Ever had a dream that makes perfect sense when you wake, but by the time you brush your teeth it sounds completely mad?
Some coronavirus task force meetings must be like that.
For example, how did the new rules on tennis come about? That had to be one weird discussion.
Dr. No: We believe we can safely allow tennis to move forward.
Politician: Singles and doubles?
Dr. No: Just singles. Doubles would, scientifically, double the risk.
Politician: Good thinking. Can’t have too much science, you know.
Dr. No: There is, however, the problem of touching someone else’s balls.
Politician: Yes, go on.
Dr. No: Well, common ball touching could spread the virus. But we have a workaround. One player brings a can of white balls and the other brings yellow balls. If an unlawfully colored ball ends up on the wrong side of the court, it must be kicked to the net where the proper ball owner may pick it up.
Politician: Excellent. And, the color coding will also make it easier for police to enforce. Good job, everyone. We’re making wonderful progress in getting back to normal.
During my 50-plus days of house confinement, listening to so-called leaders come up with ridiculous “safety” rules, I’ve begun to have a reoccurring dream. It goes like this: While listening to an insane discussion like the one on tennis above, some elected politician somewhere snaps and embarks upon an Al Pacino rant about doing the right thing.
“We can’t mandate every variation of running with scissors,” the elected leader declares, throwing a face mask across the table.
“Life was a risk in 1776 and it’s a risk in 2020. Unlike China, the only path forward for a free people is to explain the risks of the pandemic as we best know them, outline the merits of certain precautions and get back to living. Businesses will do the right thing. Churches will do the right thing. People will do the right thing and, by gawd, ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to let ‘em prove it.”
Then everyone in the room says “hoo-rah,” rips up the new tennis rules and says: “What the hell were we thinking?”
Then I brush my teeth. But hey, don’t make fun of me. A guy can dream, can’t he?
GOOD INTENTIONS; NO COMMON SENSE
Meanwhile, down south in Pacifica, City Hall threatened to jail the owner of Tripp Distillery — a celebrated businessman there — for selling hand sanitizer during the pandemic.
The guy converted his operation to make much-needed hand sanitizer instead of spirits. He was selling it from his storefront which according to the way the city interpreted the rules was a violation because a distillery is not an “essential” business, even when it has refitted itself to make an essential product.
I appreciate the “good intentions” of Pacifica’s rule followers, but gudgawdalmighty ladies and gentlemen, it just didn’t come out right, did it? A little common sense, please.
ONE MORE THING
— Reader Marvin Morganti passes along this admonition: Do not to use “beefstew” as a password. It’s not strogonoff.
— The Rev. Thomas A. Nibbe, a Bay Area Lutheran pastor and a reader, passed along this quip from his sermon last week: If you go to the Karma Cafe, remember they don’t have menus. You get what you deserve.
— For the first time since 1945 due to COVID-19, the National Spelling Bee has been canci … cansu … canca …
It’s been called off.
— I may rethink getting tested.
And with that, ladies and germs, I’ll pick up my knitting and go. Until next time, be well, avoid soreheads and stay safe. Don’t forget that you can now read us online at MarinLocalNews.com. It’s your go-to site for Marin news. And, it’s free.
(Sherman Frederick is the founder of Battle Born Media, publisher of intensely local community newspapers, including the Novato Advance, the San Rafael News Pointer, the Mill Valley Herald, the Sausalito Marin Scope, the Twin Cities Times, the Ross Valley Reporter and the Pacifica Tribune. He may be reached at email@example.com.)