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It's Two Years Later. Did You Survive?
Used by permission from cromaconceptovisual via Pixabay
Controversial Topic: ENGAGED
Used by permission from Joelstuff V4 via Creative Commons
It was a mad world, just like Gary Jules said.
Nearly two years ago today, toilet paper was flying off the shelves. It was a hot mess of steaming crap. Hysteria abounded. Fear and panic were widespread. Isolation and loneliness were rampant. Dogs and cats were living together. Tom Hanks got the virus and was once again stranded on an island with Wilson. Voiceover artists everywhere were mercilessly commanded to repeatedly utter phrases such as "In these unprecedented times" and "We're all in this together" by vicious taskmaster directors who love to cast us and pay our bills - so that was mean what I said; please cancel that.
People were spraying their dates with Lysol because they needed to social distance, but that would usually land them in jail, which would put them in close proximity to big hairy cellmates, which more or less was the opposite of what they were wanting to happen.
This virus was here to stay.
In those troubling times of uncertainty and doubt (which means uncertainty), back on March 23rd 2020 I presented to you this same blog title containing some tried and true methods for weathering the storm, necessitating the use of neither toilet paper nor hand sanitizer.
So how did you do? Let us review, shall we? Here we go. A reminder that I am a dynamic figure, so please remember to stand 6 feet away from this blog while reading it, lest you catch the personavirus.
Pass the Corona!
Used by permission from j_souhail via Creative Commons
Back then I presented the following virus-proof activities atchoo (Gesundheit!) to ward off any strain whatsoever, and keep you sane. In retrospect, looking back (which means "in retrospect"), how did you do with the following:
- Whisk yourself away from this maddening situation (and malls, airports, movie theaters, restaurants, streets, sidewalks, gatherings of 10 people or more, Earth), and record the following voiceover in true quarantine spirit in all 6500 spoken languages: “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.” Bonus if you do it in ruby slippers.
- Perfect the art of the 20-second hand-washing technique. I predict that there will be contests on the cleanest hands, and that the winner will be awarded the Grand Prize of meeting Tony Shaloub's "Monk" in the year 2391, when he finally gives us the go-ahead that it's safe to elbow bump people once again.
- Got a mate? Stay indoors, reproduce, and in 9 months we’ll see a baby boom, and we’ll call them coronials. And just think! By the time we hit the year 2033, we’ll have Quaranteenagers! Curious - any new VO quarantine babies out there?
- Show the world how you’re truly the best at triple-quarantining! Share pictures of yourself quarantined in a Hazmat suit, which is quarantined in your studio, which is quarantined in your home. Ain’t no virus gettin’ you in there, no sirreebob. Extra points for those of you who are able to fit yourselves in a giant Ziploc bag.
- Times like these were precisely what the following movie marathons were made for:
- ALL NINE (OK, all six...OK OK all three) Star Wars
- Lord of the Rings
- Indiana Jones
- Lethal Weapon
- Harry Potter
- Jurassic Park
- John Wick
- The Alien Quadrilogy
- Back to the Future
- The Godfather
- John Wick
- Toy Story
- The Matrix (note: Reloaded and Revolutions are entirely optional, being that they are entirely punishing)
- Planet of the Apes (old)
- Planet of the Apes (new)
- I am Legend three times in a row, but turn the volume way down at night before the zombies hear you. Also prepare to strangle your dog.
- John Wick (because, you know, anger...)
- Make your own hand sanitizer. I suggest a strong combination of alcohol, alcohol, and alcohol. This way, the hand sanitizer is good at killing germs as well as providing a good ol’ time.
- Make your own masks out of napkins and coat hangers. Sell them at 800% markup (you'll need money to buy toilet paper at $300 a roll) to passersby who approach your Kool-aid stand. Sell Kool-aid as well, lest you receive a negative Yelp review for false advertising. Receive payment via money flung at you from a safe distance. Spray Windex on received monies with a cleaning fury that would rival Martha Stewart. Prison time optional.
- See who can watch the map-of-countries-affected on Cable TV News in real time, and see who points first to the most recent country to fall. Fun for the whole family!
- If you have kids and you’re working from home, practice the following phrase over and over again. “If they don’t resume school soon, I’m going to strangle you.” Muster your best demonic underworld voice when saying this, to ensure future obedience driven by raw, cold fear.
- Download Duolingo. Learn every single foreign language you can. By the time this pandemic passes you by, you’ll be C-3PO, fluent in over six million forms of communication! Gold star for you if you wear chrome and always complain.
Honorable Mention #1: Watch Tangled over and over again, and suddenly your own quarantine will not look so bad. That poor girl was trapped inside for eight... teen... years... doing ventriloquy, candle-making, papier-mâché, adding a new painting to her gallery, and talking to a lizard. Good times.
Honorable Mention #2: Practice your best victory monologue while gripping a Corona beer fiercely, glaring and pointing at it while screaming, "Thou shalt never win this war! I shall defeat thee, Foul Plague Of The Underworld! Stand and face thou thy Judgment, for thy judgment verily henceforth cometh!" Prepare to field questions from concerned neighbors.
I hope you passed the test with these and other ingeniously concocted homemade remedies, and I hope that you are still sane. If you survived the worst of the pandemic, then you will survive the following one, which is when the next deadly microscopic organism attacks our hair and our temples, causing the CDC to prescribe a new mask mandate, at which point we will all take our cues from these fine folks:
Almost There...Almost There...
The truth is that Covid-19 will eventually reach 'endemic' stage. This is the point in time where we, as humanity, breathe a collective sigh of relief as we look up the word 'endemic.' It is also where the virus says, "Haha, you thought you would outlast me but look! I'm here to stay, and I'll always be a thorn in your side, like news articles about Caitlyn Jenner and songs by Hanson."
In 2022, looking back, I think we did pretty well. The pandemic is almost over. Masks are no longer required everywhere. Since the CDC's latest directive, my wife and I now feel comfortable taking them off in the shower, and all of my clients have echoed resounding thanks that my recordings sound so much less muffled than before. Truly, the only thing we have to worry about now is Omicron daughter variants...followed closely by son variants, family-dog variants and one-time-room-renter variants. After that, it's just global thermonuclear war with Russia! Thank God for simpler times. Cue the WOPR: "Shall we play a game?"
Seriously though: keep staying safe, healthy and well out there, my previously-quarantined-hibernating-voiceover-bear-peeps. We already knew how to social distance: we do that for a living. I hope this little bit of levity brightened your day in the midst of reflecting on mass hysteria, rampant hoarding of posterior grooming towelettes, and pervasive fear of all things microscopic.
Used by permission from geralt via Pixabay
PS, something really good came out of the pandemic, and that was when voiceover artists the world over rallied together for a video I created, entitled 'Heroes Are You." If you have not seen it, check it out below:
PPS, I stand with Ukraine. Do you?
YOU HAVE MADE IT ALL THE WAY TO THE END, AND I SALUTE YOU.
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- Check out my whole UNIVERSE of blogs right HERE!
- This is a fourth bullet point.
AND HEY! WAIT JUST A S.E.C.!
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- E-NCOURAGE: Go encourage someone else today with a single, simple sentence of affirmation. Tell them, “I like your earrings”, unless of course they are manly men, in which case you should compliment them on the size of their chainsaw.
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19 thoughts on “We have your Toilet Paper. And if you ever want to see it again… (revisited)”
Man…I wish I’d known about your blog when you initially posted that list. I’m so behind now… I really missed out on the napkin/hanger mask racket. Probably couldn’t sell them at a remotely worthwhile markup now. Missed opportunities.
I did download Duolingo! Probably should have used it, though…
Shoulda coulda woulda, right? That’s the whole point of looking back, especially in a “reflective” blog…so you actually did the right thing! WAY TO GO!
I tried reading your post reflectively, but it was too much work trying to read in reverse, plus holding my computer monitor up to the mirror was making my arms hurt, so I listened instead. It was fun (?) to look back on the past couple of years as a way of recognizing the current light at the end of the tunnel, which I know we all hope isn’t a train.
It was also interesting to hear about the Personality Virus. I need to research that one. I think it must be the one I have.
Depressing news flash: It pains me to report that it actually WAS a train. My sincerest apologies on what the impact did to your face. The hat looks nice though!
Very lucky. I did fine and am here. Coped by continuing on toward a “working” retirement plan. Sold my duplex (I had it rented) paid off my house and debts, had steady business and got a new hip. Now signing up for Social Security and Medicare, still working, and getting ready to go to Virginia and D.C. area for vacation. Had some personal losses, but learning to endure as we all must. Looking to do a VO conference trip in the future.
Advice to all at this point is for you to enjoy your children and grands, respect those that came before you and remember that face to face visits are the best medicine. Keep compassion and love in your soul.
And even got a new hip??? I call that a FULL DAY. Great work, Arlene! Hope the hip is running nicely and you’re not getting stopped at checkpoints and asked if you’re a Terminator. I hate that. But congrats on selling your duplex and everything else you were able to accomplish. You’re absolutely right about compassion and love. Keep that up! Thanks for visiting, reading and commenting.
Hahahaha i remember this one! I survived. Thanks Joshua. These were great suggestions then and they still hold true today. Thanks for the fun post as always!!
My pleasure, Kris! Oftentimes its good to look back in the rearview mirror, and just reflect…before we plow into a parked car.
O no!! Don’t I know it. Been a few of those in my lifetime. 🙁
My expectation and ideas for how the pandemic would end always played out in my head perhaps a little too much like a movie’s plotline. There would be a foreseeable large, final wave or crescendo, we would cling on for dear life and sanity, and then after one screaming final apex, there would be a fresh, new silence of sorts… It would all be over.
That hasn’t happened at all. It’s still around. It could be here to stay. I feel out of sorts on what I’m even supposed to think or feel half the time about it.
But what I did do was install a bidet on one of the toilets in my home. And now we have PLENTY of toilet paper. So I guess there’s that!
And I’ve made some really great friends as well. 🙂
Boy if there’s anyone who has been touched by the pandemic, it’s you, MAL…and that’s spoken with a touch of heroism and anthemic pride extended towards one of the frontline heroes that we all know and love: ours truly (uh, YOU). Thank you for all you do and have done out there on the battlefield! Maybe when we get together at VOA we can play-act and setup some props and surrounds and envision that final crescendo wave…and I’ll be the guy who buys it…you can reach out and do a slow-mo “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” as I fall down into the abyss. OR! Maybe I’ll even INTENTIONALLY let go so you can survive. And you can remember me as you look out upon the ocean and cling to some memento, like a piece of rubber from my shoe that you ripped off trying to make sure I wouldn’t fall. Or some earwax as you feebly clutched at me. I promise when I fall to look like Hans Gruber from Die Hard. Ooooooo this is gonna be good…
The last two years have been crazy, with a lot of bad, but so much good as well. The good includes this VO video thanking the front-line workers during the pandemic! For some, it brought out the best of us and for some, it brought on an ugliness, including the whole toilet paper hysteria! Thanks for the good chuckles, Josh!
Always! Chuckles is my middle name. Actually that’s not true, but after all, “Josh” IS a synonym for “to joke around.” So if the shoe fits… 🙂
Well, Covid got me twice (so far), but it didn’t GET ME get me. Still here!
Proud to have contributed to some really fun and creative pandemic-inspired projects, to have survived homeschooling far too many children for far too long, and made a significant contribution to Netflix and Binge and Paramount’s shareholder dividends…
Haha I think we have most definitely contributed to the same hedge funds, Sumara! Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday became Movie Day, Movie Day, Movie Day, Movie Day, and Movie Day. My kids eyes look like Gollum’s now. 🙁
Finally get to comment! Whoohoo! Power was out the whole weekend… Monday was a public holiday, so it counted too.
Yeah, the whole CVD was a panic at the disco… it really felt like going into the unknown… not to mention when this whole thing started, we were heading into frozen season… LOL.
We, as a family, did not buy into the posterior grooming, BUTT, we did buy a lot of sanitizer. That helped us get through the worst, but when olaf turned into a happy snowman, we finally got over the CVD and emerged unpuddled! LOL.
Don’t know why all the frozen stuff just came, but loved it. Anyway, glad we all made it this far. There are literally millions that did not and that is a scary thought.
It truly is – BUTT (and I see what you did there BTW!) – there’s always a reason, right? Though we may not know exactly what it is at the time, there was a reason. Maybe it was to teach us to wipe our butts and our hands more, and to start practicing better hygiene – and on top of that, to show us what we could all do and be, “in this together.” It was amazing to see the closeness that happened as we celebrated and rallied around our frontline heroes, hailing them and wishing them well and praying for them. Checking in our loved ones more frequently. Spending more quality time together and getting outdoors for some fresh air more. I daresay God knows what He’s doing with nature.
Ooo. Ooo. I love it when I learn something new. Who knew the noun for making a dummy talk was “ventriloquy”. I will try to fit that into a sentence everyday for the next week!
Great blog Josh. Just strange that I haven’t seen any of those movies you mentioned…….
They are not very well known. Indie films, really. Trivial and forgettable. I mean, who wants to watch some small dude take a tiny golden ring and after 12 hours, watch him simply drop it into a volcano??? FOR SHAME!!!