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Sunday Bon Mots From Six Feet Away

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Coronavirus Pandemic Causes Climate Of Anxiety And Changing Routines In America
I just hope Ken and Vince don’t have to wear masks during their broadcasts.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

You know things are slow around baseball when you peruse the headlines from publications around the country, only to find:

These Shortstops’ Favorite Soups Will Shock You

Seth Brown: “I Will Skype With Literally Anyone” Anyone? Please?

Rival Closers Learn That Their Dog Groomers’ Aunts’ Accountants’ Sisters Have Same Barber!

Proposal #73 For MLB Season Has Seven Hurdles To Overcome Before Facing Big Problem

One On One Exclusive With The Brains Behind Falcon McFalconface

Granted, I never took Francisco Lindor to be a Cream of Mushroom Soup type of guy, but still this just isn’t the “cutting edge, behind the scenes” insight I was looking for in early May.

Then again, there have been some slivers of silver lining from this pandemic to be observed around town. If you live in an urban setting accustomed to a “hustle-bustle” lifestyle you may have noticed drivers waiting instead of honking, standing patiently waiting to enter a store and even conversing in a friendly manner with the stranger in front of them. (New Yawkers don’t even have a word for this behavior because it has yet to be observed.)

The other day I saw someone standing in line for Trader Joe’s, immersed in a book. Naturally, I had to go to the internet immediately to look up what a “book” was and I have to say they seem really cool. I’m thinking one that wasn’t too long or too short would make a first rate coaster for my morning tea.

Perhaps now that they have nothing to do except play on their phones, our young people are finally getting sick of their phones and will emerge from this pandemic craving face to face connection. It reminds me of the parent who catches their child smoking and forces them to smoke cigarette after cigarette until their child is so sick and disgusted they never want to smoke another cigarette in their life. (Or they become addicted on the spot and emerge as a pack-a-day smoker at age 12. But enough about my Aunt Bertha.)

Maybe the current obsession with sanitizing surfaces, washing hands, and avoiding touching faces, will persist enough postdemic that as a society we will cut future flu season casualties in half — as infectious disease experts have long claimed we could do just by better observing these principles.

I just worry about the couples who, right before being ordered to shelter in place, were already considering whether this relationship was right for them. And now they’re cooped up together 24/7. My Aunt Bertha and Uncle Perv have what you would call a “love-hate” relationship, which in this case means that they love to hate each other.

They have been playing a game, this weekend, that might be familiar: within a theme (e.g., “ice cream flavors”), one person says a word, and the other person has to find a word that starts with the letter the last word ended with, without repeating a letter. Here is their ongoing duel so far:

“impotent”
“trainwreck”
“knucklehead”
“dull”
“loveless marriage”

The game is currently on hold as they argue whether or not using two words is a violation. But I figure a marriage that has survived two packs a day for 45 years can probably survive each other.

The question is, can I survive much longer without baseball and the answer is no. For now, though, we’ll have to get by with silly games so I want to invite you to play, as a group, the game outlined above. One person just needs to establish a category and then in replies anyone can put an acceptable answer to continue the train until no one can come up with an entry (or we hit 26 answers, which is unlikely).

Example: Someone posts “Category: A’s shortstops” and someone’s first reply is “Semien”. Someone replies “Nakajima,” and then it is up to someone to find an entry that begins with “A” — but also cannot end with “s” or “n” or “a” because those are already off the table.

It could be fun. Mirth everywhere! Time flying, cats and dogs gamboling merrily asunder! See you in the comments.......