John Clark checking in from solitary confinement where I’m serenaded by a new sump pump and sounds of semis rumbling on the I-95 overpass a couple hundred feet from our home. With Beth going to our daughter’s house in Belgrade 5 days a week, I’m left with Bernard Hagrid Dumbledore (our ten year old dog) and the thoughts in my head to occupy endless hours. Herewith are some of the coping skills honed during this nearly impossible time in our lives.
Humor is my biggest salvation. Some is self-generated. In fact, I drive Beth nuts on the weekends while I come up with endless bits of absurdia while watching the squirrels search for acorns and taunting the neighbor’s cat in the back yard. We also have cardinals pass through once in a while, but I’m holding out for the Pope.
There’s online fun aplenty if you know where to look. Start with Maine humorist Gary Crocker. I met Gary some 40 years ago when I was the adult education director at AMHI and he worked for the Department of Education. He might be getting up there, but he’s as sharp as ever. If you like dry Maine humor, check hi Youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL332834B20D672798 or look him up on Facebook where he’s doing a daily short video to keep up morale. (https://www.facebook.com/gary.crocker.33)
If you’re a Facebook user, one of the funniest groups there is the Unitarian Universalist Hysterical Coffee Hour (https://www.facebook.com/groups/UUHystericalSocietyCoffeeHour/) It’s perhaps the funniest and most creative group online. I guarantee you’ll find some belly laugh worthy memes there.
For those who like and remember obscure and not so obscure ditties, almost every song, or bad movie reference you ever saw or heard is out there. Look at a clip from Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes, Tom Rush singing Making the Best of A Bad Situation, Peter, Paul and Mary doing Talking Candy Bar Blues, Peter and Gordon singing You Need Feet, or any song that got stuck in your head over the years.
One last must see on Youtube is the fabulous Tom Lehrer in a 50 minute performance in Denmark. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHPmRJIoc2k&t=41s
Of course, there are books. I’ve read 131 thus far this year, and have an even bigger stash in case the apocalypse arrives in full bore. If you’re looking for funny books, consider Pest Control by Bill Fitzhugh, Mash and Mash Goes To Maine by Richard Hooker. Neither could be published today because of all the ‘isms’ in them, but they’re funny as hell. For sheer insanity, get a copy of Naked Came The Manatee, The ultimate ‘write a chapter and then see what the next fool does with it’ book, with the first chapter done by Dave Barry. Early Carl Hiaasen (before he let funny get trumped by outrage) is also good for times like this.
Now, I’d like to hear about your coping strategies during this real time version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.