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Dear Kalen,

Thanks for taking me to “shoot the hooch.” I cannot believe I grew up in Atlanta and never did this before.**

I almost feel like I need to turn in my Southern girl card.

But not quite, as I adapted like a champ.

Ratty visor? Check.
Brewery coozies? Check.
Cooler filled with beer? Check.
Bungee cords to tie our tubes together? Check.
Bikini to get some sun (even though I know better)? Check.

The sun was hot. The beer and the water were cold.

It was a perfect day.

Perfect until I fell in, that is. (No, apparently I CAN’T reach your speaker carabiner.)

So there I was, dangling in the water, contemplating how best to get back in the tube when something touched my leg.

SOMETHING TOUCHED MY LEG.

My human brain knew it was just river weed.

My lizard brain lost it.

I started scream laughing. You started scream laughing. At me.

Here’s a dramatic re-enactment of me, slippery from sunscreen and still screeching, trying to get back into the innertube.

In addition to making sure to stay in the tube next time, we also will have to do a better job of tying you to the cooler float so you don’t end up in someone else’s pod, flouting social distancing expectations.

Thanks for the adventure. Let’s do it again soon!

Love and ‘hoochee kisses,
Beth

* Thank you, Alan Jackson.

** Edit: A friend reminded me I DID shoot the hooch. In college. While completely trashed. So that doesn’t count, as I don’t remember.

Dear Tony (perhaps not your name in your hummingbird circle, but this is what we call you):

Thank you for giving me a magical moment. I sit on our balcony every day, watch you at the feeder I set out only a month ago, and try to be still so I don’t scare you.

Today, you flew over to me and hovered directly in front of my face for at least 30 seconds.

I didn’t dare to breathe, even though I was squealing inside.

I could hear your wings beating.

I felt the wind from the flapping on my face.

After you satisfied your curiosity, you moved off a bit to the side, and I took your picture.

After you left me giddy, I did some research.

  • We assumed there were more of you, but pretended it was just you: our friend Tony. As it turns out, it may just be you. Apparently, you and your kind have excellent memories and remember your favorite nectar spots.
  • Lending credence to the theory of one, you feed every 10 minutes or so. So I set my stopwatch when you visited, then stopped it when you came back.
  • Apparently, you can recognize the person feeding you by sight and voice.

So maybe you just wanted to get a better look at the person feeding you.

Thank you; it made my day!

Love,
Your human, Beth

Dear Evangelicals for Trump:

I infiltrated your ranks Thursday night, against my own best interests and Eddie’s wishes.

We were both afraid it would be shoulder to shoulder with no masks in sight.

We were wrong.

The hotel employed social distancing efforts, and nearly everyone was wearing a mask. At first.

I didn’t take any chances. I double masked — with a twist.

My mask says “But her emails.” Heh heh.

To be honest, I’m surprised I didn’t burst into flames upon arrival.

Let’s just say you’re not my usual crowd.

And I did find it very funny that I followed a car with the custom license plate “SAVED” into the parking garage.

So why did I go?

Because I genuinely wanted to know how people who follow the Bible can also follow Trump.

I was raised Presbyterian. I know scripture. And nowhere does it say:

And if thou wanteth the p—-, thou shalt grabbeth the p—-. And thy womenfolk will submit, for it is good.

Anyway, the crowd warmer was a gospel couple. Lovely, but not exactly sing-along style. Not for me, anyway, because, you know, HEATHEN.

The emcee for the night welcomed the crowd, then introduced Jonathan Cain.

The Jonathan Cain from Journey.

And my inner voice (in the voice of Daveed Diggs) said, “Whaaaaat?!”

Apparently, he’s got a new single to promote.

 

I don’t know what you thought of “More Like Jesus.” In my humble opinion, it’s no “Don’t Stop Believin’,” and he’s no Steve Perry, vocally.

(In other words, it’s not a banger.)

Next up was Jentezen Franklin, a “trusted voice for our president.”

And it was then, 30 minutes in, that someone finally explained why religious folks would support Trump:

It’s not about four more years. It’s about 37 more years. It’s about two more Supreme Court justices who are pro-life, pro-Israel, freedom of religion and freedom of speech.

Without that, according to him, “We won’t have the freedoms we grew up with.”

“What freedoms are those?” I was wondering when the dude brought out his saxophone.

I’m not kidding.

Jentezen Franklin plays “America the Beautiful.” He didn’t follow with “Baker Street,” sadly.

I guess he didn’t want Cain to upstage him.

This was getting a talent show kind of vibe, so I was excited to see what Bishop Harry Jackson would do.

But he just promoted his new book and explained racism to a room of mostly white people. Y’all were polite, but unenthusiastic.

Bishop Harry Jackson didn’t show off his musical talents.

Interestingly, he was the first person to mention the president by name: 45 minutes into the event.

Ralph Reed, the next speaker, alluded to why.

Donald Trump with his imperfect past and with his personality … God chooses to use whoever he chooses to use.

Ah. Gotcha.

God and Jesus are the headliners; Trump is support.

Y’all seemed to love Ralph, even though he didn’t do anything music-related either.

He emphasized that you need to support Trump because he is:

Pro-life
Pro-marriage
Pro-freedom
Pro-constitution

Reed claimed Trump is “the most pro-life president in American History.”

Imma let you finish but first, let me remind you of his response to the ongoing pandemic.

In fact, let’s back up. I can’t help it.

Pro-life: Just unborn babies, apparently
Pro-marriage: Only between a man and a woman
Pro-freedom: Religious freedom to discriminate
Pro-constitution: A Tea Party battle cry regarding the expansion of the federal government (maybe)

OK. I’m done for the moment. Go on.

Next up: Alveda King, niece of MLK Jr.

She talked about squash plants and chipmunks. I was a little confused. But then she said:

Some things never change. Some things do change. There was a change of the guard in 2016.

And then she said something about Planned Parenthood “ripping little babies up.”

I see. Abortion. That’s the main driver.

OK, then. Let me say this about that:

No one is hyped to get an abortion. It’s a last resort. Also, no one is “pro abortion.” So let’s agree on one thing: The goal is to reduce abortions. How do we do that?

As we’ve seen with prohibition and the “war on drugs,” making them illegal won’t work. People will find a way, but it makes it very dangerous for women. So to me, the solution is to put more money into sex education, healthcare and contraception.

If you are pro-life (and really, aren’t we all?) then you should be supporting organizations like Planned Parenthood that actively help women with the above needs.

Alright.

Moving on to the next speaker, Richard Lee, who is as orange as the evening’s celebrant: the Cheeto in Chief.

He didn’t address abortion like everyone else. His main beef seemed to be with what is being taught in school: “garbage.”

Oh, and the Antichrist in the form of Democrats.

The Democratic Party has been taken over by the Antichrist. It’s an evil party.

I thank God that he sent Donald J. Trump to us. He is a gift to the church of Jesus Christ.

As much as you seemed to like this statement, I could tell you were restless. He willfully went over his allotted time and joked about it.

You were ready for the final act: Pastor Paula White. I found out later she is married to Jonathan Cain. Ah. He’s her third husband. With overlaps in relationships. So she’s truly taking those commandments seriously.

(🙄)

I mean, good for her for breaking into a man’s world in all respects.

In 2017, she became the first woman to deliver the invocation at a presidential inauguration.

She spent her time this night trying to convince everyone that Trump really is “godly” and “knows his scripture.”

Sure.

All I know is that I was hot in my two masks (and perhaps because of the fire and brimstone), so I slunk out a side door.

Y’all weren’t hot because all but about 12 of you shed your masks mere moments into the event.

(And that made me feel like I was marinating in the ‘Rona.)

Anyway, thanks for letting me bear witness. And now I’m on the Trump Train mailing list! This should be fun.

Your obedient servant friend,
Beth

Yeah. You know how I feel about bashing the news media.

Dear Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences:

I’d like to nominate my son Gideon for Best Actor in a Leading Role. As Prisoner No. 4 in “Quarantine 2020,” he was as good, if not better, than last year’s winner Joaquin Phoenix.

The humanity — the pathos — he brought to his role really is unparalleled.

Just look at his commitment to character in this scene with his father:

And his performance during last night’s climax when all our test results came back negative?

It featured effusive kissing, hugging, brother-wrestling: All you would expect from an Oscar-winning performance. The display featured the emotional depth of Sally Field in “Norma Rae.” (And watching it was akin to watching her acceptance speech for “Places in the Heart.”)

So I present Gideon for your consideration.

I’ve blocked my calendar for the nominations announcement March 15, 2021.

Warm regards,
Beth

Dear Prisoner No. 4, aka Gideon,

You know that saying, “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time?” Well, in this case, you really didn’t do the crime. You are innocent.

That still doesn’t mean we can set you free, Smooth Criminal. You are incarcerated until we all get our test results.

The family that tests together stays together.

You did get time out of your cell for the testing, but that was not a good time for any of us.

Prisoner No. 4 submits to testing.

We all suffered. Dominic claimed it was “nasal rape.”

You certainly haven’t lost your sense of humor.

On the way home, we had this conversation:

Me: When we get home, I have to go out to buy more wine as someone didn’t follow the list.
Daddy: I thought it was a “pick one” list instead of a “get all.” What if I bought a bunch of wine, and you got mad?
Me: It’s like you don’t even know me. I would never get mad at too much wine.
You: That’s something an alcoholic would say.

Laughter ensued.

In a way, I suspect you are loving captivity.

You don’t have to do your chores.

You can eat in your room.

Your brother isn’t able to harass you.

And we’ve sort of made a joke of it.

Anyway, you can rejoin society (i.e., us) in 3-5 days when we get (negative, we hope) test results back.

Love you despite your record,
Mama

Hello Readers!
I apologize for not posting since July 5. I took a much-needed tech break. But now I’m back!
Beth

Dear Father of Gideon’s Friend:

As a fellow parent, I’ve always kind of felt for you. I realized how much you were trying to make sure your son gets to see his friends after you moved away. And even though you struck me as a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of guy, your kid seems nice enough. I always wanted Gideon to hang out with him, if possible.

But now I’m angry at you.

You exposed Gideon and another of his friends to COVID-19. And by extension, their families.

You should have known better. If your kid was unusually fatigued, then that’s cause for concern. You certainly should not have hosted a SLEEPOVER for crying out loud!

Imagine how the parents of those kids felt this morning when you called to let us know that your son has a fever.

Now I’m isolating Gideon and have scheduled a test for him and the rest of us. (I am NOT looking forward to having my brain scraped again.)

You were irresponsible. Negligent.

Not only is this SUPER irritating, but it’s possibly life threatening for Eddie the Asthmatic.

So thanks, Father of the Year. I hope you and your son enjoy being alone for a while.

Two weeks, at least.

Regards,
Gideon’s mom

 

 

Dear Coronavirus:

You’ve affected every aspect of my life and the lives of others, but I guess we won’t be meeting in person. At least not right now.

I was sure we had a date. You remember.

So I submitted myself to your truly heinous screening process:

I drove through a tent where people in hazmat suits stuck a stick up my nose, carved out some of my brain, and tried to pop out my eye from the back.

This could be me if the woman had a death grip on the steering wheel.

That’s how it felt.

They said they’d let me know if you were ready for me.

But to borrow from and butcher the work of Randy Travis:

Since my email still ain’t pinging,
I assume it still ain’t you.

And that’s really for the best. All your exes say you aren’t fun.

Kthanksbye,
Beth

UPDATE (July 5 at 7:51 p.m.): I finally got an email. Negative, as I suspected. But peace of mind is everything!

Warning: This post contains use of extreme sarcasm.

Dear Certain White People:

Hi. Me again. You seem very defensive lately. Dare I say easily offended? Even fragile?

You say you feel attacked because of the color of your skin? Something you can’t change!

The nerve! How dare people judge you based on your appearance?

Let me assure you: You are a very special snowflake. Of course NOT ALL WHITE PEOPLE are racist.

Surely no one can ever accuse you of racism when you are “just stating facts.” Like this:

And I FULLY understand that Aunt Jemima shouldn’t offend anyone as even her great grandson doesn’t want her image removed.

 

OF COURSE her image isn’t perpetuating the “mammy” stereotype and imagery of black servitude to whites. She was a REAL WOMAN, for crying out loud. It’s just pancake syrup!

And I HEAR YOU when you say your history is being destroyed when these LIBTARDS take down Confederate statues and remove the Confederate BATTLE flag. It’s HERITAGE NOT HATE. Yes, of course it is.

There, there.

I understand that equal rights must be like pie: More for others MUST mean less for you. That’s why you are so upset. All these things affect you personally. OF COURSE they do.

Shush now. It will be OK.

I’ll talk to that mean blogger friend of mine who tried to refute clear statements of fact such as, “If we had WET (White Entertainment Television), we’d be racists.”

I mean, can you IMAGINE if white people wanted that? I’m not sure how it could be whiter than it is has been, but you should be able to find a way. You’re WHITE!

I UNDERSTAND that All Lives Matter. We are all EQUAL. OF COURSE we are. Systemic racism and COVID-19 are things dreamed up by those aforementioned LIBTARDS to whip people into a frenzy and distract from the REAL issue: That damn Hillary’s emails!

Here’s a white man talking about racism. Because OF COURSE.

I know, I know: It’s not FOX News or InfoWars. But he’s a good Christian!

No, I promise you ARE NOT embarrassing yourself. I know you’ve read important research like this.

You are in the right here, as you ALWAYS are. I DON’T UNDERSTAND why ANYONE would disagree with you. How DARE those SJWs! They’re just virtue signaling.

I’m SO SORRY you have to go through this. Things should just STAY THE SAME, amirite?

That unwillingness to evolve DOES NOT mean that you are racist. OF COURSE you aren’t. Some of your BEST FRIENDS are black.

Best wishes and warmest regards,
Beth

Recipe for Disaster

Ingredients:

1 night feeling a bit dizzy
1 slight cough
1 morning sore throat
1 article about a Texas family

Method:

Set the first ingredient aside for 24 hours. Then add the second ingredient. Set that mixture aside for another 24 hours. Add last two ingredients, and whip into a frenzy.

Place frothed mess that is surely COVID-19 onto a refreshed CDC website. Set a test timer for one week.

While the timer is running, think carefully about the ingredients.

Remember:

  • The three sleepless nights leading up to the first.
  • The fact that major construction is happening on the floor below the office where you’ve been spending many hours every day. (Hello, construction dust!)
  • Sleeping on your back. Mouth open. Possibly snoring. (Gasp! No!)
  • That only one of the ingredients is a common symptom of the ‘Rona.
  • It’s pollen season. (Ohhhh. Riiiiight. Allergies.)
  • And also you wear a mask every time you are in public, which is not often, AND wipe down and/or spray everyone and everything that enters the house.

Add a good night’s sleep and reminders to fermented stew.

Poof!

Toxic brew evaporated.

Dear Folks Who Are Wondering What It’s Like To Go To A Theme Park That Just Reopened:

It’s weird. Every bit of it is weird.

As indicated in my last post, we took Eddie to Six Flags for Father’s Day. “We” meaning “Gideon and I” because Dominic didn’t get off work.

🙄

Anyway, I had to make a reservation for us to go. That’s new.

Also new:

· Hand-washing stations outside the entrance

· Temperature scans on the way in (not sure that helps if people are asymptomatic, but ok)

· The requirement for everyone to wear a mask at all times

· Social distancing in the queue

· Social distancing on the rides themselves

· Having to scream/laugh through a mask (but that might just be my problem)

· Hand sanitizer everywhere

So yeah, plenty of changes.

There are some things that haven’t changed:

· Crappy attitudes of the teenaged staff

· Skin-boiling heat with no shade in sight

· Unappetizing food such as a burger with the bun literally dripping butter

· The potential for ride malfunction

Here are the mechanics working on the ride we just exited — the one we were stuck on for 15 minutes.

So it was different, but not so much so that I would stay away. We have to get our membership money’s worth!

Yours in thrills,
Beth