"Monday 5 Things" with D. Paul Graham


Monday 5 Things…..Distanced…..

I went to Sam’s Club a week ago and was fascinated with (a) the number of empty shelves in each aisle; (b) the nasty nature of people trying to get the last few available packages of TP and paper towels); (c) the number of people actually there at that hour, and (d) what in heavens name prompted me to think it was a good idea to go there on a Sunday at 4 pm, was beyond my comprehension. However, amongst the chaos, a fellow shopper brought a smile to my face (alas a smile that was not covered by a mask). As I stood beside him deciding which piece of cow I would choose for that evenings dinner, he started to hum “Don’t Stand So Close to Me”! Today’s M5T shares some of the things that we are doing or that we can do while we are distancing ourselves socially.

1. Watched.

If you want to add to the general anxiety and hysteria many are feeling, watch Outbreak with Dustin, Contagion with Matt and Gwyneth, 12 Monkeys with Bruce (ok, I admit to taking a Die Hard detour, yeah all of them), I Am Legend with Will, Blindness with Julian and, World War Z with Brad. With special note, Monty Python’s ‘The Holy Grail' if only for the ‘bring out your dead’ plague scene is also worth your time. If you really want your heart rate to push heart-attack levels, watch CNN, MSNBC or Fox. Go to church online; this may be the most time you’ve spent at ‘church’ in years. I assure you that online meetings with Face Time, WhatsApp, Zoom, Skype et al, will allow you to get twice as much done for work in half the time. It is cool that a number of artists are streaming performances that will keep you, at least for an hour or two, from going crazy in the house. Savannah’s own “Fabulous Equinox Orchestra” has started Monday evening concerts that will be sure to bring a smile to your face and a spring to your step. Find them on Facebook at 8:00 pm tonight for the live stream concert. Thank you Jeremy Davis and Clay Johnson.

2. Questioned.

The time that we now have on our Purell saturated hands allows for pondering heady, metaphysical and existential questions for our lives. Here are some of the heavier questions I found rolling around in my head this past week. I would sincerely appreciate any and all answers you can provide. How far can I really push the expiry date on the yogurt in my fridge? How long past 10 seconds can I hold my breath? Come on. Am I the only one that tried that? Can the mold on the cheese, that inexplicably found its way to a hiding place at the back of my fridge, be used as an antidote to COVID?  Where did I put that thermometer? Do I even have a thermometer? (turns out I didn’t – but did manage to finally find one in a store – my temperature was fine for the record) Would MJ wear two gloves at a time like this? Wait! Did I scrub for 20 seconds or only 15? Did my eyes itch an hour ago? Why am I sniffling? WHY DID I JUST TOUCH MY MOUTH – AGAIN???? Will I ever get my last Amazon Prime order delivered? Am I proficient enough with my Glock to bring down a zombie? Do I need to confirm how many squares of TP are in each roll and then calculate a proper ration for the maximum possible days of house arrest? In a worst-case scenario, can a cordless WaterPik tooth flosser be converted to a bidet?  I refuse to take the blame or heat on that one – a friend in Florida texted me Sunday morning inquiring about that. I won’t out the person that sent that, but you know who you are!

3. Listened.

I’m sure you’ve seen Corona Playlists. Here is mine: Harder to Breathe – Maroon 5, Every Breath You Take followed by Don’t Stand So Close to Me – The Police; Still Breathing – Greenday; You Sound Like You’re Sick – The Ramones; Day Drunk – Morgan Evans, second only to Red Red Wine – UB40; Do You Wanna’ Touch Me – Joan Jett; Hysteria – Def Leppard; Sick City – Elton John; Dancing with Myself – Billy Idol; Lunatic Fringe along with The Untouchable One – Tom Cochrane and Red Rider; I’m Sick Y’all – Otis Redding; Running Away – Hoobastank; Love At A Distance – Acoustic Alchemy; So Far Away – Dire Straits; Hot Blooded – Foreigner; The Fever – Springsteen; Sick Again – Zeppelin; You Don't Bring Me Flowers Anymore – Neil Diamond; Somebody Get Me A Doctor – Van Halen.

4. Traveled.

The shakes and twitches I am going through have nothing at all to do with COVID-19. I am simply experiencing serious travel withdrawal. Thankfully, Netflix has taken me to the Ozarks, Birmingham with the Peaky Blinders crew, The West Wing (again), Schitts Creek, Vietnam, Germany, Mexico with Narcos, Boston with Cheers, Silicon Valley with Halt and Catch Fire, and Britain with MI-5. Amazon has been kind enough to take me to Siberia, Somalia, Benghazi, Gotham with Batman, Jurassic Park, New Jersey with the Sopranos, South Beach with Burn Notice and with appreciation for F1-TV, I have re-lived some the most exciting F1 races on the best tracks in the world.

5. Read.

Having to stay at home during this time gives us pause and time to slow down and engage in the lost art and pleasures of reading. With an unabashed shameless plug for South Magazine, pick up a copy of the special trilogy edition of ‘Faces of the South’ which is an uplifting read with incredible photography that will take your mind off COVID-19 even if for a short while. The magazine just hit newsstands at the end of last week and is available online with South Magazine. Turn the TV or computer off. Take some time to read your bible, read a cookbook then cook something different, laugh out loud with Calvin and Hobbs, or stroll through The Hundred Acre Wood with Winnie, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet. Expand your reading list. For example, this weekend I “read” ‘1000 Stories’ which is a wonderful full-bodied 2017 bourbon barrel aged cabernet sauvignon from Mendocino California. I was very thankful that I read the clearance sign at Publix announcing 2 for 1 pricing of this nifty little wine. On that same foray to the grocery store, I wish I had read the sign (in my defense a very tiny little sign at the far end of a nearly empty shelf) limiting the 12 pack of TP to only one package per customer; I was shamed at checkout for having 2 packages in my cart – mea culpa! Do not, I repeat, do not read anything from Web MD; you will be convinced that not only are you suffering from COVID-19, but you will persuade yourself that you exhibit symptoms of Ebola, H1N1, Influenza A,B,C, D, E, and F (ok I might have made those last three up), SARS, Cholera, the Bubonic Plague, and the Asian Flu, all at the same time!

I am steadfast in believing a sense of humor contributes to our health and well-being. These are serious times for us all and I’m not maliciously making light of this pandemic, given the number of people affected locally and worldwide. Here’s to a week of perspective for us all with thoughts and prayers for those affected by COVID-19, whether physically, emotionally, or economically. To the first responders, doctors, dentists, politicians (yes even them) and many others stepping up and working around the clock to fight this virus, a heartfelt thank you. To the small business owners that don’t know if they will make it, our hearts go out to you; you are such an important part of our communities. To those struggling to make ends meet, we know how hard that is on you and your families. And to all of us, make an effort to reach out to your social circle with more than a post on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Make a call, send a note and let them know you are thinking of them. May you find it within yourself to show grace, patience, and calm when others don’t. And when the time comes again, give those around you a hug. A really big hug, just because you once again can.

© 2020 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

D. Paul Graham is passionate about people, culture, photography and business. He has embraced his wanderlust with his travels around the globe and is at peace with his need for spirited drives in all things automotive.

You can find M5T each Monday here on www.southmag.com and by friending D. Paul Graham on Facebook. Paul is also a contributing photographer to South Magazine. His photographic work can be found on Instagram @dpgraham and at www.imageGRAHAM.com . Your feedback is always welcome. Email Paul at dpg@imagegraham.com