Pandemic phobias and peripatetic prepping
And also alliteration.
Like a lot of people (I’m guessing) I’ve developed this phobic… maybe phobic is too strong an adjective… intense dislike for Point of sale devices that require me to interact with them, other than waving my credit card in their general vicinity I mean, making sure that our brief dalliance is only as close as it needs to be for near-field-communication to do it thing.
Touching a point of sale device is, after all, like running your fingers along the inside rim of a public toilet. Pre-pandemic of course Joey was a lot less circumspect, trusting his hardened (Africanized) immune system to deal with all manner of latrine dwelling micro-organisms as he happily, post sales-event, picked his nose, rubbed his eyes and licked ketchup off his digits.
Jesus, I was a primal cave dwelling savage (not so long ago)
In any event, I’m doing my first thousand mile road trip on Friday. Well, not my first, but the first… eh… tranche of us moving house. Driving down* with my mother… which… *deep exhale* is going to be an experience all on its own… but more on that later.
*I realize down is a relative turn, but generally in a South Westerly direction. Which when you accept the way we’ve orientated our globe… fuck it, nevermind.
Ostensibly, since my old man died, and corona… and lockdowns… and all that… well be have a lot of estate stuff to do… combined with other more mundane moving readiness stuff. We are also using the opportunity to take a full load of our life detritus with us. Basically stuff we don’t want the moving company to break and/or lose.
Which, so far, boils down to my Lego. And my wife’s drum kit.
Being anally retentive. Or maybe just obsessively German, I have disassembled all my Lego and crated it. If there is space, I will take some books down too… and my ‘Pilates’ mat… which is apparently thicker than a Yoga mat.
Anyways, where was I?
Point of sales devices and their questionable hygienic properties.
I went to Nespresso yesterday to buy pods. I like their Vivalto Lungos… which the salesperson cheerfully informed me they were discontinuing… GAH! I need easily accessible* coffee while I’m on my merry sojourn, which required me to hit up a mall.
*I’ve long learned not to accept any form of caffeinated beverage from my mother. (even tea) I don’t know what she does to it… but drinking water , that’s been used to soak the pot you burnt your bolognaise in has more flavor and a richer texture than whatever my mother does to coffee.
I tap my card… and the machine prompts me, asking if I’d like to put this purchase on my credit cards budget facility. I’m annoyed because now I have to risk death by touching the keypad and off-handedly remark to the salesperson, ‘Who buys coffee on budget?’
‘You’d be surprised’, she answers, having not really expected an answer, I arch an eyebrow at her (being masked up this is now my go-to facial prompt). ‘Yesterday this lady came in and bought about 150 pods, and then put it on her 24 month budget facility’.
This is pure anathema to me.
Back of my brain pan math. One hundred and fifty pods is… maybe two (and a bit) months of coffee… assuming two pods a day… so you’re still going to be paying off your coffee, twenty-two months later!! God. What is wrong with people?
At least now, whatever happens, I’ll have drinkable Java waiting for me on the other side. Yes, I know for some of you Nespresso is like the Anti-christ… but really, I’m not that principled.
Which leads us onto our next… hurdle.
And that there is a very real chance that, by hour seven, I’ll be digging a hole out in the desert somewhere*. There is likely only so much critiquing of my driving I’ll be able to take before snapping like a twig.
*note to self, take shovel.
Also having glanced at my Spotify playlists (basically foreign language death metal and 90’s Indie Alternative) and my Audio book collection (basically libertarian economics, atheism and Science Fiction)… ha ha, there is going to be zero Venn diagram overlap in things we will be able to agree on listening to for fourteen hours.
So after some serious googling… this is what I’ve bought for our trip…
Hopefully this gets us (but mostly me) through with our (my) sanity intact.
I mean this mostly leans towards my proclivities with zero allowance for Nordic murder noir… except for Trevor Noah (who I’m… well, he’s okay I guess). I love Bill Bryson and Stephen Fry narrating anything is always going to great. Treasure Island was recommended to me by Google. And google knows everything. Although vaguely I wonder how it interprets my porn-habits to able to recommend classic pirate literature to me. Clearly my proclivities are not as dark as I imagined. Or maybe they’re exceptionally dark, with black spots and amputees. Its probably best not to dwell on such things.
Oh, I also bought comics. Because… you know… actual literature is important on any field trip.
Farmhand and Gideon Falls have both been recommended to me by people who take their comics very serious. And the… The Last Ronin… well, I read this one last night already, basically all the other Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have all been murdered and Michelangelo is the only one left, and he is on this suicidal revenge mission. And while not a TMNT aficionado… I like it when classic 90’s childhood memories take a dark turn.
Anyways, I think I’m ready.
Wish me luck.