never at my landline. I know we will get along famously – and besides, you won’t have to put up with that annoying Princess Meghan anymore.

On a related topic, do you have any problem with my riding around in the royal carriage when my poker buddies from the states come to visit? I’ll make sure they don’t puke on the upholstery.

Let me know if you have any questions, Your Majesty. Did I mention I have a friend who owns a corgi? I love corgis.

God Save the Queen, and with any luck, God Save Prince Tim, as well. Toodaloo.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

PS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by posting a comment, giving it a Like or sharing this post on Facebook.

Check out my latest humor book: YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LIFE: Misguided Parenting Strategies That Sounded Good at the Time

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2020

Alabama Proposes Reinstating Slavery

Alabama Proposes Reinstating Slavery

[Author’s Warning: This week’s post is in response to the Alabama State Legislature’s decision to pass the most draconian anti-abortion law in the country. So, if you’re from Alabama, or perhaps just a big Crimson Tide fan, you might want to skip this week’s post. I hear there’s a good NASCAR race on TV. You might want to watch that instead. – TEJ]

This is the Alabama State Capitol, where the State Legislature recently enacted the nation’s strictest anti-abortion law. A bill that would terminate black voting rights narrowly failed to pass.

This is the Alabama State Capitol, where the State Legislature recently enacted the nation’s strictest anti-abortion law. A bill that would terminate black voting rights narrowly failed to pass.

The nation’s attention recently pivoted to Alabama, where last week, the state senate, in an overwhelming 25 – 6 vote along party and gender lines, passed landmark legislation banning all abortions in Alabama – including in cases of rape or incest – with the lone exception of when the mother’s life is in danger. Physicians found guilty of violating this new law will face the possibility of up to 99 years in prison – or, even harsher, having to spend the rest of their lives in Alabama.

Bolstered by a large fundamentalist Christian constituency, who fervently believe white men and God should have the last say over women’s bodies, the Alabama state governing powers have been emboldened to push through several other ground-breaking bills, all in an effort to return Alabama to its Antebellum glory years. Here are just a few under consideration:

Ensuring the safety of women

In a further effort to protect women from being forced to make their own decisions, Alabama State Senator Cletus Schitfourbraynz has proposed requiring all female drivers to be accompanied by their husbands or boyfriends while driving – unless the ‘Bama game is on and her man needs her to make a beer run, in which case, women can drive unaccompanied provided they’re wearing a GPS ankle monitor to track their location.

Protecting the rights of black citizens

State Senator Beauregard de Racistidyohti has crafted a measure to make it easier – and safer – for blacks and other minorities to vote – by providing them with their own special day to cast their ballots – one day after the official election. This legislation has the full support of the Alabama chapter of Kind Karing Kinfolk (more commonly known simply as the KKK).

Beloved State Senator Wendall “Grandpa” Batshitowski proposes requiring all children to pack heat in the classroom, for their protection. Here he is demonstrating a prototype of the new “Fun Size” Revolver (for ages 5 and under).

Beloved State Senator Wendall “Grandpa” Batshitowski proposes requiring all children to pack heat in the classroom, for their protection. Here he is demonstrating a prototype of the new “Fun Size” Revolver (for ages 5 and under).

Automating the voting process

To further improve the voting experience and reduce electoral confusion, all ballots in perpetuity will be pre-checked with Donald Trump for president. If for any unfathomable reason, one wishes to change one’s vote to the non-Trump candidate, the process is simple. One simply fills out a ten-page change request form, provide proof of citizenship, submit five years of tax returns, write a 1,000-word essay on “Why I hate America” – and remit a $100 vote change processing fee payable to the Alabama Republican Party. This measure has the added perk of reducing voter fraud, which is rampant in the south.

Establishing an official state religion

Despite the fact that the U.S. Constitution forbids the establishment of a state religion, State Senator Buford Goodolboyze is pushing for the establishment of the Southern Baptist faith as the official religion of Alabama. People found guilty of espousing Jewish, Muslim or agnostic beliefs will be sentenced to five years in prison and subjected to mandatory viewings of Jimmy Swaggart and The 700 Club 12 hours a day during their incarceration.

Creating a new state holiday to celebrate Alabama’s illustrious history

State Senator Cavemanus, Né Andertholl, is advocating for a new state holiday to honor one of the most widely admired people in US history: Jefferson Davis. Davis became the first (and last) President of the Confederate States of America until the money-grubbing northern terrorists illegally took away white people’s God-given right to own slaves.

The holiday will be observed every January 20th, which just coincidentally had been Martin Luther King Jr. Day, until a state constitutional amendment eradicated the latter holiday. Senator Jedediah Lynchum spoke for the majority, declaring, “that King fella was arrested more times than I can count, so clearly, he was a criminal.”  

Protecting our children

In an effort to stem gun violence in our schools, Senator Smith N. Wesson has proposed making it mandatory to arm every student with a gun. To ensure this program is implemented safely, assault rifles will only be issued to young children IF they pass a grueling gun safety test in which they must spell the words “assault rifle” with no more than three errors.

In a vote largely along gender lines, the State Senate’s white, male Republican majority pushed through legislation allowing women to dress up “as fancy as you gals wanna” – so long as it’s in the kitchen. Women also now have the option of going barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen as well.

In a vote largely along gender lines, the State Senate’s white, male Republican majority pushed through legislation allowing women to dress up “as fancy as you gals wanna” – so long as it’s in the kitchen. Women also now have the option of going barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen as well.

Protecting the sanctity of the flag

If Senator Lucius Dumasbrix gets his way, soon it will become a felony punishable by imprisonment to be caught burning or otherwise disfiguring the flag. For clarification, he’s talking about the Confederate flag. What people do to disrespect the American flag, is, of course, their choice, protected by the First Amendment.

Banning the teaching religion in schools

Teaching religion in schools will hereby be banned – unless, of course, it’s Christianity – the one true religion, according to a bill recently put forth by Senator Ima Morone. Also verboten/forbidden will be the teaching of long-ago debunked myths such as evolution, dinosaurs roaming the earth, climate change and the moon landing hoax.

Helping the homeless

In an effort to help the needy, Senator Ned Jewzahrbadde, has proposed distributing free Bibles to thousands of homeless and needy Alabamians. The Senator argues this program will not cost the taxpayers any money, as the legislature will simply reallocate funds previously assigned to the Food Banks.

And this just in. Apparently Alabama will soon be replacing their state capitol’s statue of native son, country singer Hank Williams, with a 50-foot gold-plated likeness of President Trump, widely regarded as our nation’s greatest president (after Jefferson Davis, that is), according to a poll of white rural voters with a fifth grade education who still think the term “Negro” is socially acceptable.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

PS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by posting a comment, giving it a Like or sharing this post on Facebook.

Check out my latest humor book: YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LIFE: Misguided Parenting Strategies That Sounded Good at the Time

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2019

History – As Told by Forgotten Newspaper Headlines

History – As Told by Forgotten Newspaper Headlines

tabloid-headlines-clintonThe recent presidential election has resulted in some pretty shocking newspaper headlines – like when Scotland’s The Daily Record ran a cover story showing a photo of Donald Trump at his swank new Scottish golf course on a windy day, with his hair all messed up. The headline read:

THERE WILL BE HELL TOUPEE!

The fact is provocative front pages are nothing new. Headlines intended to shock you go back centuries. Recently I did extensive research on the history of newspaper front page headlines, by which I mean I Googled “history of newspaper front page headlines” while binge-watching the Netflix series Stranger Things. I uncovered some long-lost front pages that detail some of the most important, but perhaps forgotten, events in human history.

In my research, I even found what is believed to be the very first front page headline ever written – from The Neanderthal News. It read:

CAVE WOMAN UTTERS FIRST WORDS HUSBAND FEARFUL SHE WILL NEVER SHUT UP

Here’s a sampling of some of the other amazing tabloid headlines I discovered:     Continue reading “History – As Told by Forgotten Newspaper Headlines” »

Trump University Fall 2016 Courses

Trump University Fall 2016 Courses

Trump University logo

The Trump University Promise 

At Trump University success is what it’s all about. Trump U is about a lot of things – but above all, how you can be successful by helping me become even more successful by enrolling in Trump University. You can enroll in our Business Entrepreneur Success curriculum for slightly more than the amount you’ve accumulated in your retirement nest egg. Enrollment is now open for Fall 2016. Check out some of my incredible courses. You’re going to love it. I guarantee it. – Donald J. Trump

Trump University Fall 2016 Courses 

Argumentation and Debate 106: Fundamentals of Name-Calling: Learn how to infuriate people of different genders, ethnic origins, religious beliefs, sexual orientations, and socio-economic levels through use of sophisticated nick names like “Crooked Hillary”, “Lying Ted”, “Low-Energy Jeb”, “Little Marco” and many more. If you don’t sign up for this course you’re an idiot.

Introduction to Commercial Construction 115: The Methodology to Build a 50-Foot-High Wall: As one of the most successful commercial builders in the world, in this fascinating course, Donald Trump will personally reveal (once he’s elected president) how to build a massive 2,000 mile-long, 50-foot-high wall along our Mexican border – and get Mexico to pay for it. How is this wall possible? Here’s a hint: It’s invisible and only requires the Mexicans to all wear special collars.

Immigration Law 150: The Basics of Birtherism: Sure, they may look like Americans. But can you really be sure? This course examines how to create suspicion about someone’s American citizenship using unsubstantiated claims, innuendo, and hearsay. If your accusations are challenged, learn how to cite credible sources, such as: “I read somewhere” or “A lot of people are saying.”

Finance 208: The Essentials of Tax Evasion: Having to release your tax returns can be such a hassle – and embarrassing – especially when they reveal that you haven’t paid any income taxes for the past ten years. This course will show you how to create obtuse tax shelters and off-shore corporations, as well as evade questions about why you refuse to disclose your tax returns. Besides, it’s nobody’s business but your own (and your Bahama-based tax accountant) what you paid in taxes. Continue reading “Trump University Fall 2016 Courses” »