Pandemic Etiquette

Is it polite to wish ill of my enemies?

You may harbor dark thoughts of coronavirus spreading at a contagion-denying political conference, or a presidential rally, or a trashy expensive Florida resort. Enjoy them! Life is short enough as it is, and may be shorter still if this keeps up.

Etiquette concerns the expression of those vicious fantasies. In particular, some spoilsport will probably observe that epidemics are not easily contained, and the reality of your devilish desire would likely cause extensive collateral damage.

Instead, consider casting your evil intuition as a hypothetical scenario presented in a faux advice column. That way you can have the thought without owning it.

What is the correct form of touch-free greeting?

We have heard suggestions of the Vulcan hand sign and “May the Force be with you”, but unless you are a nerd, we recommend Yosemite Sam’s “BACK OFF” to avoid misunderstanding.

A friend suggests a silly handwashing song. How should I respond?

“That’s delightful” will always keep you out of trouble, particularly if you don’t recognize Pilate’s harangue of Jesus. If asked, everybody loves the theme from Jeopardy and nobody will think worse of you.

How much toilet paper can I hoard before people notice?

Our younger readers may not recall the toilet-paper scare of the early 70s. Thirty-two four-packs in a friend’s basement was sufficient to catch our attention.

I saw someone collapse dead, their blood turned to powder. What should I do?

You’re watching Andromeda Strain, and need not worry.

I am in polite company, and do not wish to refer to the President as a “fucking idiot”. What are my alternatives?

Fool, buffoon, clown, jerk, moron, nitwit, stooge, twit, birdbrain, blockhead, bonehead, clod, cretin, dimwit, dolt, dope, dunderhead, ignoramus, imbecile, loon, nincompoop, numskull, sap, simpleton, halfwit, lamebrain, but really, just go for it.

My elderly relative is complaining of symptoms. How do I express my sympathy while hiding my fear?

Probably avoid “OK Boomer”.


3:15 am • Sunday • March 8, 2020

If all the CPAC and AIPAC attendees (GOP of course) got coronavirus and were left to Darwin, fine with me. I am not a nice person.

2:34 pm • Sunday • March 8, 2020

@blogenfreude: They’ve already infected our nation with the terminal moronavirus pandumbic.

8:44 pm • Sunday • March 8, 2020

@blogenfreude & @¡Andrew!: Ted Cruz has put himself on quarantine for 14 days after shaking that guy’s hand at CPAC. Maybe he could just make it four years?

10:10 pm • Sunday • March 8, 2020

@SanFranLefty: and that idiot Paul Gosar. CPAC may yet have something to contribute to society other than racist sociopaths.

11:06 pm • Sunday • March 8, 2020

@blogenfreude: Might have to revive Big Shitpile — Austan Goolsbee sez the markets are more spooked now than in 2008.

10:03 am • Monday • March 9, 2020

With the oil price crash, Ru$$ia and $audi Arabia are getting the industrial strength kick in the balls that they both deserve.

10:10 am • Monday • March 9, 2020

@¡Andrew!: I’m having a hard time following this one, but it seems the Saudis are intentionally glutting the market, which suggests they’re the ones kicking Vlad in the nuts.

12:35 pm • Monday • March 9, 2020

As with the tariffs, I can’t see how there are any winners from an oil price war.

12:53 pm • Monday • March 9, 2020

@¡Andrew!: Ah, here we go: Saudis want Russia to agree to production cap to keep prices up. Russia declines. Fuck you, say Saudis, and flood the market to bring prices down. Saudis have this production flexibility; Russia doesn’t. Thus: Saudis are trying to make Russia cry uncle, and agree to the original request.

6:07 pm • Monday • March 9, 2020

I’m okay with the House of Saud kicking Vlad in the nuts.

6:13 pm • Monday • March 9, 2020

Bring out yer dead!

12:35 am • Tuesday • March 10, 2020

If you’re following the Pandemic Bracket, Italy was at 600 cases eleven days ago. Great Again America is at 600 now.

And speaking of brackets, March Madness begins next week. Or does it?

12:42 am • Tuesday • March 10, 2020

If I’m doing messaging for the Administration, I’m committing to memory 19,732, the Dow close the day before the Inauguration. See? Still ahead!

12:14 pm • Tuesday • March 10, 2020

It’s Doctor Tr666p’s Miracle Cure: Even more tax cuts for the rich!

3:42 pm • Tuesday • March 10, 2020

Louie Gohmert too stupid to self quarantine.

11:34 am • Wednesday • March 11, 2020

Civil War quarantine letters.

7:44 pm • Wednesday • March 11, 2020

The only way I’m gonna “come together” is if I’m in a bear pile with two or more handsome, hairy, muscular men. Prezinazi AntiChrist can frak right off the planet.

9:50 pm • Wednesday • March 11, 2020

NBA season suspended!
Saving Private Hanks from COVID

11:16 pm • Wednesday • March 11, 2020

Futures down a thousand points after Trump opened his mouth. If he really wants to save the market, he should shut his piehole.

1:28 am • Thursday • March 12, 2020

Maybe it’s the zombie side effects that’re the problem.

10:05 am • Thursday • March 12, 2020

Three casinos, four bankruptcies. One bellyflopped twice.

11:20 am • Friday • March 13, 2020

/off topic/

I’ve been using my new free time to catch up on James Bond movies. Here’s an absolutely heretical list of my favorites:

1. Moonraker
2. You Only Live Twice
3. Never Say Never Again
4. Octopussy
5. Tomorrow Never Dies

11:30 am • Friday • March 13, 2020

@¡Andrew!: That’s not just heretical, that’s laser-up-the-crotch heretical.

11:53 am • Friday • March 13, 2020

@nojo: Obviously, the cheesier the better. Roger Moore is my fave Bond.

Oh, shit! How could I have forgotten The Spy Who Loved Me and Agent XXX.

12:10 pm • Friday • March 13, 2020

Smart, Qualified People Behind The Scenes Keeping America Safe: We Don’t Exist

“I know most Americans like to believe there are selfless, ultra-intelligent operatives like me out there watching over everything from an underground control room,” said the Rhodes Scholar Navy SEAL national security official who for the past 10 years we have all mistakenly presumed to be an actual human being. “Unfortunately, though, I’m not employed by the U.S. government, I’m not working at all hours to foil terrorist plots, nor am I part of some secret network of sharp, capable agents, because no such network exists.”

“And again, neither do I,” the imaginary man added.

4:09 pm • Sunday • March 15, 2020

Any that kind of were, got fired by Trump

7:10 pm • Sunday • March 15, 2020

@ManchuCandidate: I saw a random funny comment the other day comparing Trudeau’s calm, professional Canadian response to the ongoing Tr666p bath salts shitshow: “If this were a movie, Canada would be a Merchant and Ivory style ‘Love in the Time of Corona,’ while the US would be a low budget, late night cable action flick called ‘Spores ‘n Whores’.”

(golf claps)

7:23 pm • Sunday • March 15, 2020

As if Seattleites need any practice with “social distancing,” jeezus.

4:09 pm • Monday • March 16, 2020

Canada City closing border to non citizens except US but I think thanks to Trumps absolute shitshow that that US Amercian exceptionalism won’t last.

I hate Trump and all delusional incompetents like him.

4:37 pm • Monday • March 16, 2020

Denver just went dark. No 50+ gatherings, restaurants closed to seating. Officially through May 11 — two months — but you can see that being extended as we ride the logarithmic curve.

5:23 pm • Monday • March 16, 2020

There’s no other way the nightmarish Tr666p regime could have ended other than all of us effectively under house arrest and a total economic collapse.

5:25 pm • Monday • March 16, 2020

I’m not even concerned about contracting the virus. The economic shock wave that’s gonna hit us in about three weeks is like looking up to see a grand piano falling on our heads, and there’s just nothing we can do about it.

5:56 pm • Monday • March 16, 2020

@¡Andrew!: Agreed. As someone barely in the age demo — 60+ — the virus itself is the least of my worries. Personal finances, also not yet a concern. But shit’s crashing down hard, and it’s gonna take a lot of people away with it.

7:30 pm • Monday • March 16, 2020

Thank the FSM for legal Maui Wowie.

Smoke ’em if you got ’em.

7:36 pm • Monday • March 16, 2020

@¡Andrew!: One of the Corporate Coronavirus Emails I’ve received is from a grow-supply manufacturer assuring clients that all is well. (Must have landed on that list when we did their website.)

8:57 pm • Monday • March 16, 2020

This is like a global natural disaster, and we’re about to get hit by both demand and supply shocks.

The hubby and I can muddle through for a few weeks since our work is computer-based, but after that we won’t be able to make payroll for his business if the clients slam their checkbooks shut due to their own financial problems. Then what?

And we’ve got it easy compared to bars, restaurants, venues, manufacturers, and on and on. They’re not gonna be building jets at home.

9:08 pm • Monday • March 16, 2020

A month ago, I was fantasizing about spending Spring Break on the French Riviera. Now I’m wondering if I’ll be on the corner screaming “booty for sale.” Not likely to get many takers now that I’m in my 40s (unfortunately?).

10:23 pm • Monday • March 16, 2020

@¡Andrew!: One of our clients sells specialized office supplies online. Seemingly safe, until you remember that empty offices don’t need their wares.

9:09 pm • Tuesday • March 17, 2020

@ManchuCandidate: Uh, depending on how things go over the next week (full Gilead), any chance you can sponsor a family of two humans, one tweenager, and two adorable, sweet dogs?

Canada City is lookin’ better & better…

I think those toxic tech bros have already gone full cannibal anarchy in South Lake Union.

12:45 am • Wednesday • March 18, 2020

@¡Andrew!: Border’s closing in 48 hours. Scoot up to Vancouver fast.

3:51 pm • Wednesday • March 18, 2020

I guess I’d have to classify all of you dependents. My bungalow could barely hold all of you.

5:56 pm • Wednesday • March 18, 2020

@ManchuCandidate: And to think just ten years ago we were sitting on my couch at Former World Domination Headquarters, watching the midterms open the Gates of Hades.

6:11 pm • Wednesday • March 18, 2020

Yeah. It was the last time I visited Cali.

9:14 pm • Wednesday • March 18, 2020


Bill Clinton’s payniss is the key that opened the gates to hell.

Who’d a thought that, huh?

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