Longing for a Short Story + Wordplay?

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Rather than rational, international compliance,
humanity’s reliance on the appliance of science
was met with defiance, insanity & inanity! Alas,
this could only end up in pointlessly prolonging
the global pandemic’s needless death & despair.

The End

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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A Spooky Lead Up To Halloween

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One spring morning, many decades ago, my Mom had handed me an edition of our local newspaper neatly folded to “frame” an obituary. She’d been wondering if the deceased had been a college buddy of mine.

The deceased’s name certainly was common enough so it could’ve been someone else… but… as I began to read, I could sense my eyes widening and jaw dropping. As surreal as this all was, the in-print particulars had left no “i” undotted; no “t” uncrossed.

Indeed, this was the same guy… we had been enrolled in the same broadcasting courses, worked together in the recording studio and eventually earned our degrees. And now… there I was reading the two paragraph final chapter to his all too short life. Short story even shorter… while my 27-year-young photographer friend was on a photo shoot assignment up in Canada, he had suffered a fatal heart attack.

Six torn off calendar pages later… in the days leading up to Halloween no less… there I was browsing, from A to Z, through a mall record store’s vinyl LP bins near closing time… so completely engrossed in reading liner notes I had barely noticed in my peripheral vision that someone was approaching me.

As it turned out, he was far from being just another nameless customer. His cheerful “Hi Tom!” amply proved that.

OMG… that oh so familiar, distinctive voice. It hadn’t been all that long ago when I had routinely heard it in my studio headphones. There was no denying who had just spoken, YET, all my sensibilities told me this could not possibly be happening. Cautiously glancing upward and leftward there, right before my very eyes, stood my reported dead friend… in the flesh?

Under the circumstances, the one and only thing I could possibly blurt out was, “You’re supposed to be dead!”

For a fleeting moment, I had wondered if I might’ve just joined him “on the other side”. I had read of near-death experience survivors who’ve unfailingly reported…

  • Stage One: Floating upward, out of body experiences.
  • Stage Two: Seeing a brilliant, white light at the end of a long, dark tunnel
  • Stage Three: Glorious, out of this world, Heavenly family/friend reunions.

Yet, my brief downward glance confirmed that my feet were still firmly grounded; that no EMTs were frantically trying to resuscitate my sprawled out on the carpet, lifeless body. No tunnel vision, either. Even the ambient lighting had never gone beyond that provided by the overhead, fluorescent fixtures. So, if I had, indeed, just died… just how, pray tell, had I managed to skip over the preliminaries… to arrive at Stage Three?

I could sense the puzzled, still startled look, frozen on my own face. My friend almost seemed to be enjoying how he was spooking me out… could not begin to contain his wide grin and chuckling. But this had been so typical of his sense of humor and, on this occasion, he still had his comedic sense of timing down pat. Well, eventually, he realized it was time to tell me all about how he had “died”.

Indeed… there had been a heart attack… BUT the person who had actually suffered it was the guy who had stolen his wallet. Since New York driver’s licenses of that era had been issued sans photo, the Canadian authorities only had a minimal physical description… so generic it could’ve easily described tens of thousands of men. The discovery that he was still alive had come far too late to “kill” his death notice.

As we parted company that evening, it had been our warm, 98.6-degree, firm handshake, which, ultimately, had proven that no ghostly apparition was he!

As I drove home… alternately glancing between the the nearly deserted road and crescent moon breaking through the clouds on the western horizon… I could not help but mull over all that had happened at the mall. I knew it would take some time for me to more fully shake those still lingering, unsettled feelings.

Well, the good part of this near death experience was neither my friend nor I had to even come close to dying to experience it… and while he hadn’t actually tricked his way out of death, he did get the treat of reading his own obituary.

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Original WordPress
Posting Timestamp:
07/11/2016 @19:56

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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BioPic Trailer: Quick Limerick #111

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To run down biopic: Dumbo Encumbered
Into our lives, orange white elephant lumbered
He’d trumpet sick, toxic isms
To dredge societal schisms
Caused Covid dolor and death; ‘cause he slumbered

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

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To Souls Present and Passed…

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A toast to all humane humans, who persevere;
And to whatever remain of our worldly tomorrows;
Even if that tallies out at one; just tomorrow.
And to today; in the event tomorrow never comes.

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A toast to all kindhearted souls; present and passed;
And to our eventual, eternal reunion;
Be our shared existence at the elemental level,
On the anticipated, heavenly plane,
Or within some extraordinary realm that
cannot be fathomed by the mere, mortal mind.

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

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Numbing Numbers

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01/14/2021 19:30* = 2 Million Fatalities (Worldwide)
01/15/2021 16:30* = 400K Fatalities (United States)

*Military Time / Eastern U.S. Time Zone

The already grim stats, above, fail to reflect the total number of COVID-19 cases. That’s mainly due to inadequate testing, misdiagnoses, death certificate errors and (saving the worst for last), the feckless, in CYA mode leaders whose MO is to always bury the truth. Additionally, with each passing second, the death toll continues to skyrocket at an alarming rate.

Beyond that, no cold, clinical statistical report could ever tally the countless, accompanying teardrops; of the isolated patients taking their final gasp of oxygen, the medical professionals whose best efforts cannot save them, and last but not least, all of their mourning loved ones.

Let’s be sure to set aside a few moments, today, every day, to contemplate the two million, plus, members of our human family who are no longer with us; to also remember to…

Stay Publicly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

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R.I.P.

 

Preface: If you’re anything like me, by now, you’re familiar with the arrhythmic biorhythms that go hand in hand with our pandemic reinvented existence. And that’s inclusive of waking up from fitful slumbers, at odd hours, oft, way before dawn’s early light. And, oh how I wish my own return to consciousness… this very day… this very blog… only involved a nightmare…

For those who are familiar with this website, you’ve noticed the Roylab Stats Pandemic Real Time Counter (accompanied by my supplied survival tips), which I’ve opted to leave “stuck” to the top of my homepage for the duration.

As complete and accurate as this Real Time Counter strives to be, what it fails to report are the oceans of tears… of the patients, the medical professionals who are trying to save them, and last but not least, all who are mourning those, who did not make it back home… well… at least not back to their homes found on earth.

With regards to those above italicized words…

As of 03:52 a.m., here in the U.S. Eastern Time Zone, these tireless statisticians reported that, stateside, 200,197 members of our human family have passed on.

While we must feel sorrow for each individual, there’s just something especially heartbreaking and sobering about being witness to this in-real-time, totally unacceptable… and likely government suppressed… total.

This stat also drives home the point that, were America governed by humane, intelligent, nonpartisan, rational national leadership, a goodly portion of those 200,197 souls would still be alive and well, today.

I could say much more, but now is not the time and place.

Let’s all pause, now, for a moment of silence to pay our respects.

 

Stay Safe at Home! Stay Publicly Masked! Stay Healthy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chain Yanking While Social Isolating Can Be Fun

Don’t read the post, below / view the clip, above, if you click by at a time of mourning or other heartache.

I just had the distinct pleasure of shutting down a telemarketer (and likely scammer). Right from the get-go, I cut thru his paint-by-the-numbers pleasantries to ask, “What’s this call all about?” He replied (words to the effect) that he’d be helping me plan my own funeral. How nice…

While there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with pre-planning for life’s end game inevitability, when juxtaposed against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic (which has already got many of us obsessing over death), this was just too damned ghoulish and in bad taste… especially since the “funeral director” was delivering his spiel while his headset was picking up all of that background, boiler room chatter.

Hmm… one would expect some canned, low decibel, somber organ playing or strumming of harps. But hey, if they can’t dig the importance of ambience, it’s their funeral… right?

Anyway, this all left me with the impression that, were I to buy into his scam, my body would eventually wind up on an assembly line conveyor belt, leading to a bubbling cauldron where my mortal remains would be cooked up into a concoction (confection?) known as Soylent Green.

Soylent what? You ask? Short answer: crunchy human granola bars. Somewhat longer rundown…

Soylent Green is the title to the 1973, dystopian, Sci-Fi flick, set in (then futuristic) 2022 NYC, where the main protagonist, Thorn, resides amongst the multiple millions of struggling, starving, homicidal maniacs who battle each other, daily, to score that generic, protein rich foodstuff (and unnaturally… in the process… unwittingly becoming cannibals).

Which brings us back to that crass telemarketer and what went down in the end…

I cut Mr. Reaper off mid-sentence to deadpan, “Uh, I’m donating my body to science.”

CLICK! (his phone, not mine)

I burst into laughter.

Which proves that chain yanking while social isolating can be fun.

 

Stay Safe at Home! Stay Publicly Masked! Stay Healthy!

 

 

 

 

Let’s all pause for a moment…

Less than 1 hour ago, humankind learned that 10 Million cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed, worldwide. Were everybody tested / evaluated, one wonders how much higher that stat would become.

At virtually the same time, another grim statistic became linked, forevermore, to coronavirus’ unchecked, deadly march across our planet.

In a mere, ½ year, ½ million members of our human family have passed through Earth’s Exit Signs… needlessly so… considering how too damned many leaders could not… or worse yet… chose not to honor, the time-honored science.

Further details are available via the real-time counter, which tops off this website’s homepage.

In consideration of the bedridden and to honor all who’ve perished… let’s all pause for a moment…