Showing posts with label pandemics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pandemics. Show all posts

Saturday, July 25, 2020


Image by ĐÔ NGUYỄN from Pixabay

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids and my great-grandkids — the Stickies — to advise them and haunt them after they become grups or I'm deleted.

Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, and/or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering



Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana —  A Gentlereader

"The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter - 'tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning."  
                                                                                              -Mark Twain

Dear Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& Gentlereaders),

What does a columnist and beloved grandfather write about when he/she/they is/are suffering from GNT (grim news fatigue)?


[Fireflies? Why?]

So I'd have an excuse to write that flocks of flaming fireflies are fitfully flitting through the fields of my fiefdom this fine year.

[You don't have a fiefdom, and flocks...]

But I do have a poetic license and a song in my heart.


Anyways, Dana, here in the mountains of Ohio the fireflies are so numerous this year that at first I thought the IAFF-NAR (International Association of Fireflies, North American Region) was holding their annual convention in the thriving metropolis of Cleveland. 

I'm embarrassed to say that it didn't occur to me, till I did a bit of googlin', that this year's convention was canceled due to the Wuhan flu.


Are you familiar with the Spanish flu, Dana?

[Are you referring to the 1918 influenza pandemic, actual origin unknown?]

I am indeed. The one that according to the CDC killed at least 50,000,000 H. sapiens while a world war was going on. But we know where our somewhat wimpy by comparison pandemic started, even the current emperor of China admits that.

[I see what you did there...]

Yeah, me too, I got sucked into talking about grim news again. Let's get back to lightning bugs...

[Hold up a sec', a bit of column housekeeping has to be dealt with. We're getting letters from people wanting to know what's up with your latest bizarre literary device, he/she/they.]

Diversity and Inclusion, of course.

When I was taught the fundamentals of reading and writing by Sister Mary McGillicuddy back in the Black&White Ages when the Patriarchy reigned virtually unchallenged, I was told that...

Well, here's a quote from Wikipedia. "The generic he serves as a pronoun whose antecedent is any noun denoting a social category under which both sexes fall: A good student always does his homework."

S'ter Mary, not woke, and thus unaware that this convention had been concocted by the Illuminati's Committee For the Suppression of Women Through Language Control, Subcommittee For English (CFSWTLC-SFE), taught us this was just a way to keep things simple.

Also, that they was reserved for plural uses. Thus: Good students always do their homework.

Once the women's liberation movement of the sixties picked up steam all sorts of people began substituting she for he to protest "male chauvinism," an oft-heard phrase at the time.

"Activism" — of minimal effort and minimal consequence — was just as popular then as it is now.

Now that the Wokies have set the college campuses on fire and the fire is spreading rapidly, pronouns have become a hooge deal because of pronoun perpetrated verbal violence inflicted upon the LGBTQ (+ this, that, and even that other thing) community.

However, many of my fellow geezers and geezerettes find that using they/them instead of he/him just looks and feels... wrong. (I'm tempted to point out that old people can be such a pain in the bum but that would be ageist.)

But with the exception of Satan's minions — white, heterosexual, cisgender, male geezers — we have to include even the Boomers in a healthy, tossed salad of diversity and inclusion to replace the high-fat, melting pot of patriarchy.   

Thus, he is for the traditionalists, she is for the formerly hip and everyone that identifies as a woman, and they is for everyone else. Hence, he/she/they. No one's left out; no one's self-esteem takes a hit.

[Wait a minute... aren't you one of Satan's minions?]

Could we get back to fireflies, please? My word allocation is running dangerously low.

I realize that my dear Stickies and gentlereaders will find this hard to believe but when I went a-googlin' to try and find out why there are so many fireflies in the Ohio mountains this year I was presented with contradictory information.

Bottom line: I found nothing about Ohio specifically but I discovered that nationwide lightning bug populations are in decline — unless they're not.

A couple of quotes from Christopher Heckscher, an epidemiologist at Delaware State University in a USA Today article, Fireflies are dying out because people are destroying their habitat.

"If fireflies are disappearing..." My emphasis.

"...the quantitative data isn't there yet to express population decline in terms of numbers of the insect..."

Since the article was published, Dr. Heckscher has accepted a position at the World Health Organization.

[Fakes news! You made that up!

Yup, I sure did.

Hey, I'm outta here. I'm going for a walk, lots of fireflies out tonight.

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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