It's Time to Start Working on Our Post-Quarantine Wish Lists

FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2015 file photo, visitors walk toward Sleeping Beauty's Castle at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

As week 5 of the Wuhan Chinese Bat Flu shutdown gets underway I find myself entertaining brief moments of optimism. I’ve been tending toward pessimism regarding everyone being able to go outside and have any fun again, fairly convinced that we might be out of commission until the fall. There must have been something in the delicious homebrew that my neighbor social-distance dropped at my door for Easter because I found myself in a couple of conversations on Monday about making plans when we get the freedom to roam again.

Dare to dream, my friends!

When I was first asked what I wanted to do most when we’re allowed to congregate, I said — without hesitation — that I wanted to go to one of my favorite Mexican restaurants. Today I thought maybe I should think bigger and that got my mind wandering (we’re still allowed to do that, right?) down After Quarantine Lane, thinking of a few things I might want to do or change on the other side.

I can’t think of any major changes that I want to make — I’m really OK with me. Wait, I may need to lose two or three hundred pounds before this is over, but I did meal prep this week in an effort to avoid comfort food.

There are, however, things that we have come to appreciate since the middle of March. Things that we didn’t know how much we liked until we couldn’t do them anymore.

There are also some things that we weren’t doing before that have become commonplace these past few weeks and I think I may want to continue with a few when we’re through here.

So here is my list I want to do or not do, in no particular order. If I were being honest about my quarantine beer intake I would include “Go to Rehab” here, but it’s fun to pretend.

1: Never Talk About Toilet Paper With Another Human Being Again

My heart longs for the day when every conversation with friends or relatives that lasts longer than 90 seconds automatically segues into personal toilet paper inventory accounting. I went the first kajillion years of my life never discussing my home toilet paper situation with anyone — the bathroom is a very personal and sacred space to men, after all. Now, strangers are just barking numbers from a safe social distance to strangers and drifting into deep discussions about what can and cannot be flushed. I want my post-quarantine life to be a toilet paper discussion-free safe space for the rest of my days.

Join me, my friends. Together we can make this happen.

2: Stop Buying Things From China

Here is a quote from my Morning Briefing last Friday:

As I wrote last week, I am more than comfortable with saying all of the bad things about China now. Cultural sensitivity be damned. Commies lied, people died. So yeah, I will ridicule their bat, cat, and dog-eating ways, all the while advocating for a painful but necessary economic breakup with the ChiComs.

I’m speaking about an economic breakup at the national level there, of course, but I’m talking to more and more people who are making it personal too. It’s perhaps impossible to go cold turkey on this, as China has insinuated itself into all levels of the global supply chain. Still, I know that I am going to be more cognizant of the origins of things I buy, especially larger purchases. If I am spending more than $100 on something and I find any ChiCom connection, I’m pulling the plug on that purchase.

3: Eat ALL of the Fresh Produce

Cleaning the plague off of fresh produce is such a pain that I have been eating more frozen veggies than ever before. I was talking to a good friend earlier today and she mentioned that she’d bought some fruit that was especially delicious. I was then singularly obsessed with strawberries for the next several hours. I had a lot of work to do and I really don’t like leaving the house unless it’s absolutely necessary, but I was actually thinking about going to the store just to get some fruit.

When this is over I’m going to eat so many fresh fruits and veggies the first week that I’m probably going to wish I were a toilet paper hoarder.

4: Hang Out With My Neighbors

I live in a compound with three houses in it. I’ve had neighbors in one of the houses for over a year and we never socialized. The newer neighbors have been here about six months and we had yet to hang out.

Behold the power of being told we can’t go anywhere.

Now we have “social distance happy hours” in the courtyard on Friday nights. The weather is perfect for it now and it’s been a throwback experience to the way neighbors used to behave. It’s especially weird for me after all of the years in Los Angeles, where the concept of “neighborhood” is like something from a science fiction novel.

We’re having fun. Fun is good.

5: Better Living Through Zoom

My sister, cousins, and I have been enjoying Sunday evening adult beverages with each other on Zoom the past couple weeks and we’re thinking of making it a regular thing even once the plague goes away. On Easter Sunday we invited our kids on and that was pushing Zoom to its breaking point. The last time we’d all been in one place talking was for a funeral over ten years ago. It took a plague to gather us in some fashion again, but now that we’ve done it, we like the idea of continuing when the reason for getting together isn’t negative and death-related.

6: Maybe Not Turn Down So Many Social Invitations

Seriously, can anyone imagine saying “no” to an invitation to dinner or drinks right now?!?

It’s no secret that I am a bit of a loner, a lot of comedians and writers are. I have several friends who are gregarious and love socializing though, and they often invite me out.

I often don’t go.

I’m going to be a little more mindful of trying to get out with them now, even if it’s just for an early dinner. I highly doubt I will turn into a regular socializer — people still irritate me and if I am exposed to them too long I begin thinking of ways that I may end up as a two-part Forensic Files special.

But the effort will be made.

7: Go to a Bar, Sit There, and Maybe Never Leave

Any bar.

Again, I don’t go out socializing a lot, but I do like to go to a bar, plop myself down and write jokes while enjoying a cold beer or four. It’s not even a weekly thing but I didn’t realize how much I missed it until now. I will probably be supporting the hell out of a couple of my favorite places once unfettered. I don’t want to be the squatter guy who never leaves, but I feel that I may have to be him for a while.

Does this seem like the healthiest choice? Maybe not to many. Remember though, I’m an entertainer who started out in the 1980s, so I have a warped constitution.

And I’m dead inside without the emotional connection to my favorite watering holes.


Seriously, I’m tempted to take all the money I saved not going out during quarantine and blowing it on park-hopper tickets so the kid and I can have some fun before she leaves Los Angeles to head back to New York. Sure, two park-hopper tickets cost around $17,000, but memories will be made and we both love Disneyland.

Also, the beer at California Adventure is pretty good (are you sensing a theme here?).

Honestly, just allowing myself to think about this silly list has made me relax a little. I have gone from being the biggest COVID-19 shutdown pessimist, convinced that I wouldn’t be going anywhere for the rest of the year, to thinking that we might get the green light just in time for it to be 110 degrees here in the desert.

Oh, by the way, I’ve got fifteen rolls of toilet paper.


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PJ Media Senior Columnist and Associate Editor Stephen Kruiser is the author ofDon’t Let the Hippies ShowerandStraight Outta Feelings: Political Zen in the Age of Outrage,” both of which address serious subjects in a humorous way. Monday through Friday he edits PJ Media’s “Morning Briefing.”

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