as I could possibly be
as long as I don’t
have to try too much.
Beginning of a great adventure
— the prophet lou reed
Then, at last, the governor issued a stay-at-home order. Actually, it was more of a stay-at-home-except-when-you-go-places order, which struck Mister Pants as what people did anyhow.
Citizens were allowed to go only to “essential” services. Those essential services included health care operations, human services operations, construction companies and utility operators, first responders, grocery stores and pharmacies, veterinarians, charities and social services organizations, media organizations (well, sure), gas stations, banks and credit unions, hardware and supply stores, plumbers, electricians, security companies, shipping and mail services, educational institutions, laundry services, restaurants for takeout, suppliers for essential businesses, distributors that enable telework, airlines, taxis and ride-sharing services, residential facilities and shelters, legal, real estate and accounting services, day care centers, manufacturers and distributors of critical products, hotels, and funeral services. Oh, and of course, golf courses. Not to mention gun stores, which were protected by federal mandate. Life, and death, is all about priorities.
Other than that, people were not allowed to go anywhere. Mister Pants wasn’t sure what was left at that point. Our state would become as progressive as we could possibly be. As long as we didn’t have to try too much.
And so, reassured that this bold plan would quickly stifle the vermin, he went about becoming a Serious Runner.
This meant, of course, setting up the timing device on the Bird Mile. Yes, Mister Pants had a Garmin, but GPS is no match for a Serious Runner Fancy Timing Device. Luckily no cars were allowed out anymore other than to go to the 2,300,855 previously mentioned destinations, so setting up his apparatus in the middle of the deserted asphalt was no problem.
He said goodbye to Uncle Hal, who was justifiably upset as he had Mister Pants’ credit card number and had expected to live off of him throughout the ongoing crisis. He looked forward to seeing Ernie, who now reported he was in Goodyear, which was apparently a place and not a tire company.
Mister Pants ran 4 miles at 14:00 pace. 14 would become his new mantra. His old mantra was “Take the Skinheads Bowling,” so this would be quite the change. But quite the change was pretty much a sign of the New World, so onward thru the fog. Except it was sunny. It’s always something.
It was easy, as 14 minute miles tend to be. And hard, as running into an uncertain future had become. Would he live long enough for The Big Race? Hard to say. Things were getting exponentially scarier along with the steadily climbing numbers. But better to go out with a bang. Sorry, Mr. Elliot.
Fifty years ago today, Uncle David wrote home from the Vietnam War that he had tried mixing rum in with his spaghetti. Mister Pants thought this would be a good time to bring back the recipe. All about the carbs, you know. Bill Rodgers surely did this.
Mister Pants stopped at the convenience store on the way home for a fritter. Because it was essential. And progressive. Four months to go. Beginning of a great adventure.
He went back to check the list to make sure skinhead bowling was still allowed …