Announcing the Pandemic’s Most Annoying Person

Announcing the Pandemic’s Most Annoying Person

Meet the world’s MOST ANNOYING PERSON, Brad Buttons. While you were spending the past year in COVID lockdown sitting on the couch, eating ice cream, and binge-watching Emily in Paris, Brad was being productive – annoyingly so.

Meet the world’s MOST ANNOYING PERSON, Brad Buttons. While you were spending the past year in COVID lockdown sitting on the couch, eating ice cream, and binge-watching Emily in Paris, Brad was being productive – annoyingly so.

(Atlanta) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced today that in a unanimous vote, they have awarded the title of “Pandemic’s Most Annoying Person” to a uniquely deserving individual: Brad Buttons of Kenosha, Wisconsin. This is the first – and the CDC hopes last – time this honor will ever be bestowed.

When asked why Brad was selected to be this year’s recipient, a CDC spokesperson explained, “Frankly, we really had no choice. The more we learned about this exasperating fellow, the more obvious our decision became.”  When pressed for details, the spokesperson went on, “Ever since the pandemic was announced in March 2020, and people were asked to socially distance and wear masks, Mr. Buttons has stayed home, in his one-bedroom apartment, and maintained a rigid self-imposed quarantine.”

Asking why this qualified him to be selected as the pandemic’s “Most Annoying Person”, the spokesperson added, “Well, it’s just that he’s always taking on an endless number of projects to learn new things and make the world a better place. He’s like a machine. To be honest, if you spend even just a few minutes around him, it’s impossible not to become irritated. We’re only human.”

In issuing its 15-page press release explaining its decision, the CDC listed dozens of feats Brad has achieved in the past year to alienate normal people. For starters, during the pandemic, Brad has read the entirety of Wikipedia, learned three foreign languages (plus Klingon), and written two science fiction novels. “Who does that?”, the spokesman asked, clearly perturbed.

When reached for comment, Brad was putting the finishing touches on his handmade full-scale replica of Michelangelo’s David, using nothing but seashells he found on the shores of Lake Michigan. “I’m thrilled about this prestigious recognition by the CDC, but I really don’t feel deserving,” Brad humbly responded. He then returned to his garage to resume work  building an authentic 1967 Austin Healey 3000 SL which he learned to assemble just by watching YouTube instructional videos. “I didn’t have most of the tools I needed, so I scrounged up some scrap metal and built a blast furnace. Check out this lathe I made.” 

When asked how he has had time to do all of these things, Brad replied, “It helps that I have no friends. When the pandemic hit, I decided to read the ancient Hindu holy text, the Rigveda – in the original ancient Sanskrit. I thought it would be more of a challenge that way.” A tour of Brad’s apartment revealed an extensive collection of Star Wars action figures, as well as what looked to be replicas of famous artwork.

When asked where he purchased his reproductions of paintings by the masters, including Da Vinci, Monet and Van Gogh, Brad explained, “Oh, no, I didn’t buy them. I painted them. I learned by watching old Bob Ross videos. I have to say, getting down Da Vinci’s Sfumato painting technique for softening the transition between colors took me a few tries to master.”

In the past year, while most people have hunkered down on the couch in their pajamas, eating Ben & Jerry’s ice cream by the carton, Brad has been keeping busy. Disturbingly busy. Brad penned an Italian opera (because doing it in English was not enough of a challenge, he said). He also invented a machine that turns urine into potable drinking water.

In his spare time, Brad built replicas of WW 2 German fighter planes, like this Messerschmitt Bf 109. But Brad felt prouder about the incredibly detailed one-tenth scale replica of the Titanic he built using used lawnmower parts. It’s currently on loan to the Smithsonian – because he can’t fit it in his apartment.

In his spare time, Brad built replicas of WW 2 German fighter planes, like this Messerschmitt Bf 109. But Brad felt prouder about the incredibly detailed one-tenth scale replica of the Titanic he built using used lawnmower parts. It’s currently on loan to the Smithsonian – because he can’t fit it in his apartment.

Prior to the pandemic, Brad’s diet consisted mostly of drive-through fast foods. But in the past year, he’s dropped 230 pounds (he’s now a lean 155 pounds with six-pack abs). He’s even self-published his own cookbook, The Pandemic Chef, and has put out a series of 25 one-hour home fitness videos based on an exercise program he created in his spare time.

In the CDC press release citing Brad’s exhausting list of discoveries, publications, and inventions, it accidentally failed to mention that he also patented a fuel converter contraption that converts water into a non-polluting fuel able to power any car, plane, or deep space probe. “Actually, all you need is urine. Want me to show you how I do it?” Brad added.

The release went on: “Taken together, it is almost unfathomable that any single individual could accomplish all of this and still find time to find a cure for cancer, but this man did it. That’s why the CDC unanimously concluded that Mr. Buttons is far and away the most annoying person we’ve encountered since the pandemic began.”

The CDC’s decision was applauded by millions of Americans – and Brad’s own immediate family, who have unfriended him on Facebook because they are sick of reading about his achievements. 

The overall sentiment of most Americans who remain trapped in their homes binge-watching Netflix crime documentaries and past seasons of Schitt’s Creek was perhaps best summed up by David Wilkinson, a bartender from Brooklyn, who protested, “Dude, just stop!. You’re making the rest of us look bad. Here’s an idea: How about you invent a spaceship and become the first person ever to fly solo to Mars. Then plant a flag and NEVER COME BACK!” 

Upon hearing that he’d won the award, Brad was said to be so excited he began an awkward victory dance. (Dancing is one activity Brad failed to learn – badly.) In the process, he tripped over his just-finished replica of an 18th century tall-masted ship in a bottle, fell, and broke his ankle and the ship in a bottle. Not salvageable.

Due to his unfortunate injury, it appears Brad will be laid up, unable to work on any more projects, for at least three months. Millions of Americans greeted this news with celebratory dances of their own.

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

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© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2021.

Welcome Back to the Magic Kingdom!

Welcome Back to the Magic Kingdom!

Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL is reopening after its closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, even as the state sees a surge in new cases. — CNN, July 10, 2020

Everyone here at the Disneyland Resort is excited to once again open our park to lovers of fun and adventure. Because of the COVID-19 situation, in order to protect the health and safety of our visitors and staff, we’ve made a few small adjustments to some of our park attractions. In addition, we’ve also updated some of our attractions in light of recent social developments. Here are some of the changes you’ll find on your next visit.

Main Street U.S.A.

As you take a nostalgic stroll down Main Street U.S.A., the only small change you might notice is the stationing of an entire division of National Guard troops at key street intersections as well as S.W.A.T. team sharpshooters positioned on strategic rooftops. Don’t worry. They’re only there as a preventative measure in the unlikely event of any social justice demonstrations. To make their presence less conspicuous, they are all dressed as storm troopers from our brand new Star Wars: Galaxy Edge attraction.

Hall of Presidents

Our exhibit of incredible animatronic likenesses of the U.S. Presidents has undergone some slight modifications, including the removal of 12 of them for, well, let’s say “property issues.” In addition, for the sake of historical clarity, we’ve updated many of their biographies with references to things they said or did that could be considered racist, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, genocidal, corrupt, illegal, or otherwise despicable. Honestly, if you’ve got children with you, you might just want to skip it.

Space Mountain

They say that “in space, no one can hear you scream.” And that’s definitely true on our updated Space Mountain ride, once you’ve been zipped into your hermetically sealed “space suit” (actually a COVID-protective hazmat suit, redesigned with an astronaut look).

Splash Mountain

Same ride, but now through pools of disinfectant.

Jungle Cruise

Our exciting river boat attraction in Adventureland is just the thing to take your mind off the Coronavirus pandemic, as you cruise down the rivers of Asia, Africa and South America on a replica tramp steamer, swaddled in protective coverings in a desperate effort to avoid contracting malaria, Ebola, cholera and Dengue fever.

Haunted Mansion

Ghosts, spirits, apparitions! Well, honestly, it used to seem scary. But now, compared to watching the evening news, it’s really pretty tame.

Mr. Trump’s Wild Ride

Formerly “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride,” this attraction was recently divested by Disney to offset park attendance losses and was sold to the Trump Corporation, appropriately along with the rest of Fantasyland. The ride is basically unchanged, but riders are not required to wear masks or maintain social distancing, and open carry of firearms is permitted.

Mar-a-Lago North

Formerly “Goofy’s Playhouse.” (See above.)

Warning: By visiting the Disneyland resort, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19, an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. While senior citizens and guests with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable, people of all ages and health statuses have experienced critical debilitating effects. While in the park, avoid close contact with strangers, do not embrace costumed characters, wash hands regularly, and keep children’s exclamations of joy to a minimum to limit droplet spread.  

We look forward to your visit to the Magic Kingdom. Enjoy the fun!

– Steve Fisher

This week’s post was written by guest writer, Steve Fisher, a longtime friend of Tim Jones. Steve lives in Prague, Czech Republic, where he has been an actor and writer for the past 28 years. He has published three collections of his satirical stories which appeared from 2012-2016 as a regular column in the weekly Czech magazine Reflex under the banner “Američan v Praze” (“An American in Prague”).

 

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

It’s a Wonderful World, Says Mother Nature

It’s a Wonderful World, Says Mother Nature

A VFTB Interview with Mother Nature

In an exclusive VFTB interview, Mother Nature reveals that her job has never been easier, thanks to the Coronavirus. “Nature and wildlife are thriving. The only ones complaining are humans,” she said. “They can be such whiners.”

In an exclusive VFTB interview, Mother Nature reveals that her job has never been easier, thanks to the Coronavirus. “Nature and wildlife are thriving. The only ones complaining are humans,” she said. “They can be such whiners.”

The following are excerpts from an exclusive interview with celebrated environmentalist, Mother Nature.

View from the Bleachers: Thank you for agreeing to meet today, Mother Nature. I’m sure you’re tremendously busy.

Mother Nature: Just call me Mama N. I’m pretty informal.

VFTB: Okay, um, Mama N.

Mother Nature: I just finished dropping a blizzard on Newfoundland. Then it’s back to work repairing the Great Barrier Reef. Which reminds me, What did the ocean say to the beach?

VFTB: Um, I have no idea. What did the ocean say to the beach?

Mother Nature: Nothing. It just waved. Get it? A dolphin told me that one. They’re hilarious.

VFTB: I did not know that. Mother Nature, I mean Mama N, I understand the past century has been a notably challenging period for you. Is that true?

Mother Nature: Totally. It’s been my worst century since the last Ice Age – and that was 12,000 years ago. Not a fun epoch, especially if you were a crocodile. The last hundred years have been particularly brutal for all my flora and fauna, what with global warming, widespread floods, droughts and raging forest fires.

Mind you, none of this mayhem was my idea. Sure, I might stir up an occasional hurricane just to make a point. But nothing like what you humans have achieved since the invention of the automobile. Who knew those contraptions would multiply like rabbits! They’re everywhere! And factories – don’t get me started.

VFTB: It must be a hard job protecting our planet.

Mother Nature: Well, the hardest part is protecting it from your lot: mankind. That was not in the job description. Still, it’s been a good gig – up to the last century. Actually, ever since the Industrial Revolution, I can’t seem to catch a break.

VFTB: Sounds exhausting.

Mother Nature: You’re telling me. Until lately, that is.

VFTB: Oh? Has something changed?

Mother Nature: Absolutely. In the past month, it’s like I’m on vacation. Fog and smog are clearing. In northern India you can see the Himalayas for the first time in over 30 years.

VFTB: Incredible. Why do you think that is?

Mother Nature: Isn’t it obvious? It’s the Coronavirus. It’s got everybody shuttered indoors. Nobody’s going anywhere. Which means cars are off the road, planes are grounded, factories have slowed production. We can breathe again!

VFTB: Have you been following the news and social media about social distancing?

Mother Nature: Not really. I don’t have cable and I’m not on Facebook. What I do know is that this pandemic has been the best thing to happen to my planet since they took the Giant Panda off the Endangered Species List.

VFTB: So, you think the Coronavirus is a GOOD thing?

Mother Nature points out that thanks to the wonderful news about the Coronavirus, goats are now roaming around this town in Wales, where they’ve not been seen in ages. “Primroses are quite tasty,” say the goats.

Mother Nature points out that thanks to the wonderful news about the Coronavirus, goats are now roaming around this town in Wales, where they’ve not been seen in ages. “Primroses are quite tasty,” say the goats.

Mother Nature: Let’s say it’s been a blessing in disguise! Ask any animal, with the possible exception of Homo sapiens – it’s like paradise now! The only critter at risk of extinction lately is roadkill!

VFTB: But aren’t you worried about the hundreds of thousands of people getting sick day after day?

Mother Nature: I hear President Trump has that all under control. As for me, I have plenty on my plate taking care of the polar bears, platypuses, and tigers. Speaking of tigers, who the heck is this Tiger King? He sounds seriously messed up.

VFTB: Yeah, he’s a bit of an odd duck.

Mother Nature: Oh, so he’s a duck? I never knew a duck that hung with tigers. He sounds like a quack! Ha! Ha! Get it?

VFTB: You could say that. But seriously, aren’t you concerned about everything that’s happening all over the world right now?

Mother Nature: Look around you. Everything is great. Air, water, even noise pollution are way down. In fact, did you know that Los Angeles has the cleanest air of any major American city at the moment?

VFTB: No way!

Mother Nature: Way! All because people are staying home. I heard tell that peacocks are strolling through the streets of Mumbai for the first time in like forever now that nobody’s driving. So, yeah, I’m pretty stoked. If we keep going at the current trend, global warming will be solved by Labor Day. Pretty awesome, eh?

VFTB: Well, that’s encouraging. But I haven’t left my house in a month.

Mother Nature: And now the animals are looking in at the humans trapped in their cages. Kind of ironic, don’t you think? Meanwhile, I get to catch my breath and kick off my heels –

VFTB: You wear heels?

Mother Nature: More like Birkenstocks. Anyway, it’s nice to see my beloved planet making a remarkable comeback. Just the other day, a family of beavers told me their stream is the clearest they’ve ever seen it. And you should check out Venice. It’s become so clean you can almost drink out of the canals. But don’t. I’m not a miracle worker.

VFTB: Do you have any advice for the humans at this critical time?

With an empty Brazilian beach (due to the Coronavirus), newly hatched sea turtles are making a comeback. Just one of the many things to be thankful for while you’re stuck indoors binge-watching old episodes of Game of Thrones.

With an empty Brazilian beach (due to the Coronavirus), newly hatched sea turtles are making a comeback. Just one of the many things to be thankful for while you’re stuck indoors binge-watching old episodes of Game of Thrones.

Mother Nature: For starters, enough with all the annoying Coronavirus song parodies. They’re really getting repetitive. I know, “wash your hands” and “social distance”.  Blah, blah, blah.

VFTB: I thought you said you don’t do Facebook. 

Mother Nature: I lied. Second, what’s with your addiction to fossil fuels? Now that you folks have discovered walking, maybe you can make a habit of it. It might help you lose that spare tire. And what’s with your obsession with red meat? All those cow farts create an insane amount of methane, which is heating up the atmosphere. Try a carrot for a change. It won’t kill you, I promise.

VFTB: Thank you, Mama N. I hope you get to enjoy a little more time off.

Mother Nature: From the looks of how your federal government is handling the Coronavirus pandemic, I think it’s going to stick around for a while. So, all my lakes and streams and critters want to send a big THANK YOU shout out. Hey, I’ve got to go. There is a hailstorm in Manitoba I need to check on. Never a dull moment. Later.

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

Medical Experts Fear Trump May Have the Coronavirus

Medical Experts Fear Trump May Have the Coronavirus

An Exclusive Report from View from the Bleachers

Experts worry that Trump may be exposing thousands to the Coronavirus, as he continues to pump flesh everywhere he goes. Other scholars argue that millions of unsuspecting Americans have already been deeply infected by Trump. They’re easy to spot. They’re the ones wearing the red baseball caps.

Experts worry that Trump may be exposing thousands to the Coronavirus, as he continues to pump flesh everywhere he goes. Other scholars argue that millions of unsuspecting Americans have already been deeply infected by Trump. They’re easy to spot. They’re the ones wearing the red baseball caps.

Washington, D.C.  – In recent weeks, millions of Americans have become increasingly anxious as endless streams of news reports warn about a nasty, contaminating, virulent malignancy that cannot be contained. But Donald Trump isn’t the only thing they’re worried about.

They’re also a tad on edge about the Coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19. Even more frightening than a reality show host having access to nuclear launch codes, there are alarming indications the President himself may have contracted the Coronavirus.

Dr. David Britton, Chief of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at The Mayo Clinic, said, “There are several obvious signs the President has been exposed to COVID-19. Just look at his facial discoloration. What normal healthy human being has a face the color of Doritos?” Dr. Britton noted that in Trump’s recent Oval Office Address, “He appeared to be breathing very heavily throughout the speech, a major symptom of the Coronavirus.” 

Medical authorities concur that Trump fits the profile of individuals most vulnerable. As Dr. Margaret  Chen, Chief of Epidemiology at New York’s Presbyterian Hospital, explained it: “Look at the man. He’s practically the textbook definition of a high risk candidate: He’s over 70 years old, has extremely poor dietary habits, is morbidly overweight, and is a complete idiot. He’s a walking time bomb.” 

The Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has listed numerous warning signs that all appear present in President Trump: He exhibits shortness of breath, coughs a lot, demonstrates obvious mental decline, is easily agitated, has an inability to tell the truth, tends to be vindictive and hold grudges, exhibits patterns of xenophobia and racism, and possesses surprisingly small hands for an adult. 

In a recent Oval Office address to the nation, doctors, advisers, and even children noticed Trump’s chronic excessively heavy breathing – a clear sign he might be infected – and really sucks at delivering speeches with a tele-prompter.

In a recent Oval Office address to the nation, doctors, advisers, and even children noticed Trump’s chronic excessively heavy breathing – a clear sign he might be infected – and really sucks at delivering speeches with a tele-prompter.

For weeks, healthcare professionals have been advising Americans to avoid large crowds and physical contact with others, especially shaking hands. And yet, there is one American who, for reasons unknown, continues to ignore the advice of the medical community: Donald Trump.

Trump, who famously does not believe in science, continues to shake hands wherever he is: at Mar-a-Lago dinner parties, in rope lines, at rallies, and even the White House Rose Garden. He explains his invincibility, stating, “I’m a very stable genius”, making it abundantly clear that he is “smarter than the medical professionals” – not to mention the generals. He has successfully calmed the nation’s worries by assuring us that he has a hunch: “This will all miraculously go away in April when the weather warms up.”

The President has made repeated assurances that he’s AOK and doesn’t need to be tested because this entire crisis is a “fake news” hoax fabricated by Democrats to hurt his re-election chances. Nevertheless, CDC officials are not quite as confident as the Genius-in-Chief. And they’re not nearly as optimistic that “warm weather” is the cure for this pandemic.

Researchers have used computer modelling to predict that, unless drastic efforts are implemented quickly, between 70 and 200 million Americans could eventually contract COVID-19. That’s why they are urging all Americans to keep a safe distance – from President Trump. In fact, as a precautionary measure, First Lady Melania has taken great strides to keep a safe distance from the President at all times –  going back to the start of his administration, adding, “Why would I want to be exposed to someone that toxic?”

There is a palpable unease that because the President appears to be afflicted with this pernicious pathogen, he might infect countless others – including millions of unwitting (by which we mean witless) Fox News viewers as they literally absorb every word and movement of their Hero in Chief as reported by Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and other suspected carriers.

Many of the world’s most renown scientists fear that Trump could spread his contagious physical (and mental) illness to many of his fervent supporters. “If you want my advice,” said Dr. Edwin Templeton, spokesperson for the World Health Organization, “every patriotic American who supports President Trump should avoid any Trump rallies – or voting booths – at least until after the first Tuesday in November. Just to be on the safe side.”

If Trump has the Coronavirus, the most important task is to prevent it from spreading. Here is a most innovative idea for how to contain Trump’s disease and MAKE AMERICA SAFE AGAIN.

If Trump has the Coronavirus, the most important task is to prevent it from spreading. Here is a most innovative idea for how to contain Trump’s disease and MAKE AMERICA SAFE AGAIN.

The President’s personal physician suggested certain prophylactic measures to his patient, but Trump protested, “I will not use a condom!”

Communicable disease experts are considering defensive steps to help prevent the spread of Trump’s contagion. One recommendation is that Trump be quarantined immediately – perhaps by building an impenetrable wall around the Oval Office – a big, beautiful wall. Upon hearing this proposal, Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, told reporters, “Mexico will gladly pay for the wall.”

Medical scholars across the country familiar with the progression of the Coronavirus argue that it has already significantly diminished Trump’s cognitive abilities. They point to his great difficulty spelling commonly used words including “honered”, “presedent”, “Caronavirus:, “Melanie”, and “kat.” They further speculate that, given his advanced age and diminished mental capacity, there could soon come a point at which Trump may have to step down, as the malady overtakes him completely.

On the bright side, if the Coronavirus has indeed infected Trump and he soon becomes so incapacitated that he is forced to abdicate, medical authorities express confidence that the mental and emotional health of millions of Americans may dramatically improve overnight just at the thought of anyone other than Trump sitting in the Oval Office.

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