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Dispatch From The House Of Germs

Dispatch From The House Of Germs

It’s good to be home. Even if the half-decorated house that I left in a mad rush last week (see “Anyone Need A One-Armed Liftie” for details) is in a state of dishevelment due to a family-wide stomach virus which struck while I was gone and caused my daughter and her family to be too weak to make the 17-mile trek back to their home in Ocean View.

I’ve been told that this particular bug strikes fast and hard. As in, one minute you’re eating spaghetti and the next you’re, well, seeing it again. Apparently, it also caused its victims to lose the ability to walk, empty the trash or do dishes.

Aware of the situation, I made a stop on the way home from the airport for an aerosol can of Lysol that I sprayed on every surface as I entered the House of Germs. Then I threw open the windows and let the 32-degree breeze do its work. My mother - a believer in daily room airings - would be proud.

Nothing left to do but wait and see if I successfully exterminated the virus. 

Catching up on news today. Seems shoot-outs have become a trend in Norfolk where four people have died since Sunday.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that three people were killed by gunfire in Norfolk on Tuesday alone.  A deadly day. Not a good look for a city that wants to market itself to businesses and millennials.  But Norfolk does have light rail. So there’s that.

In Virginia Beach on Wednesday a police officer was stabbed while responding to a domestic call. I’ve seen this sad movie before, haven’t you? 

Ask any cop and he or she will tell you that these housecalls are the most perilous situations they face. The usual scenario: A guy slugs his wife, she calls the police and the badges enter a volatile place where the occupants may or may not be drunk, drugged or armed. In this case, police say the officer was attacked by a 17-year-old. 

The police take this risk for the princely sum of about $45K a year, if memory serves. So do not bash the boys in blue around me, please. For every bad cop there are thousands of men and women who risk their lives to protect us from hairballs and each other.

There’s no way to ignore the news out of Alabama, I suppose. Roy Moore lost his bid for the U.S. Senate on Tuesday night and the national media went gleefully berserk.

Had he won, they were ready with sneering pieces about stupid Southerners. With Moore’s loss, however, the narrative switched to a celebratory one about the Democrats being in ascendancy: “Just look at Virginia, and now Alabama!”

Dems may very well have a good year ahead in 2018. But these two elections aren’t likely a  bellwether. Someone needs to remind those in America’s newsroom cocoons that Virginia already had a Democratic governor and voters simply replaced him with another - a Dem from Tidewater who would appeal to conservatives in this southeastern corner of the commonwealth. Very smart. No one here was surprised by the results.

As for Alabama, well, that overwhelmingly Republican state just proved what the media hates to admit: Conservatives care about character and won’t vote for just any jackass who gets the GOP nomination. Alabamans didn’t want to be represented in the Senate by a man who was accused of molesting a 14-year-old. Good for them. The seat will swing back to the GOP when Sen. Doug Jones stands for re-election at the end of Jeff Sessions’ term in 2020. That is, unless Jones shows an independent streak and is willing to break with national Democrats on measures most people in his state support.

Won’t happen.  

I’d advise Jones to rent, not buy, in Washington.

Oh, and here’s an interesting tidbit from my old employer: Virginia Beach is poised to eliminate the term “servants quarters” (no apostrophe after the “s”, for reasons I cannot understand) from its zoning regulations.

There was a time when many bluebloods at the Beach had live-in help and needed a little hovel in the back yard to house them. Now those units have granite countertops and are where people stash their aging relatives. The Beach will henceforth refer to them as “limited use accessory dwelling units” - a term that could only have been concocted in a stale City Hall cubicle.

I know it’s probably excessive to dream of having help - I’m talking PAID household staff, of course, and no one calls them servants anymore - but as I watch the latest episodes of “The Crown” on Netflix and see the ladies in waiting remove Elizabeth’s shoes and jewels and gently wake Her Majesty in the mornings, I wonder what it would be like to have someone in my employ to perform the mundane tasks of suburban life. 

Like airing the sheets, dragging out the trash and spraying germy doorknobs with disinfectant.


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