“This is much more than a health crisis.
The vermin is attacking societies at their core.”
— World Health Organization
“Each night, when I go to sleep, I die.
And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.
— Mahatma Gandhi
“I just want something to be normal,” Mo lamented early that morning. “Anything.”
And that’s when Ernie Pook arrived.
Mo has a theory about reincarnation. Maybe when people’s lives end, they come back again because there are lessons they still need to learn. Maybe that’s how it is with Ernie.
He first showed up as a pair of Piranhas many years ago. Mister Pants named his shoes because he had multiple pairs, and this was a way of keeping the proper ones together. Plus, it amused him. Ernie first arrived as Mister Pants was coming back from an unfortunate rib injury, if indeed there are fortunate rib injuries. They became best friends, ran much.
Ernie Pook got old and died.
He stayed around far longer than could have been expected but eventually fell victim to too many miles, the 2013 equivalent of the vermin, without the masks and gloves and Fox denials.
He showed up again today. Sure, he looks different. But then so does Mister Pants.
If Mo’s right, he’s back for a reason. He has lessons still to be learned. How far is too far? At what temperature do shoes melt on asphalt? Who exactly IS Ginger Caputo, anyhow?
And Mister Pants gets to come along for the ride.
The world was headed toward a dark place. Entire societies attacked at their core. Fritter shortages abounded. The future was not looking so bright. No shades needed. But what could you do?
You go to sleep. You die. The next morning you wake up, reborn.
And just like that, something was normal again.
Welcome back, Ernie. In the words of the philosopher Calvin, let’s go exploring.