You’ve been quarantining for twenty years and you’re experiencing major FOMO (Fear Of Marital Overtures). You take all the usual precautions — social distancing, contactless delivery, wearing the tattered remnants of your bridal veil as a mask — but you’re still worried. You need a DIY pandemic project. Set up a Zoom meeting with your lawyer and ask if he can find a hauntingly beautiful orphan for you to adopt. Homeschooling won’t be easy, but as long as your new daughter learns how to read, write, and mercilessly eviscerate the heart of every man she meets, you can congratulate yourself on a job well done. There are plenty of lovelorn street urchins out there, so this should keep you entertained until everybody is vaccinated or until a stray spark from the only source of heat in your dilapidated mansion sets your wedding dress on fire. Either way, you won’t have to worry about getting COVID anymore.
Cask of Amontillado-ing
You’ve tried everything, but your neighbor, Fortunato, stands too close, insists on wearing a Venetian carnival mask instead of an N95, and keeps making fun of you for not being a Freemason. The CDC recommends you either direct him to their website or entomb him alive in the forgotten catacombs of your ancient family palazzo. You opt for Plan B. It won’t be easy luring him into a dark and foreboding cellar without arousing suspicion, so you tell him that you want to show him a cask of rare wine. Just to cover your bases, you also tell him that the wine is spiked with hydroxychloroquine which — thanks to Fox News — he believes to be the only known cure for COVID-19, erectile dysfunction, and socialism. Once he’s drunk enough wine or spent enough time on Facebook to become confused and disoriented, chain him to the Cask of Amontillado, and start building a brick wall. If he starts screaming, just tell him you’re “following Dr. Fauci’s orders.” This will shock him into stunned silence better than being buried alive ever could.
You make a small fortune bootlegging alcohol, which you sell as hand sanitizer on Amazon for an obscene mark-up. You start socializing with the biggest, richest assholes in town, under the 100% correct assumption that they will be offered a COVID vaccine before anybody else. It’s all going according to plan until one of the assholes runs down her husband’s mistress while driving your Tesla. You agree to keep things quiet — Elon is a regular in West Egg! — but you get shot by a mechanic who’s furious that you a) killed his wife and b) have been shorting GameStop stock for the past eight months. Your final thoughts are of Daisy, and — more importantly — of how you should have invested your hand sanitizer money in Dogecoin when you had the chance.
Man in the Iron Mask-ing
You’re dealing with a double whammy: a friend who refuses to wear a mask and who is also the secret identical twin brother of the King of France. Luckily there is an elegant solution to both of these problems: a padlocked iron mask. Of course, an iron mask offers no protection against COVID, cholera, or any of the nine strains of venereal disease your friend acquired while pretending to be the King, but it does muffle out his complaints when you lock him in a drafty French dungeon and throw away the key.
It’s tough to get enough “me time” when you’re living with your family during lockdown. Keep your pesky parents at bay by waking up one morning transformed into a giant insect. Now instead of hassling you to clean your room, your mom clears out all the furniture so you can scuttle across the floor on your hideous bug legs. And instead of spending a small fortune on Uber Eats every day, your sister brings you heaps of rotten kitchen scraps for free. Of course, this dream set-up can only last so long. First, you lose your job because your mandibles won’t let you toggle your Zoom mic and your new insect voice is deemed too “haunting” for a customer service position. Second, your father pelts you with hard apples, which get wedged in your thorax, causing a massive infection, and — eventually — a harrowing, protracted death. Still, as you lie on your back with your legs in the air, you realize it could have been worse: at least you weren’t stuck at home with a preschooler for the past 12 months.
You wake up next to a tattooed cannibal. You eat a bowl of chowder. You squeeze sperm all day long. Honestly, you hope the pandemic never ends.