Sally sat behind me in junior high band. She played the saxophone. Her real talent was comebacks. Every saxophonist has three key skills in common: circular breathing, strong opinions, and quick comebacks. That’s why they play the sassiest instrument in the band.
Sally is still wonderfully opinionated and sassy. She is adamantly opposed to winter holiday decorations before Thanksgiving. This year, she made an exception. On Nov. 1 she declared, “It’s 2020. We need the cheer now. Bring it.”
With that spirit in mind, I made an executive decision to begin Festivus early. It’s 2020. Bring it.
I’ve been preparing for the traditional Airing of Grievances all year. Much like I’ve been preparing for quarantine my entire life, looking for every excuse to avoid social gatherings and close talkers. Mask up, grab a pole, and let’s begin.
• Soap scum. It’s like concrete. How can something so slippery on the body turn into super glue on a shower door?
• Superglue. One tube only lasts for one job. Once that inner seal is broken, the lid — not surprisingly — gets superglued to the tube. Might as well save up all the superglue jobs to use the entire tube at once because that lid is never coming off.
• Lids that don’t come off. Or, more specifically, partners who screw-on lids so tight you can’t get them off without tapping into deep-seated anger issues. A typical morning at our house starts with me laying out the wooden cutting board and spreading out a protective layer of towels before pouring boiling water over the lid of a jar and then alternately banging the jar on the board and beating it with a knife handle. It’s like a medieval torture chamber, with tea towels. There is no reason for the lid to be so tightly screwed on. The jam is not a flight risk.
• Single-ply toilet paper. Worst part of the pandemic is getting stuck with the one-ply remaining on the shelves that clearly is not good enough for anyone’s tush.
• Stuck zippers. Why am I being oppressed?
• People pontificating on the “health detriments” of wearing a mask. Do you understand diffusion of gases? Can you explain to me how the acid/base balance mechanisms work in the body to regulate carbon dioxide levels? Are you a doctor? A scientist? No? Then put a lid on it. Tightly.
• I forget what the eighth one was. For all my Gen X-ers, you’re welcome.
• Itchy sweater tags. I donned this sweater for comfort. The fact that someone ruined a perfectly comfortable sweater with an itchy tag is incomprehensible.
• Showers that need cleaning. Let’s circle back to what brought us here in the first place: soap scum. The shower was invented to clean people. There is a steady stream of hot water, plenty of soap, and a drain. The entire purpose of this contraption is to clean. The fact that it needs cleaning after being used for its sole function of cleaning reveals a design flaw of utter proportions. I blame the soap.