Peter – Honk if you Love Jesus, Beer, Facebook, and Air Shows

I have always thought that those who have a bumper sticker reading “I love Jesus” on their car often drive as if they are in a “perishing” hurry to make His acquaintance. Frankly, that’s the only reason I can conjure up to explain the various pastors 1) who, in defiance of government directives to not assemble in large groups, did so, especially at Easter. I have seen video of various and assorted of these “servants of God” mocking this deadly disease, “protecting” their flocks with “holy” handkerchiefs in at least one case, or simply declaring this menace “illegal” and casting it out.(Yes, that will do it. Satan trembles in fear of your power…..or at least envies your Gulfstream V private jet.)

The Hail Mary

These charlatans go as far as calling laws against public assembly “an attack” on their beliefs by an anonymous “enemy” 2). At least one of these “idiots” has stated that many people would welcome Death in these circumstances. (You may embrace “The Rapture”, buddy, but you sure as hell don’t speak for me, or any thinking person.) You just keep praying (and preying on the gullible, the sick, the weak and the elderly while you’re at it`). I am sure you will get your reward. You’ve certainly earned it. Maybe the several pastors who have passed away from COVID after flaunting  governmental assembly restrictions and bringing their flocks together to “fleece” can give you a “head’s up” about heaven or, more probably, hell. And don’t even get me started about those horrible money grubbing Republicans and their repulsive “Commander In Chief”!

Wow, that’s my weekly quota of invective. I feel very strongly about this issue. I have no problem with religion, I have many friends to whom religion is an important part of their life and I respect that. However, when you see the antics of these self absorbed “people of God”, it is too easy to see why so many people are turning away from the entire concept. It is my pious hope that in the aftermath of this calamity, society will see major changes on many levels. I don’t know about you, but I am getting tired of seeing so much money and power concentrated in the hands of a few 3). Why is there always money for war and stock options and hefty CEO bonuses, yet there’s little, if any, for education or national pharma care or Universal Health Care?

Anyway, how are you handling your self isolation, loyal reader? Here at Chez Montreuil, it has basically been just the Cat and I. I have gone out a few times, mostly to buy beer, although I did go out to return some empties. Now that, that was an experience worthy of a paragraph unto itself. Let me tell you about it.

Some Beer stores are now taking back empties 4). I found one online close to me 5) and headed out. I just missed my bus, so I had to walk most of the way. When I got there, they had two lines, one for purchases and one for returns. I can’t praise the staff enough. They went out of their way to keep us advised of the situation. We were cautioned that the wait could be lengthy, as they were restricting the number of people in the store at any time. They had some common sense rules, limiting you to one cart full of empties and only one person with each cart. Common sense at this perilous time. Sadly, common sense is not a flower that grows in everyone’s garden, or maybe the real problem is just inability read English, or maybe, to comprehend English. In any case, surrounded by discarded gloves, I dutifully lined up. It took about an hour and a half in total, and as I am a glutton for punishment, I picked up some “fullies”. Total time out of the house? About 3 1/2 hours.

Otherwise, it’s pretty much just been CoCo the Cat and I hanging around together during this isolation. While I have plastic model aircraft to build, I do not have all the paints which I need. and hobby shops are not open, as they are not considered essential. 7) I have been contacting some friends and relatives and relatives and friends have been contacting me as well. I urge you all to seize this opportunity to reach out to others at this time of loneliness. I saw a very good post which pointed out that sitting alone with no human contact is exactly how many people in hospitals, nursing homes or living on their own feel. What a great chance to put ourselves in their shoes, how acutely does this drive home the painful reality of their daily existence.

I have been reading a little bit, but have been spending more time on the Internet, especially Facebook. There are some interesting things about this current situation. One is the fact that museums, art galleries, governmental organizations and schools are making resources available for those who want to TAKE ADVANTAGE of the opportunity to learn something new. Others are endeavouring to develop some kind of small business idea to make extra money. Others are just trying to cope with a world which has completely changed and will never return to where it once was. I want to address the members of this last group. No one really knows how to handle this problem, no one can live your life for you and no one has the right to tell you how to live your life. Do not succumb to external pressure at this time to strive for achievement. Your only duty is to yourself. You have to survive. That’s it, nothing else. Be comfortable with yourself.

You can take advantage of the numerous shows out up by musicians across the spectrum. I post some of them on my timeline, and others are out there. It’s a great way to entertain yourself and maybe expose yourself to new music. After all, if it’s free and one doesn’t need to leave their couch, one becomes decidedly more adventurous in ones’ choices.

There are lots of great movies and television shows and lectures and podcasts and documentaries 8) out there as well, available at the “click” of a mouse. A couple of nights ago, during an unrelated search, I stumbled across an episode of “A Touch Of Frost”, an excellent English detective show, a series which I am working my way through on a daily basis. I posted about my good fortune on Facebook and got, in response, a number of suggestions of other great series that I would also enjoy. There really are days when “the Intertoobz works”!

So stay indoors as much as possible, practice “safe social distancing”, keep in touch with your friends and relatives and remember that there those around us for whom this is life as they experience it every day. Remember that every harsh experience can be a bad experience… or a learning experience.

I am going to close this week with an amazing story. Due to the current situation, public activities are on hold for the foreseeable future. Among these activities, of course, are airshows. Well, a Dorset father and his family decided to have their own airshow, in their own backyard. Loyal reader, I have been to many airshows in my time, and I can tell you that they did an outstanding job organizing this airshow. The participants were assembled plastic models, painted authentically and with coat hanger wire attached to make them “fly”. What a lineup there was. The performers included “warbirds” 9) such as the De Havilland Mosquito (in rarely seen postwar markings, I noticed) and the Avro Lancaster. Superannuated jets in the display included the Grumman F-14 Tomcat, the Panavia Tornado and the BAe Sea Harrier. The lineup was right up to date as it included the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.

Now you are probably wondering why I have devoted so much time, space and electrons to this “airshow”. I can assure you that it’s not bad writer’s block. As I have said above, we can handle this situation in several ways. Focussing on the positive, because there’s enough negative right now, I feel that Martin and his family are a shining example to us all of how to cope during this bizarre time. I should add that this magnificent labour of love has received attention not only from the media, but from the Red Arrows themselves. High and justly deserved praise for a damned nice bit of work. Google “Martin Bridge’s Airshow” and see for yourself.

Backyard Airshow

Stay safe, I may take you back to Orillia next time out, loyal reader!

See you soon.

1) From the Latin word for shepherd

2) I just read that some of the American stimulus money with be diverted to help these poor unfortunate institutions which pay no taxes and have not lifted a material finger to help the common person in need during this horrific time.

3) As I always say “When your actions piss off a good scout like me, there is a major problem”.

4) Apparently cans and bottles were in short supply, so this was needed.

5) For anyone of my Ontario friends who drink, note that both the LCBO and The Beer Store have reduced their hours, so do be advised. Check ahead before you leave the house.

7) Am I the only one who is comparing this situation with these empty streets and locked businesses to “On The Beach”?

8) Except at Chez Montreuil, where I am highly selective about which military documentaries I watch, as I am a proud “rivet counter”, which means that I like my documentaries more than leavened with facts and research.

9) Flyable ex military aircraft, some over a hundred years old. Those are maintained very scrupulously and flown with the greatest of care.

10) “Static display” aircraft do not fly in the airshow, but they are available for viewing and crew members are there to answer questions and sell you squadron patches, t shirts, baseball hats, stickers etc.

11) “Held” waited at the end of the runway for takeoff clearance.

=PJM=

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