It. Finally. Happened.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf closed the schools for the rest of the year. Two. More. Months. And the chances of summer camps and summer jobs for teens now seem pretty close to, say, winning the lottery. (Is there still a lottery? Is gambling an essential service?)
I really don’t know how we’re all going to make it through this quaran-teen. Here’s a recent conversation:
Teen #1: Dad, why are you guys going out so much! We’re not supposed to go out! You’re putting us all at risk!
Me: Because we still need to eat. I’m going out to get groceries.
After I return from the grocery store:
Teen #1: Where’s the microwave popcorn?
Teen #2: Don’t they have any of the good toilet paper?
Spouse: No White Cheddar Cheez-Its?
Teen #1: Dad, you got me two bottles of conditioner!
Me: Yes… so I don’t have to go out as often.
Teen #1: But Dad, I only sent you a picture of the conditioner bottle as an example. I also needed shampoo!
Me: I will go back tomorrow.
Teen #1: Dad! No! You’re going to get us all sick! Stop going outside! It's too risky!
We are truly in Bizzarro World now.
Here’s a sample of things I’ve done recently that I have never, ever done:
1) Visited my over-70 parents to drop off: four bottles of Rosé and two boxes of… Raisin Bran. Breakfast of Champions!
2) Made matzoh “crack.” What is this? you’re wondering. It’s when you coat four sheets of matzoh with two sticks of melted butter and then cover the whole deal with lots of sugar and chocolate chips and chill overnight in the fridge. It’s the only way matzoh is edible, and is very, very hard to stop eating (hence the nickname). Then you spend the next two days straining on the toilet.
3) Ran the “blockade” to Jersey to get liquor. (If you’re PA State Police, please stop reading here.) Pennsylvania has a State Store system, and the governor deemed liquor non-essential. (Yet, somehow, the beer distributors are open. You can figure this one out.) So, risking massive fines ($25/bottle), confiscation of purchases, and possible jail, I put on a wig (even longer than my real hair!) and fake mustache and drove to New Jersey.
The liquor store not only required a mask to enter, but had hand sanitizer stations set up to enter and exit. All employees were masked. Plexiglass in front of the cashiers. If only we could protect our supermarket workers like this! Meanwhile, I had the fingerless driving gloves and the nitrous system in the car all ready to go, expecting some Cannonball Run-esque race back home where I had to outrun five cops, sirens wailing, and make it over the bridge. Turns out, smuggling liquor during a pandemic is surprisingly serene.
Governor Wolf, I’m begging you: Please, please re-open the State Stores so I can pay more for a terrible selection. Please.
-- Josh Piven