Took Birch back to the vet, and while I waited in my car I took a look at the vacant lot next to the parking lot. It used to be a pizza restaurant. Ate there . . . once, maybe twice in 15 years. Some people loved their pizza, but every pizza has its fans. The pizza place burned - a grease fire, I think, and how fitting. They had another location; now closed. It was one of those places that sprung up in the 50s when the pizza craze hit, and everyone grew up with it, and hence thought it was the best.

We expected them to build something on the lot. They haven’t.

Well, that’s a bit bleak and monochromatic. Let’s zoom out.

Oh

Mind you, the rest of the street is nice enough, even though the main intersection is boring. But this spot is just a sponge for urban energy. I should be glad it’s not burned out, though, with graffiti.

What we need is a big story in the media, in every outlet, that says the following:

SOON - NOT TOMORROW, BUT SOON - ENOUGH PEOPLE WILL HAVE BEEN VACCINATED, AND WE CAN TAKE OFF OUR MASKS, GO ANYWHERE, AND DO ANYTHING

But you will not see that story. Why?

Because it's not true! you might say. “Soon” is the wrong word. Okay. How about EVENTUALLY? That’s enough of a weasel-word to pass muster, and I say that as someone who once saw a weasel pass some muster. Don’t want to be downwind from that. But you still won’t see the story, because the idea floating around in the cultural miasma about COVID is wedded to mask usage, and the people who make an idol of Science! wag fingers when anyone says that we should abandon masks at the earliest opportunity.

   
  What would a Federal mask mandate require? More than mandates do now? Doesn't matter: it would Federal, which is super effective and also super smarterer, and it would have the power to prop people in front of a screen like the main character in A Clockwork Orange.
   
  Two things characterize the exemplars of our modern enlightenment: Revenge and Lists.
   

As I always say: I am a big mask guy. Well, I'm a small guy, who always wears a mask. It is a social signal I am willing to make. It doesn't impede anything, except my happiness. I hate the fact that I haven't seen people's whole faces in public for almost an entire year. I want to be done with them as soon as possible, and not on the schedule of people who regard the world with tremulous terror.

 
   
  Vox says you shouldn't go to the grocery store anymore. It's too dangerous. Stay home. Have the magic grocery elves deliver it.
   
  A typical reply. It's no longer safe! Government, please give me food and masks and pay my rent!
   
  "Not beyond the limits of human endurance." Hold the line! The author of this tweet put her PhD in her name so we all know we should pay attention.
   

I went to two grocery stores today, and you know what that means: I got it coming, Jack.

This is one of the saddest pictures I saw today.

It's a world absolutely drained of spirit, isn't it?

A great actor and a great author. Last day of shooting for the TV show in which the former stars, based on books by the latter. Have you ever seen a more dispiriting tableau? I assume everyone’s been tested, if they’re doing a TV production. There’s no one else around. But hey you gotta mask, because . . . well, because we all wear masks now.

Anyway: the reason we’re not reassured that a mask-free world is coming soon might have a leeeetle bit to do with the angry maskers, who hate the angry anti-maskers. If the anti-maskers make it through all this without getting COVID and land in a world where no masks are the norm, it’s like they were justified somehow.

Hence the desire to punish them before we get to that point.

 

 

 

It’s 1900. The newspaper industry, always evolving, has burst forth in the big cities with wildly inventive means of catching the customer’s eyes.

In the town of Albert Lea:

That'sthe worst front page you’ll ever see.

Why? What is all that stuff?

Oh, of course. It’s a list of everyone’s property tax payments. Of course.

I gather that this was required by law, for some reason; cannot imagine why any publication would offer to do this out of some sense of public interest.

   
  The page is also littered with ads, and they’re a salty bunch.
   

Henry has no time for your foolishness. You want a gun, you pay for it. Cash. On the barrelhead. No terms. Here. Now leave.

He also sold bicycles, and no doubt was equally brusque about the matter.

The reproduction is lacking, so let me give you the gist: all these people with soft-serve-cone hair were sorely ill. The “public nuisance” referred to the fact that her nose was constantly running. Gobs of ceaseless yucas.

Dr. Downing cured them all. His elixir cured blindness.

   
 

There’s a cliche about Minnesota, doncha know, and there’s a reason.

   

 

Here's the town in the Old Country!

   
 

The laff column! Ha ha death to chickens

Ha ha the dog died

   

 

The cats will want your beer, that’s how good it is

   
 

Good luck.

Uninvited Guests is a reference to something, no? A play, a novel - it has to mean something that’s not evident here.

   

   
 

Wikipedia: “Charles King (October 12, 1844 – March 17, 1933) was an American soldier and a distinguished writer.”

“In 1898, he was appointed brigadier general of volunteers and sailed to the Philippines during the Spanish–American War. The fighting with Spain was over by the time he arrived, but he assisted in the surrender negotiations.”

   

Finally:

Wikipedia:

Peruna was a well-known patent medicine sold from the late 19th to mid 20th century. The mascot of Southern Methodist University was named after the product. It was patented by Samuel Brubaker Hartman, and endorsed by hundreds of politicians. Hartman began selling the product on July 29, 1885, and advertised it as curing catarrh. At its peak, Hartman was earning $100,000 a day from Peruna sales. The drug was reportedly so popular that babies were named after it. Peruna once released an ad with 50 United States Congressmen endorsing the product.

In a series of 11 articles Samuel Hopkins Adams wrote for Collier's in 1905, "The Great American Fraud", Adams exposed many of the false claims made about patent medicines, pointing out that in some cases these medicines were damaging the health of the people using them. On October 20, 1906, Adams published an article in Collier's, claiming that Peruna and other such patent-medicines were frauds, for instance alleging that Peruna was 28% alcohol. The series had a huge impact and led to the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906.

But they still made it - and since it was 56 proof, it was quite popular during Prohibition.

That'll do. See you tomorrow.

 

 

 

 
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