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By Geoffrey Jones

So a man and his wife walk into the bar

And settle in a booth a few feet away

From where I’m perched on a stool… The

Man’s sporting a Pro Life/Anti-Vaxxer

Button on his lapel… Say what… How do

You reconcile that… I don’t know how

He gathers his nuts and stores them all

In one place… His wife is wearing a mask…




Man: “Hon, I’m having trouble sleeping.”


Wife: “Why do you think that is?”


Man: “I drink too much.”


Wife: “Then why don’t you quit.”


Man: “I can’t.”


Wife: “I thought you wanted to sleep.”


Man: “I do. But not while I’m drinking.”


Wife: “Then why are we here?”


Man: “Beats the hell out of me.”


Wife: “You can’t have it both ways.”


Man: “I know. That scares me to death.”


Wife: “Is this a joke?”




We’re all scared to death of ending…

And so we search for ways to extend

This excursion beyond its perceptible

Horizon… And surely there is the belief…

The hope… That something else follows

The grand transition… We find it difficult

To accept anything less… We travel in



It’s fear alright… As we impose our

Beliefs on others… And comfort is

Derived from this… As the supremacy

Of one proposition is asserted over

Another… Often cloaked in doubt…


And why… Because there is strength

In numbers… Security in crowds… The

More the merrier in order to stave off

The fear of the unknown… Uncertainty

Seeks the company of others…


But one size doesn’t fit all…


Nothing’s that simple… Life’s a mess… It’s

Disorderly… There is no reason or rhyme…


And there are those who thrive in the

Gutter… Who traffic in deception… The

Ones who think that lying is okay as

Long as you don’t get caught… The ones

Who dwell in that nether space… In that

Dark place… Where cheating becomes

A lifestyle… Where lying becomes a way of

Life as long as it satisfies a want or a need…


Lies… So trivial in nature, but profound

In effect…


Lies… So profound in effect that they alter

The trajectory of a life…




You can’t make it more difficult to cast

A ballot than it is to carry a hand gun or

Drive a car…




You can’t fund a wall while people are

Freezing to death in the dead of winter…




You can’t reopen schools with mask-less

Children and teachers without betraying

Their health and safety…




You can’t advise against a vaccine but

Escape substantial blame for the spread

Of a disease…




And you can’t legislate what happens

Inside the womb… Most especially if

You don’t have one… While raging

Against lesser impositions on your own

Rights and personal freedoms…




And remember this…


The square root of nothing is zero…


The man stumbles out of the booth

Much to his wife’s amusement and

Minor disapproval… She adjusts her

Mask and helps him to his feet…




Man: “I can’t stand up.”


Wife: “No kidding. What did you expect?”


Man: “Clarity and a sense of purpose?”


Wife: “After three Martinis?”


Man: “Hey, I didn’t order a fourth.”


Wife: “So, this really is a joke to you?”


Man: “No. It’s a nightmare.”


She shakes her head in agreement while

Propping him against her shoulder… What

Else is there to say… The man stands up

Straight and proper and gains his balance…

He gathers his thoughts… They exit the bar…


Wife: “God help us all.”


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