@dbongino https://t.co/xl26yfX2z1 (4 days ago)

news&updates

Apr
29

COVID-19 Update: The First Sunny Day

I’m happy to report that today we had the first sunny day since this whole coronavirus self-isolation stuff started. Out of nowhere, a perfect day. Blue skies, bright sunshine and a warm breeze.

So I wanted to take full advantage. Out came the beach towel and the “Ocean Waves on Tropical Island” background sounds on my phone. Once my eyes were closed I was lying there on a tropical beach.

“Certainly”, you might be saying to yourself, “Even your daunting powers of imagination cannot overcome the inevitable song of the black capped chickadee. You must know that the black capped chickadee is not native to tropical climes. Poof goes your tropical beach.”

How long have we known each other? You think that type of thing can halt the Manion Express when it gets rolling? I simply assumed that a parrot at some point in its life had spent time near Philadelphia, where it learned to mimic the song of the black capped chickadee, before returning to its tropical home where it taught that song to its feathered brethren (featheren?).

It was as easy as that.

What wasn’t easy was getting comfortable on my towel.

However I lay on my stomach, my neck couldn’t find a spot where it didn’t hurt.

What I needed was a hole to stick it through, like when I’m on a masseuses table. Not content to let a little thing like that stand in my way I sprung into action.

‘Springing into action’ defined as grabbing my car keys, my wallet, flip flops, a mask, and then heading down to Home Depot. ‘A mask’ defined as a Lone Ranger mask, because I won’t wear a regular one (despite the dirty looks). Where I live they made it mandatory for people to wear masks when entering any public building, but you’d be surprised how many people will look the other way when someone wearing a Lone Ranger mask strolls into their place of business.

I think they take one look at me and assume it would be too exhausting to explain to me what they meant by ‘mask’.

Moments later I walk out with a brand new jigsaw.

I don’t mean to brag, but I’m quite handy with power tools. It was only about an hour and four splinters later when I’d cut a head-sized hole in my deck. It’s my deck after all. If I want to cut holes into it, why should anyone care?

Throw in a few towels at the edges and the next thing I know I’m lying flat on my stomach soaking up the sun with my neck as comfy as can be.

Except…

You have no idea how creepy the underneath section of a deck is. While this was the first day of good weather topside, apparently under the deck has been Mardi Gras for weeks. All sorts of things were going on in the shadows. Every time I shut my eyes I heard something rustling or slithering.

It just wasn’t acceptable. Completely non-tropical-islandish, so I threw on my flip flops and headed back to Home Depot.

Everyone there was just as excited to see me as there were before.

Moments later I emerged with one of those big industrial lights you see on construction sites.

You can see that Manion is indeed a man of action.

I plugged it in, popped it down the hole and with one flip of the switch everything going on under my deck was illuminated.

Truly a mixed blessing.

How many snakes can live under one deck? Every two minutes I saw another one oscillating by. Made it hard to keep my eyes closed and enjoy the sun.

Lest you be mistaken, don’t think for a minute that I’m afraid of the dark or garter snakes. What I was a tad nervous about is what eats snakes. There were so many under my deck it had to be prime hunting ground for creatures that enjoy a little Thamnophis sirtalis in their diet. I remember a nature special about a mongoose that made its living eating the biggest snakes it could find, so the last thing I wanted to do was close my eyes and suddenly have a herd of mongeese mauling my face.

“Manion! Get to the part where you talk about cutting a hole in the deck for your balls to go through… so you’re not squishing them and whatnot” I hear you saying.

What?! I acknowledge there might have been a time where every other story I wrote included a mention of my balls, but I’ve grown a lot as a writer since then. Now I introduce my testicles into a plot only when they are called for (and I no longer refer to them as the Dynamic Duo. Real progress).

Plus… if you think I have an aversion to the idea of my face being attacked by mongeese, what makes you think I’d be any more enthusiastic about a frothing mongoose grabbing me by the sack and tugging away while I try to sun myself on my deck?

There. You got the imagery you wanted. Happy?

How did I resolve this issue with the creepy sub-deck? Manion brain-power at its finest.

I put on the Lone Ranger mask when I was on my stomach. No animal is going to mess with the sack of the Lone Ranger. In fact, I’m guessing there were a lot of snakes going back to their nest and saying to the other snakes “You’ll never guess who I saw today.”

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