Things To Do In The Valley When You’re Not Yet Dead

Here’s something you can do. Queue up at Whole Foods first thing in the morning and consider the novelty of economic martial law…only to find the bread aisle empty.   I have rather pointed thoughts as to the motivation of the hacks who diverted my beloved Los Angeles down this road.  In the spirit of shared sacrifice and heeding the counsel of Mrs. U, I am putting my inner Tom Paine to the side for the time being.

Shorter UpintheValley: Toilet paper is the new bottle of wine.

Instead, let us consider the glory of homemade bread.   Did you know you can make an entire batch of dough for $2?  I didn’t.  One batch = three or four loaves. Shape to suit your whimsy. Warm bread fresh from the oven tastes like nothing else, and for 65 cents a loaf makes the house smell like nostalgia for a childhood memory you never had.     Why didn’t we always do this? Free Time, our abundant new houseguest, that’s why.

Maybe overall health will improve, she said optimistically. Perhaps people will get tired of empty calories and consume less processed food from the market.  Maybe they’ll model reading for their children and both parents will tuck them in at night. 

And he replied: People will continue to be themselves, only more so, and in a righteous mood.

You can also do this:  rent a 20-foot bin, break out the sledgehammer, the pick, and the prybar and dig up your asphalt driveway.   House arrest is the panacea for long-postponed projects. Taxing on the lower lumbar,  restorative of the animal spirits.

You can take to the mountains with the dogs to discover five hundred other people were inspired to visit the same trail at the same time. Maybe I should try baking a banana cream pie, you hear a woman announce to her husband as she passes. No, you really shouldn’t, he replies.  I promise I’ll eat it, you butt in, to collective laughter, and for a moment our metropolis is a curious polite little village where everyone lives six feet apart.

You can read and read and read. I wanted to get back into John Le Carre but the Los Angeles public library has him under lockdown, so I’m settling for E.M. Forster, who has not aged as well as the film adaptations.

You can watch and watch and watch, and soon enough Narcos: Mexico and Mindhunter are done, and then one is left thinking of Nemesis and Hubris and their role in our self-inflicted moment.

Yeah, this guy. Mr. 56%. But that’s a whole other essay I promised I wouldn’t write.

4 thoughts on “Things To Do In The Valley When You’re Not Yet Dead”

  1. “…. Free Time, our abundant new houseguest…..”

    One thing hasn’t changed….Mr U offering up thoughtful morsels such a this. For that we are grateful.

  2. There’s a peculiar meme these days that seems in conflict with itself.

    “Give me liberty or give me death!” – Patrick Henry, not Thomas Paine.

    On the one hand people are pissy because there’s a long line for necessities that may or may not be there at the supermarket. “Those idiot politicians are ruining everything!” But it could reasonably be suggest that’s like the pig being irritated that the farmer hasn’t brought the slop yet…

    You have a critical dependency. If you really genuinely want freedom from The Man you might have to reorganize your life so it doesn’t matter if Whole Foods has bread or not. You live in earthquake country, forest fire country, and economic fuckup country, yet you don’t have a deep pantry to fall back on?

    “What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value.” – Thomas Paine.

    1. “But it could reasonably be suggested that’s like the pig being irritated that the farmer hasn’t brought the slop yet…”
      This is us, now. If it keeps going for another few weeks, we will all learn a little gratitude.
      I for one salute the return to 18th-century vocabularies, for example, “dearness”

  3. Did he really receive 56% of the vote? So vacuous compared to Brown, Duke, Brown, Wilson, Reagan, Brown, even the Grayman. Oh, never mind forgot Schwartz. He’s a genius.

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