CSotD: You’re invited to a party in my pandemic

In Between Friends (KFS), Susan sometimes struggles with “older,” but she’s becoming more comfortable with “wiser,” which makes sense, since the phrase “older but wiser” suggests that the latter is compensation for the former.

I prefer “older AND wiser,” and how sad if they don’t coincide. (There is, indeed, no fool like an old fool.)

I don’t mind getting older, though this 1998 Arlo & Janis remains my touchstone. To be honest, there are things I wouldn’t do again because, while I have few regrets, doing some of those things the first time around required a level of thoughtlessness I’d never be able to justify now.

But Between Friends reminds me of the moment I put aside one bit of youthful folly: I was at a party and excused myself for a bathroom break. On the way back, I paused in the doorway, surveyed the scene and realized that I didn’t want to be there.

Fortunately, my coat was nearby, so I didn’t have to walk through the throng.

I don’t like crowds. Other people do. *shrug*

There are people on social media who seem to take a lot of pride in proclaiming themselves “introverts,” which is somewhat contradictory to begin with, since, if they really were such dedicated introverts, they wouldn’t be on social media.

It’s also somewhat meaningless, because anyone with any self-consciousness is to some degree introverted and the few people who genuinely have no sense of self-consciousness are generally institutionalized for their own good and ours.

We each have a balance of introversion and extroversion, and you hear many performers talk about how stepping on stage puts them on a separate, exhilarating plane of existence, but that they are often nauseous before doing it.

They get paid for being able to make their overcompensation entertaining, but, in private life, it is rarely a good thing, particularly if it involves drugs and alcohol.

That goes for anyone overcompensating at either end of the introversion/extroversion scale.

You probably shouldn’t have to be 50 before you recognize your balance point and claim it, but I’ll admit I was two or three years past that mark.

As they say in Pennsylvania Dutch country, “We grow too soon old, and too late smart.”


Today’s Sherman’s Lagoon (KFS) seems to be one of those cartoons that assumes an older audience. Back when my cohort was in their thirties, we spent our time on the sidelines screaming “Off sides! Off sides!” despite having no idea how the off-sides rule worked.

There is still a loud minority who somehow believe that liking the world’s most popular sport makes you an elitist, but the current majority of parents of young soccer players once played the game themselves or at least had plenty of friends who did, and if they didn’t have Mia Hamm posters on their bedroom walls, they certainly knew who she was and what she did for a living.

What I find most interesting is that not only do today’s parents understand the off-sides rule, but they understand what it’s like to be on the field when your folks are screaming.

Most youth soccer games today are run on the basis of having spectators STFU and let the kids play, proving, I guess, that you don’t have to wait until 50 to smarten up.


Mind you, I’m not declaring the current generation a group of geniuses.

Agnes (Creators) reminds us that all the rejection of nitrites and nitrates in the early 70s has been pretty quickly overcome.

Granted, our family ban on carcinogenic sandwich meats only lasted until our eldest began having lunch with his pals, but we still tried to be healthy at home.

I remember a brand of hot dogs that got around the issue by being frozen instead of laden with preservatives, but, even after we’d surrendered to the lure of Oscar Mayer hot dogs and bologna, there were still a whole lot of people who looked on bacon as consisting of fat, sodium and carcinogens, perhaps because it does.

Someone at the Pork Producers Council deserves a medal for making bacon not only acceptable but a compulsion. Pumpkin spice comes but once a year, but bacon is forever.


For people, that is. As this F-Minus (AMS) points out, conscientious parenting-types have transferred their dietary anxieties to their dogs.

Two provisos: The first is that I know there are people who genuinely have celiac disease, and I consider them very lucky to benefit from a stupid fad that fills the shelves with food they can digest. Diabetics can only envy them, given the small selection and ridiculous prices of sugar-free food in stores.

The other is that, whatever the benefit for dogs’ digestive systems, having them extrude smaller, firmer poops make the additional cost of premium kibble over good ol’ dog chow well worth it.

But when I hear people go on about the exotic diets they’ve got their pampered pooches on, I can’t help but think of the kid who arrived at summer camp one year and announced that his mother said he was allergic to carbohydrates.

I don’t know what, if anything, he was actually allergic to, but eight weeks of eating what everyone else was eating left him seemingly healthy and rash-free.

And we won’t dwell on what I’ve seen those delicate puppies snarfing up in the park.


Finally, in honor of all the whiners who failed to appear in Washington yesterday, here’s First Dog on the Moon‘s righteous whining over what he sees as the Australian government showing a bit too much enthusiasm for coronavirus oversight.

First Dog is like Abbie Hoffman, in that he raises questions that need to be raised, though if he were not so damned funny you’d accuse him of overreacting.

Also, I’m glad he’s speaking up but I’m equally glad that he’s not actually in charge of anything.

If the authorities really are vetting people that cautiously for concerts in Australia, it may be more than is happening for concerts and football games up here, and I’m reluctant to condemn caution in the midst of a pandemic, if the alternative is letting it spread.

But I can’t argue with First Dog’s fear that, when the virus is gone, the eager questioning will continue.


6 thoughts on “CSotD: You’re invited to a party in my pandemic

  1. Hooray for Julie Brown! “Cause I’m A Blonde” is an enduring classic, and her MEDUSA: DARE TO BE TRUTHFUL has some wonderful moments in it. “Ooh, it’s ACTOR-MAN, off on another ACTING adventure!”

  2. Regarding what your dog snarfs up at the park, my wife watched one of our dogs sniffing the cat’s butt, said ” the dogs view her as a pez dispenser.” She coulda been a stand-up comic.

  3. “Pumpkin spice comes but once a year, but bacon is forever.”
    Mike, that quote is genius. You can probably make a bundle with that on on coffee mugs and t-shirts!

  4. Someone dear and very near to me is gluten-free for legit medical reasons, and we share the thought you expressed: thank goodness for the fad, because it has yielded a lot of good products for us. We hope it never goes out of style.

    The thing about being gluten-free (and I might guess vegetarian and even vegan, though those don’t apply to me) is that you don’t have to be a pain the ass about it. Rice, potatoes, corn, cheese, meat, fruit, vegetables, etc. are all gluten-free. If you somehow find yourself trapped in an Italian pasta-palooza, you have the salad and grab something later if you’re hungry. Being gluten-free is a lot like other skills in life: if you do it right, it’s nearly invisible.

    Regarding healthy food in general, I try to be attentive but always remember the sage advice of Julia Child, who at the age of 80-something said something like, “Life’s too short, eat the damn butter.”

  5. Julia Child was asked what you do when you’ve spent hours on the turkey, and then it falls on the floor as you get it to the table.

    “That,” she said “Is when you scoop it up and say ‘Thank goodness I made that other one!’ and vanish into the kitchen with it…”

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