In most alternate universes I’m filling the Rogue with a day’s change of clothes, a silly leprechaun suit, and beer for the hotel room. In most alternate universes this is the day of Leprechaun Crawl 2020.
This universe started with a shaky week. The stock market went wild. The contagion spread. Doubt crept in. I’m not one of those “I don’t really pay attention to the news” kind of guys; I pay attention. I’m a news junkie. I listen. I watch. I take it all in. As I do, I slowly decide what the next best course of action is. I’m a very deliberate person.
It doesn’t always look that way. In my Super Santa suit or green bowler – or when I’m around tequila – I seem whimsical, foolhardy, spontaneous. I haven’t been entirely spontaneous since … well, I don’t know. I’ll have to think about that and get back to you. For years, now, I consider all my options. Carefully.
This is the time to be careful. I mean, we are experiencing a global pandemic. I keep saying that and correcting myself. Doesn’t “pan-“ already mean “everywhere”? Saying “global pandemic” is like saying “hot water heater.” The “hot” part isn’t necessary because the heater part is denotative. As Gallagher once joked “why you gotta heat hot water”?
At any rate we are experiencing a pandemic. A global pandemic. It’s everywhere, and it’s all over the place.
Despite the pandemic, the market reactions, and the irrational run on toilet paper it was still my intention to go to Reno this weekend. All week I placed a number. Monday I was 90% likely. Tuesday and Wednesday it was 70% assured. Thursday I floated close to 50/50. By Friday morning I was out.
Several factors came into play.
The coronavirus, of course. I know that Reno is low on incidents thus far, but I also know that the Leprechaun Crawl pulls in some 3500 people from everywhere every year. Around the nation, as I watched, experts and politicians were cancelling events of over 1500, over 1000, over 250, and over 150 people. It is still safe to go outside, but if too many of us congregate too closely we may end up, you know, shutting down a country or so. That was a consideration.
But Reno has hand sanitizers everywhere. I’d simply walk around, not shake hands, and disinfect regularly until tequila takes over. Mrs C and I were both still in. Coronavirus be damned.
Then Reno cancelled the event.
That was a big determining factor. Well, if Reno isn’t going to participate, why should I? Nevertheless, they persisted. My friends, I mean. Damn the officiality, they were gonna go to Reno, wear their green shit, and party in bars, sanctioned or not. In fact, by Thursday, some friends were already there.
In the end I was grounded by the weather. By Thursday night it became pretty clear that the storm hitting Northern California was likely to make Bogard pass between Old Station and Susanville a wintry mess. Particularly on the way back. The last time I checked Bogard will be getting some 3-7 inches of snow right about my drive time. Mrs C was out. She absolutely abhors being in a car during snowfall. She has a PTSD about it.
In most alternate universes I am leaving for Reno right now. I am wearing my “Lucky Fuck” shirt and my back seat has 5 different green hats to choose from later. I am smiling. Tequila awaits.
But in this universe I chose the better part of valor. This time. Partly because of a plague, partly because of a shutdown, and mostly because of a storm. I’ll have a full rainy Saturday at home with my wife and boys. We have plenty of non-perishables and rolls of toilet paper. We have each other and we live in a great house in a great neighborhood with the best neighbors. A lot of my amusements do not require going out. I am uniquely qualified for a happy quarantine, should it come.
But this weekend is a choice. A deliberate one. I can’t wait to dust my office, organize my garage, and watch a superhero movie or three with my gal and golden pals. I’ll miss one wild night – and I love those – but in the end the truth is, either way … I am truly one lucky fuck.
May I never take that for granted. 🍻