In Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire,” Blanche DuBois says, “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.”
Not me. I have always counted on the stupidity of strangers. That’s why, for four decades, I was able to do a regular feature on my radio show called Knuckleheads In The News — and never had a shortage of material!
Recent stories during the Coronavirus crisis continue to prove me right — from people who think gargling with bleach will combat the virus to the gaggles of people who reject social distancing and have been gathering in tight groups in parks and other outdoor locations to those who believed pointing a hair dryer at their faces would warm them up sufficiently to kill the virus.
Desperate times may call for desperate measures, and scared people are looking for answers, but they’re stupidly turning to internet memes and unscientific claims rather than listening to actual medical experts. Perhaps this should not be surprising in a nation led by a conspiracy theorist president who tells the public things that have to later be walked back — oftentimes too late, unfortunately.
Whenever I hear, “We’re all in this together, and we have to depend on each other,” I think of the fights in stores over baby wipes and hand sanitizer.
I think of the many who are lining up to buy guns and, apparently, are willing to shoot another human being over a 24-pack of Charmin.
I think of the GOP politicians whose first priority is to give big corporations a tax break rather than the average, everyday Americans — who, if given money, will help the economy by spending it on such frivolous items as food and rent.
There are lots of uncaring, unsympathetic types we as a society can’t depend on to follow the Golden Rule.
I think of my neighbor who feels the best time to fire up his gas-powered leaf blower is 7am on a Saturday.
I think of whoever it is who doesn’t clean up after their dog when he makes a deposit on my lawn.
I think of the guys who don’t put the seat up before spraying their urine all over a public toilet.
I think of the woman who — at a time when we should keep our hands to ourselves — insists on touching every apple in the produce department before choosing the one she’ll actually purchase.
I’m not saying all of humanity is undependable. I have nothing but praise for supermarket workers, delivery drivers, health care professionals, and others who are literally putting their lives on the line by doing their jobs. I’m just saying there’s a large enough number of unreliables to make me happy to remain inside, where I only have to rely on my wife, myself, a wifi signal, and our Netflix account.