When I was younger, I felt pretty world-worn when I posted on Facebook:
“Life usually does not follow our plans but we still need to keep making them. I guess. And then adapt or go grab a beer.”
But, by saying that, I either called it or typed in error.
Because, here in Wisconsin, a bunch of people have decided to not adapt and, instead, they just went and grabbed (likely many many many) beer(s).
Wisconsin, for years defined by its rigid partisanship, has now officially lost its collective mind which was at best “fragile” before:
Or, as summarized visually:
After the Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned the Wisconsin governor’s Stay at Home order, some counties then scrambled to wave their arms and yell, “NOT IN THIS COUNTY NOT IN THIS COUNTY! THE ORDER IS STILL IN PLACE HERE!” and we just have a big, crazy mess.
On top of a global pandemic.
Or so I hear. Because I’m still sitting in my apartment in my pajamas.
But via the internet and social media I’ve learned a bunch of my fellow Wisconsinites screamed, “YAY! FUCK THE GOVERNMENT!” as they ran to their recently opened local to fill it to capacity without taking any precautions.
While others are supporting the #free_to_die movement and making t-shirts:
We Wisconsin people like to drink. A lot.
The thing is… we aren’t trying to survive prohibition right now.
Just go buy the beer from the bars curbside and then drink it at home.
- Local bar makes money.
- You get drunk.
If you miss drinking with people, go to Walmart and buy some fairy/Christmas lights, string them up in some indoor private space, invite a bunch of friends over, choose someone to play the role of “bartender,” give them a tip jar, play music via mp3/cassette tape/CD player, Spotify etc. or juke box and… KAZAM!
You’ve got a private bar and your very own patrons. That’s adapting and you’re still breaking the rules so you can still feel like a badass.
The problem is how some Wisconsin bars which have been allowed to reopen are not following any of the guidelines (masks, gloves, social distancing etc) and, by not doing so, they’re putting the bartenders at risk.
And bartenders are the lifeblood of this state.
But… people will do as people will do.
All of this sucks and it’s unfair and it’s not fun and many of us are struggling to make ends meet and we all don’t have work-from-home jobs and very few of us are happy about this situation (except for some politicians, corporations and Jeff Bezos who are making SO MUCH MONEY off of this like modern day pandemic profiteers).
Yet, ideally, the main goal is to not make it worse.
It can always get worse. And we are helping to prove that here in Wisconsin right now.
If anyone read this blog, I’m sure I’d be harshly criticized for that t-shirt above which assumed the people who flooded the bars Wednesday night were drinking Bud Light.
While I’m positive many of these people were drinking Bud Light, I’m also certain people were drinking to excess a variety of alcoholic beverages.
This reminds me of how my husband and I once stopped at a highway mart in the middle of nowhere.
And I bought a six-pack of Blue Moon and the very nice cashier grimaced as she scanned my beer because her daughter had given her a bottle and, in her opinion, Blue Moon “tastes like kerosene.”
And, as we left, I noticed a banner which was hung above the door and said, “Welcome to Bud Light country.”
So that stuck.
To each their own.
I’ve been mocked for drinking Blue Moon so many times by so many different people.
And, for the record, I like all kinds of alcohol.
I’m from Wisconsin.
So, while it feels like people’s behavior has become a lot worse lately due to the global pandemic, and I do feel a chill when I’m rarely out in public and some stranger stares at me in dramatized disbelief, and shakes their head and laughs because I’m… wearing a mask…?, I otherwise don’t see much of a change in people’s behavior.
It’s been terrible for years.
For instance, I remember a few years ago when I bought a shovel as a requested gift. I walked back out into the store’s parking lot with my freshly purchased shovel and it started to snow.
A guy looked at me, the shovel and the snow and said, “You must be a witch!”
I stared back at him.
Yes. I’m a witch. Exactly.
“If I was a witch, I wouldn’t be buying a shovel.”
I laughed too and then glared at his back as he turned away. The Salem Witch Trials were simply not that long ago so I didn’t take kindly to being accused of being a witch by a man in a public parking lot.
And the American President never stops talking about how he is the subject of a “witch trial,” and I’m all “You’d be a warlock.”
Also, a surefire way to tell if you’re the subject of a witch trial would be to assess whether you are
- On fire
- Hanging from a tree
If you’re not on fire and your feet are on dry ground, you’re probably good to go and not the subject of a witch trial.
In any case, after being accused of being a witch, which is no joke despite present day politics, I threw the shovel in the backseat of my car, got in and drove my car out onto the road where Car and I found ourselves unable to turn right because a physically disabled man was carefully hobbling across the street in the crosswalk.
No big deal.
But someone behind me starting screaming profanities at this man and then revved his engine, floored it and proceeded to dramatically pass me on the right… in the bike lane.
However, he then slammed on his brakes and illustrated that, despite his big front, he also wasn’t prepared to run a human being over so that he could turn right.
He looked over at me from his SUV which was now parked in the bike lane.
I looked back at him and pointed at the shovel in my backseat.
He looked away and probably wondered whether I was a witch.
So, in my experience, we humans haven’t been mingling well for years now.
This reminds me of how difficult it was to go buy Christmas lights four years ago.
I share this because, while I had earlier suggested people who missed their local bars go buy some beer and lights to make their own cozy private bar, it’s much harder than I made it seem.
This is because I remember how one day in May a few years ago I had ventured out to find a string of lights to replace my mom’s burnt-out holiday tree string.
My mom had a holiday tree. We never took the tree down. Every month has some kind of holiday so I just changed the tree decorations and kept the tree up.
The tree adapted and thus survived.
Mothers Day holiday tree:
Anyways. I went out to replace the string of lights and I had retail people repeatedly tell me it wasn’t Christmas.
I’d blink back at them and respond, “Yes. I know this.”
After failing to find a string of lights at about three stores, I decided to ask for “fairy lights” at the next store because that’s what they called them in the UK and the retail person genuinely thought I was insane.
“You know… Christmas lights?”
“It isn’t Christmas.”
I’ve been social distancing for years.
Thus, none of the recent behavior of people can be that big of a surprise. We humans can’t handle change and we aren’t great at making sacrifices or being told what to do.
I can’t help but think how very few of us would do well in prison.
In any case, the medical professionals are exhausted and the scientists are issuing dire warnings and yet a bunch of people here in Wisconsin and other places are all “Damn the consequences. I am living for today.”
That sounds very American and irresponsibly appealing but it’s also just so selfish and shitty.