WILSON: Arnold Tobin takes on the virus
With the 2020 election season in a quandary, due to the corona/Covid-19/social-life-muckup virus pandemic, this reporter felt it might be a good time to get the thoughts of perennial political candidate, Arnold Tobin. Mr. Tobin agreed to this interview while insisting on strict adherence to the anti-social distancing guidelines mandated by the most powerful person on the planet — Dr. Anthony Fauci.
We are speaking today via the savior of virus-era mental health — Skype. Mr. Tobin has been in self-isolation at his cabin, somewhere deep in the Northwoods of Michigan (but not so “deep” that he cannot get internet service).
Interviewer: Mr. Tobin, as always, thank you for speaking with me, today.
Arnold Tobin: Thank you for reaching out to me, Luis. I must admit, it is starting to get a little lonely up here in the big woods.
Interviewer: How long have you been in quarantine, up there?
Arnold Tobin: A little over a year and a half, Liam.
Interviewer: Mr. Tobin…I’m confused. The stay-at-home order has only been in effect for a few weeks. Yet, you claim to have been practicing the mandates of the Center for Disease Control for more than 18 months? How is that possible?
Arnold Tobin: I didn’t come up here because of the Covid-19 virus, Lucien. After the last election, I needed to escape the ravages of the Politics-18 virus. According to unsubstantiated reports, more than 200 million Americans were afflicted by it and nearly 850 million brain cells died from the catastrophe. That is more than twice the number of brain cell deaths from the previous virus — Politics-16. I grew up in the ‘60s and ‘70s — I don’t have enough brain cells left to kill off. I had to get away for my own safety.
Interviewer: That is an interesting take, Mr. Tobin. What can you tell our readers about this Politics-18 virus?
Arnold Tobin: Well, Lester, at first, the symptoms are hard to spot. The most common indicator is an acute vision problem — an inability to see other points of view. Another sign is a combination of hearing and voice control — people yell at, and are unable to listen to, anyone with a differing political opinion. It is a crippling and highly contagious disease.
Interviewer: Is there any known cure or vaccine?
Arnold Tobin: Lonny, just like Dr. Pepper, I’m not a trained medical person. However, I think the Covid-19 bug is helping to flatten the curve of the Politics-18 virus.
Interviewer: That is an interesting observation. How so?
Arnold Tobin: The signs are everywhere, Luigi. When was the last time you saw a mud-slinging television commercial aimed at destroying the life of a political candidate? The number of fiery political posts on Facebook have dropped, significantly. People are starting to turn away from angry partisan confrontations — due to a counter-balancing anger brought on by folks being confined together, 24/7, for weeks on end. It’s refreshing!
Interviewer: What words of advice do you have for people hoping to avoid this, heretofore unknown, disease?
Arnold Tobin: Actually, Lincoln, it is all quite simple. Keep a 6’ distance between all constituents and any politician. Whatever you do, do NOT shake a politician’s hand — you don’t know whose back pocket that hand has been in. Just as importantly, keep at least a 6’ separation between yours and any other political opinion (co-mingling of political ideas could result in a third party — further complicating the disease).
Keep your glasses clean and your ears cleaner, in order to properly see and hear other points of view — however, there is no requirement to agree with anyone. Most importantly, after being exposed to any political opinions, even the ones with which you currently agree, sterilize your brain cells with alcohol — I prefer vodka and tonic with a lime twist.
Interviewer: Mr. Tobin, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule, today. Do you have any parting words of advice?
Arnold Tobin: Everyone…please…after all of this is over, remember to remove your masks before walking into a bank and asking for money.
Larry Wilson is a mostly lifelong resident of Niles. His essays stem from experiences, compilations and recollections from friends and family. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.