So, how was your vacation, Bob?  Well, thanks for asking. Pull up a seat,  buckeroo.

I’ll tell you what.  Rather than go through the entire week, let’s concentrate on just one particularly tedious, depressing, and soul-sucking day, shall we?   Christmas eve. The day started out great, and by ‘great’ I mean I didn’t fall out of bed and break my neck.

Michele and I always go to New Jersey on Christmas day to see her niece and family. We all sit around, embellish our yearly accomplishments, drink copious amounts of wine, occasionally listen to each other speak, eat a few cheese squares skewered with toothpicks, and eventually leave. Of course, this past holiday being like none other, we were all asked to take an at-home rapid Covid test before coming. “Michele, what does this pink line mean,”  I asked? “Crap! It’s a positive test,” she said. A few minutes later she took the swab to her nostrils as well, inserted the little stick thingie in a plastic tube, and waited the 10 minutes before finding out that she, too, had a bright horizontal pink line. After quickly eliminating the pregnancy option, we were able to deduce that she, too, was positive. Sadly, there would be no New Jersey this Christmas. I asked Michele if, while she was on the phone explaining this all to her niece if she wouldn’t mind asking her to ship some of that hard salami, Mortadella, and Calamari our way.

With New Jersey, and for that matter, anywhere beyond the reach of our front door no longer in the picture, I went to put on the TV but apparently, the new cable box we upgraded to last week didn’t recognize Netflix as an actual broadcast outlet and made a weird gurgling sound before self-imploding into a ball of dust. This was mildly disturbing as we both knew it would necessitate a call to our always eager to assist tech vets at Verizon. Experience has taught us that prior to placing a  call of this nature, a spiked eggnog or two does wonders to help calm the nerves because their instructions invariably seem to use hard-to-understand technical lingo like ‘router’, ‘coaxial’, and ‘unplug’. It was an hour and a half on the telephone before the PTN (Professional Tech Nerd) said, “It looks like we’re going to have to send someone out.” “OK,” I said, “How long before they get here. Andy Griffith starts in 40 minutes.” “Has anyone in your household tested positive for Covid in the last 2 weeks,” he asked? Oh, crap. Now, what do I do? I wanted to be honest with the guy but at the same time, I didn’t want him to know the truth, so I told him, “Yes, two people in this house tested positive this morning, unless, of course, being armed with that information would delay you from sending a tech out for 2 weeks, then, of course, the answer is no.” All I heard after that was a deep sigh and a click. “Hello? Hello? Mr. tech guy, are you there?”

But, hang on. There was one more punch to still be delivered. Just to put a capper on this otherwise wonderful day, I then got a call from my pharmacy saying there was a problem with my insurance and it would have to be addressed before they could refill my Ambien prescription. WHAT THE #@!%#! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, NOT THE AMBIEN!

What we had here was the perfect storm; a trifecta, if you will.  1) Positive Covid tests requiring isolation, 2) No TV, and now, 3) thanks to what must be an extremely rare flaw in our well-oiled health care system,  my access door to an escape route from a few hours of this living Hell has been sealed shut as well.

I don’t want you to worry about me. My plan is to remain positive throughout this arduous ordeal. I’m sure that I will emerge from this stronger than ever. In the meantime, I wish you all sweet dreams,  even though, I will personally remain in my sleep-deprived state. I’ll be staying busy eating the paint off the walls and crossing the days off the calendar until I am allowed to re-enter the world, and of course, once again continue to keep tabs on the crazy shenanigans of  Andy, Opie, and Aunt Bee.


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