It's not funny anymore, is it?
“The United States of America has a history of locking otherwise blameless people, Americans even, up simply because they’re originally from a country deemed dangerous or hostile. War-like. Aggressive.” I tell my daughter as we squat in what’s being called the “exercise yard” of a notorious North County, San Diego Internment Camp.
“It’s an open secret but ugly still. California locked up wonderful Japanese folk for being Japanese during World War II.” I continue. “I don’t think they locked up wonderful Germans for being German during World War I but the powers that be changed the name of ‘hamburgers’ to ‘liberty sandwiches’ which is just as bad.”
“What country are we locked up for being from?” My young daughter asks while digging for worms that I told her we would fry for dinner, until she catches a Chihuahua, assuming we’ll be allowed to use the kitchen.
“France.” I say. “And we’re not even French.”
Europe is now the epicenter of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, more casualties in Italy than the disease’s proud papa China. Germany headed toward full lockdown. France’s Cannes Film Festival postponed.
Hell that hath cometh.
Two weeks ago, when the non-China world was still normal-ish and I was only an enterprising surfer-father seeing fantastic deals to Europe popping up on my computer screen while writing about Gabriel Medina while glancing over at my young daughter who looked like she needed an adventure and who cares about Gabriel Medina?
It was then I proposed, to her, that we rip, last second, to France then Germany so we could shred the Coronavirus Apocalypse. Empty museums etc. Free Hermès Birkins and whatnot. Hamburgers that couldn’t even imagine liberty but even better steak frites.
The good life made fun.
The great life made pink.
She was game, as she always is.
So we did it, flying to Paris, flying to Berlin, and living a dream, an absolute dream. We laughed through an empty Versailles, an empty Berlin Zoo, an empty-ish Champs Élysées, an empty-ish Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin Wall, Louvre, Eiffel, Brandenburg… the Olde World made fresh though circumstances. Though it all went, theoretically, pear shaped whilst we were shredding.
Travel bans etc. Bar closures etc.
Terror and paranoia.
We made it home but were immediately tagged as Enemies of the State and suggested into self-internment what with the China Virus beginning to rage across greater America minus Florida.
Beginning to destroy a once unstoppable people (read: economy).
The notorious camp we’ve been “locked” into has limited cell phone reception in the living room because I insist on continuing an abusive relationship with T-Mobile, a broken washing machine that should be fixed this coming Tuesday, tiles making up a patio in the front yard that I was supposed to get sealed but haven’t scheduled the tile seal man yet, which was a total gaff, dying nectarine tree that I’m supposed to cut down, garage that is, seriously, out-of-control messy with tools everywhere but un-find-able, grout that needs re-touching in the kitchen, a few burnt out lightbulbs all my fault and a corroding zinc countertop, which I also insisted on.
According to public opinion, yes and let us read but one of many barbs sent over my Internment Camp’s needed-to-be-painted fence.
What are your plans for your daughter now that you have wantonly exposed her to Covid-19 by bringing her to the heart of the pandemic? Will you allow playdates knowing she is most likely infected? Or not give a shit because she isn’t showing symptoms and you never really cared about her health or anyone else’s? Dad of the fucking year. You should be arrested.
“Playdates!” I suddenly remember.
Are they allowed in this ruthless Internment Camp?
Can they leave once they come?
Would I be able to sort one of them into sealing the front patio tile?
My young daughter’s best friend in the whole wide world is, no lie, Japanese.
More as the story develops.