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By Pam Burke 

View from the North 40: When life gives you a pandemic make pandemonium


Last updated 5/8/2020 at 11:57am

At some point in my adult life I took a moment to contemplate my small circle of friends and realized that somehow, instinctively, I had assembled an awesome apocalypse team. It’s held true since then that the people I make a personal connection with are do-ers with a wide array of life-saving and survival skills, and together we would dominate any apocalypse, even one of a zombie nature.

All that said, at another point not too long ago I came to the realization that I was the weakest link in my team. My skill-set has continued to weaken and decrease, even limp a little bit, with age and my desk-person’s lifestyle working against me. Basically, my only skills that have improved are my writing and reading skills.

I have been trying to envision how my reading and writing will aid me and my team in a do-or-die apocalypse scenario.

If zombies are overtaking us, I will be courageously trying to stop them by reminding them of the ever-vital grammar rules.

If the Yellowstone Caldera explodes and we are racing to outrun crumbling ground, flying embers and a crazy-large plume of volcanic ash, will I be the one sitting in the middle seat saying, “Excuse me, driver, I am trying to read both the disaster emergency plan and this geology science text. Could you please stop hitting bumps, and the rest of you, stop yelling. Outside distractions like these are major contributers to misunderstanding the written word. Well, that and being over-tired, so if you want me to be at the top of my game, I’ll need to stop for a nap. Soon.”

If the aliens come, or rather WHEN they come and IF our inter-galactic kegger degenerates into a war for our world, I will be there with my posse to take those aliens down using my sharp with, my keen sense of irony and my biting sarcasm. Those aliens should be forewarned that I won’t be holding back with the earth and our very existence on the line.

So, yes. If we happen to spook a bear in the woods, I’m the friend/bait you need to outrun to save yourself. I’m the movie character referred to as “Guy” or “Woman with shopping cart” who dies quickly and dramatically in the heat of any action scene. In fact, I am the essence of every sacrificial red-shirt wearer in the “Star Trek” series.

All that said, I have used the pandemic’s stay-at-home hours and days as a sort of self-help vacation to improve my skills in case my team needs me.

For example, last weekend I cut my husband’s and my hair. I’ll come right out and say that I got the better end of that deal. I’ve been cutting my own hair for years so that was nothing. I stopped cutting John’s hair about 20 years ago after he convinced me to try using an electric clipper that didn’t have blade guards – and one of his co-workers offered to beat up whoever did that to his hair.

To be fair, this time I did have a blade guard the clippers, but the blades were too dull or underpowered to cut through even John’s thinning hair. I had to switch to the other clippers and, well, let’s just say I did better than the last time I took an electric clipper to him, and definitely better than the haircut after that when he had to shave his head bald after the disaster he created – because it ain’t so easy, now, is it?

He wears a baseball cap all the time anyway, he’ll be fine in a month or so. Don’t worry about him.

Worry about my sister-in-law.

I made a mask with a new pattern and it turned out a little small for me, so I said I’d finish it for her.

Unfortunately, my brain can’t really understand how itty-bitty teeny-tiny those petite little women are. At her size, she’s definitely not on the apocalypse team.

Don’t get me wrong, we’d rescue her and bring her along. We’re not animals. But, honestly, she’s not even stout enough to leave as bait for that bear. Someone would just have to sling her over their shoulder and run. It wouldn’t be a burden.

So, yeah, the mask that was a little small for me? It was big enough to work as a full-on head wound bandage on her.

My skill-set practice this weekend will be on how to effectively wield a seam-ripper.


Next week, if you need an apocalyptic enemy undone or eviscerated one stitch at a time, I’m your warrior at http://www.facebook.com/viewfromthenorth40 .


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