BY JAMES RICKMAN
My “domestic partner” and I were desperate to immerse ourselves in some First-World Problems on Saturday, so we sauntered on over to Mesa Public Library hoping to catch a glimpse of the town’s latest spectacle du jour.
Outside, a trio of bored looking cops chatted nonchalantly a stone’s throw away from a picnic table of people praying the rosary and a coterie of mostly silent protesters holding up tag-board signs festooned with magic-marker slogans. “Protect the Innocent,” “Love our Children,” implored the signs as their authors jabbered to one another in hushed tones.
Inside the Library, down in the rotunda, dozens of adults buzzed excitedly among a much smaller contingent of children, while a figure reminiscent of a 1970s Sid and Marty Kroft production—“Sigmund & The Sea Monsters,” perhaps?—read from a book of their own creation.
Afterward, while Spring cleaning, I ran across an old crystal radio that had been stashed for years in a forgotten box. Surprisingly, it still seemed to function. Through its earphone I could hear the contemporary static of intense virtue signaling emanating from both ends of the political spectrum. Later that night I dreamed of a priest in a dress dancing gracefully inside a gilded sanctuary. The balletic clergyman lifted her skirt and a dozen tiny altar boys, intoxicated by sacramental wine, flittered out in all directions, like a bizarre riff on a scene plucked from Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker.” A sign on the door of the archdiocese read, simply, “Bankrupt.”
When I awoke the next morning, the world was still spinning. The Lord had not unleashed His mighty wrath upon our community. Toads had not rained from the sky and the Angel of Death had not snatched the firstborn from the thresholds of the homes of the Unrighteous. A huge rainbow dominated the Southeastern sky just before Sunset on Sunday. As we prepared for the coming week, I ran a quick inventory of our stock of N95 masks. The faintest whiff of rot floating in the breeze reminded me that a new pandemic is on its way.