On the first day of Christmas, my cruel love gave to me: a car fridge near a spare key. On the second day of Christmas, my cruel love gave to me: two snapping turtles and the mini-fridge near the spare key. On the third day of Christmas, my cruel love gave to me: three stenched hens, two turtles snapping and the car fridge near the spare key.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my cruel love gave to me: four colic birds, three hens a-stenching, two turtles snapping and of course the car fridge near the key. On the fifth day of Christmas, my cruel love gave to me … the darn COVID-19, on top of all that other crap I’m stuck with. Some Christmas this is turning out to be. Finally, something positive, and it arrives via a doctor in a space suit slowly shoving needles up both nostrils till painful contact is made with my brain, probably doing irreparable damage to the cortex from where pleasure is derived.

Right after his words, “This is kind of a nightmare,” I realized I could never hold up under the slightest torture during wartime. Borderline delirious as the first instrument of pain burrowed through vital airspace, I’m pretty sure I confessed to being a spy and where in my house I keep spare cash, plus my brother’s address and directions to his valuables. I should be forgiven for discretional failures under such extreme duress.

You’d think this government hoax to get a Democrat in the White House would have subsided post-election, but I guess in lieu of Trump declaring martial law, positive tests must go on. I mean, I was sure I had mild flu symptoms 10 days ago when I was light-headed and neighbors could hear my asthma wheezing through the walls. It took an ex-nurse, concerned sister-in-law’s insistence I get tested first thing Monday to alter my thought process, and now I’m doing what I do best … totally isolating and depending on friends and family to deliver groceries on my porch. Into every life a little acid rain must fall, I guess.

And a little guilt must fall with it. I had astutely canceled bowling last Tuesday, but not the traditional, Wednesday lunch with my brother and a couple of his ex-co-workers. One was a peach named Dave, considerably older than myself with whom we share a common, semi-appropriate passion for Tulsi Gabbard. What if I were to have infected one of these fine folk? Might the headlines read, “Productive, Successful Citizen Succumbs from COVID Transferred From Aimless, Irresponsible Sluggard, Sadly Still Among Us.”

In conclusion, on the sixth day of Christmas, my true friend Eric sent to me: six types of cookies and freshly baked pecan pie left on the porch, near the spare key. He warned he would deliver only if I kept him and Diana posted regularly that I’m still alive. As he said so eloquently, “Dead men eat no pies,” and ya know, there’s a lot of truth to that. And I will eat my way out of this pandemic or die trying. That’s my vow to you.

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