Editorial: Can staying at home cause hallucinations?

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 7, 2020

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Has Roy Cooper had a haircut recently?

I tend to be on the yes side. Others say he’s bushier than before in the back, and that overall, his hair is longer. Others will say, “but look at his ears, his hair is neatly trimmed around the ears.” Hair growing over the ears is a tell-tale sign of a man who needs a haircut.

Why are people questioning the hairstyle of their governor?

Because in late March, he issued an executive order banning all barbershops and beauty salons from opening. No more haircuts, styles or color for anyone — unless they do it themselves. That order has been extended until at least May 23, maybe even later.

None of the people I talked to think Roy Cooper cuts his own hair. It’s either he has had it cut professionally or he hasn’t.

Roy, you’re about my age. We both have what most people would call “good hair.” Mine was going over the ears a couple of weeks ago. Mine has grown so much that people think I’m trying to bring back the mullet. Actually, I think I may let it grow into a full-grown mullet, you know that haircut, business in the front and a party in the back. It drives women wild. But I also want it long enough to go into a ponytail. That drives a different set of women wild. You can’t have a ponytail and a mullet, so I guess I’ll have to decide. I’ll probably stick with the old usual, which drives no women wild.

Yes, I’m picking on Roy Cooper. He’s in a no-win situation. Health officials are telling him a continued shutdown will help slow the spread of the coronavirus. His economic officials are saying people can’t take much more of not being at work.

I’m with those economic officials, for purely personal reasons.

I thought things like working from home and staying at home when not working were right up my alley, as long as there are plenty of adult beverages and yard work that needs to be done.

But lately, things have been going astray.

I’ve gone three days without taking a bath. (Of course, I wash my hands. Do you think I’m an animal?) Why bother when there’s nowhere to go, no one to offend? I draw the line at three days, however; any longer and the odors can waft six feet or more. You get the picture. On this one, I guess I’m just lucky my wife’s sense of smell is minimal.

I saw a squirrel wearing a necklace the other day. Really. Don’t start thinking about those adult beverages, I hadn’t gotten into those. Yet. But there he was, a cute little squirrel standing on its hind legs, a shiny necklace dangling in front of his neck. I eased to the door to get my wife to come outside so she could also witness this miracle, perhaps bring her cellphone and snap a photo, it would be better than a real Bigfoot sighting. Just as I knocked on the door, the squirrel took off. When he moved, I could see that necklace was nothing more than a piece of a sunflower seed that had become stuck on its chin. But it looked like a necklace. Really. Now it’s time for that adult beverage.

Also in recent weeks, I realize that I have neighbors. I already knew this, even know some of them by name, but folks started walking down the roads who I have never seen. Kids on bicycles. Where did they come from? Families walking with little babies. They live around here? Women power walking. How come I’ve never seen them before.

And, it’s hard to give a good reason, but I’ll call it boredom, I started to make up stories in my mind about these people.

One woman came walking by with a purpose just the other day. Then she came by again, this time jogging. Then again, this time running. Then again, walking. She’s getting rid of stress, I thought, and couldn’t stop myself from imagining what her life is like nowadays. I pictured her kids at home, tied to chairs so they wouldn’t break anything while she was gone, their mouths probably duct-taped shut. Stranger things have happened during stay at home orders, right?

There’s a Grateful Dead album titled “What A Long, Strange Trip It’s Been.” Forget the drugs, all you need is days upon end at home and an uncontrolled imagination.

Did I tell you about talking to a bird that was telling me what to do the other day?

— Mike Barnhardt is editor of the Davie County Enterprise-Record.