Self-quarantining in place

by H.B. Koplowitz

To Whom It May Concern:

Please excuse my absence for the foreseeable future, as I have self-quarantined. No, I don’t have the Ebola virus, but you might. Better safe than sorry. (As a preventive health care measure, my expenses should be covered by Obamacare.) I’m also self-medicating, although not with prescription drugs. AIDS cocktails gave me a hangover, so thank goodness for “compassionate care.” And thanks to Propecia, as well as medical marijuana, I’ve grown such a nice set of moobs that I hardly miss going out. I’m reasonably comfortable, except I can’t go downstairs because zombies or vampires might be lurking in my cellar. Or Kim Jong-un. Something’s going bump in the night.

You may not be able to tell the difference, but I’m also sheltering in place. It’s just a matter of time before ISIS jihadists sneak across the Mexican border and kill us all, Iran drops the big one, a disgruntled worker tries to behead me or an NFL player decides to cold cock me in an elevator. To avoid being racially profiled by Islamic extremists, I have dyed my skin brown, so please don’t call the police. Please.

Sorry, but you may no longer contact me by email or phone, lest we accidentally use a trigger word and the NSA puts us on a no-fly list. Not that I’d ever again go near a disease-infested, missile magnet, disappearing commercial airliner. I’ve also burned my library card, stopped downloading from Netflix and had my snail mail canceled. You may not intend to send me an anthrax-laced greeting card, but your envelope could get contaminated in transit.

Of course I won’t be using the phone for any of its normal purposes. To take selfies, I’ve traded in my smartphone for a full-length mirror, and a shaving mirror for those more intimate views. The only sexting I’ll be doing is with myself, and the same goes for twerking and frapping. I’m also disconnecting from the iCloud, which Apple ought to rename YouCloud, since anyone can see it. In fact, I’ve sworn off the Internet altogether to elude terrorist recruiters and viral memes.

I bathe in calamine lotion to deter flesh-eating bacteria, burned my mattress to keep the bed bugs away, and had my mercury fillings removed, which means I had to buy a radio. I also gave up my car, which was unsafe at any speed, and canceled my debit card, credit cards, department store cards and Amazon 1-Click so I don’t get hacked. I’ve modified my diet, cutting out gluton, carbs, cholesterol, preservatives, artificial flavoring, antibiotics, irradiation, MSG and anything from genetically modified seeds. If you think that means I’ll only be drinking water, you’re wrong, because if I turn on the fracking tap it will probably burst into flames. Besides, fluoride causes autism and plastic containers cancer, so I’ll be recycling my liquid intake, if you get my drift.

Sad to say, I’ve had some personal setbacks. I had to quit my job because the fluorescent lights were giving me seasonal affective disorder and my boss was toxic. I had to euthanize my parakeets, Sanford and Gabi, because it’s flu season. My cocker spaniel, Julia, no longer identifies as female, at least not since I had her spayed, and won’t respond unless I call him Julius. My wife, Mildred, and I, are getting a divorce, no doubt a victim of gay marriage. She’s taking the kids, Caleb and Anorexia, just because I won’t let them play video games. Or go to the movies. Or the mall. Or school. Or anywhere else frequented by goth gunmen. Despite all my efforts, I think I may have early onset Alzheimer’s because I’ve forgotten why. I took the ice bucket challenge for a cure, but it didn’t work.

I have coated my home with tin foil and duct tape to guard against high-voltage power lines, radon gas and solar flares, and added a layer of mosquito netting in case of killer bees, even though none of that will be much help against giant asteroids. They’re just temporary fixes anyway. As a result of climate change, my humble abode will soon be underwater or destroyed by stampeding walruses, so I am contacting Elon Musk of SpaceX to request a seat on his million colonist mission to Mars.

For the time being, I’m going to cut the cable to my TV because the news channels are turning me into an atheist — they’ve already scared the bejesus out of me. It’s not that I’m afraid of dying, I just want to die with dignity.

© H.B. Koplowitz 10/15/14

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