BY MARCY SHORTUSE- No one expects the Spanish Inquisition.
That line from Monty Python keeps running through my head, as I try to sort out the craziness in the world around me. In fact, I could one day realize I’m in the middle of a Monty Python sketch and it wouldn’t surprise me a bit.
I just wish it was funny.
“Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition” is a quote that is in reference to a tribunal set up by Catholics (actually by the Spanish monarchy) in the 1400s, to make sure Christians retained orthodoxy. The phrase is said several times throughout the sketch by a man being thoroughly questioned by a woman. Every time he says the words, a group of men dressed in religious robes storm in the room and say, “Nobody expects a Spanish Inquisition!”
It was funny … until a few months ago. Now that sketch has been somewhat tainted by the taste of abrupt and vehement attacks coming from nowhere, from everywhere. Don’t go on social media, you’ll find those robed men there, ready to bark and bite about any comment that speaks to the subject of mask wearing, distance learning or “He Who Must Not Be Named” – Dr. Fauci.
Many people have become unhinged. Unglued. Entirely uncomfortable in their own skin. Every word uttered could be construed as an epithet, a threat, a conveyance of allegiance to the Empire (Darth Vader wore a mask, yet no one questioned him).
COVID-19 is no laughing matter, I get it. But I keep waiting for the Monty Python players to put something together to make us look in the mirror and laugh a little at ourselves. That’s what they do, it’s what they’re best at. I do not mock the extremely dire symptoms of this virus, such as families who can’t see their elderly loved ones in nursing homes, parents entertaining the idea of sending their children back to school (“Into the old COVID pit with you youngsters, have at it and have a good day!”), or the horrendous and weird nature of the randomness of who gets gravely ill or dies from the virus, while others have it and never know it. But some of this madness has turned into a dark comedy of errors that the Python players really need to bring to light.
Case in point: The COVIDians. I’m not talking about the people who don’t believe in wearing masks, and that this whole virus thing may, in fact, be a hoax (many of us have wondered if we’re Guinea pig pawns in the game of life), I’m talking about the rip-snorting, eye-bulging, red-faced people you see on videos who start throwing racks of face masks to the floor in Target like the Incredible Hulk. The ones who say they’ve been sent by a higher power to fight the battle against those who, hiding behind masks, are really minions of Satan.
I’m also talking about those who sit in a room (sanitized five times daily), rocking back and forth and clutching their pearls, hoping the ‘Rona don’t come for them.
Just remember, Facebook warrior friends, that most of us fall somewhere in the middle: This is crazy stuff to comprehend. No one expected this to happen (except Dr. Fauci, of course, who is too busy cutting and pasting tiny little redactions in history in every library across the continent, according to some). Some people react with caution, other people are so flummoxed they prefer to just keep livin’ large. You can’t blame either side for their actions at this point. This is nuts.
Here’s a few things to remember:
1) Masks are sometimes a good idea. They keep your spit and mucous in. They keep other people’s spit and mucous away from your face. They don’t keep the ‘Rona out, they keep your snot and spit in, and other people’s body fluids out. We live in a place where they’re not required much of the time, so relish that and keep moving on with your life, exercising caution (if you want to). Let other people wear masks and don’t bug them.
2) After living in a cuckoo clock for months now, no one still has any solid answers … not even the top dogs of medicine. Don’t act like you have the answers, and I won’t, either.
3) Respect people. Respect the fact that they may have different views from you, but that doesn’t mean you have to scream at them every day that they are wrong. It makes you look silly.
That applies to all situations, not just the COVID. This is America, and we are allowed to be different.
4) From now on, ALWAYS expect the Spanish Inquisition.
Marcy Shortuse is the editor of the Boca Beacon. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.