Not funny

March 31, 2020 by Sandy Gutman
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Stuck in self-imposed isolation for 12 days so far bombarded with a terrifying gaggle of news and tzooris it’s hard to feel funny about anything right now.

Sandy Gutman aka Austen Tayshus

Panic buying, out of control anxiety, a thousand masks, social distancing at double the distance because I’m Jewish and thinking about dying a lot more than ten times a day. Alone with Netflix.

It’s not that being alone is abnormal. I’m a comedian. We are always alone and it is strangely comforting that the whole world has shut down. But in the dark, it is hard to laugh out loud.

Uncertainty is the hardest thing to deal with. When will it end? Will the world ever be the same again? Is Moshiach behind this? Will Iran implode? Will it be mild or will I have irreversible lung disease? When will my groceries arrive? Is Scomo doing a good job? Will Frydenberg take over? Do I need more canned food? Will I run out of hand sanitizer? Is the curve flattening? Will they find out that Norman Swan is Jewish?

They say the lockdown may last six months. My shows are postponed. The joys of hibernation, like watching great movies, reading and reading, catching up with friends still living, all heightened because there is nothing immediate to prepare for. In a way a welcome break. A chance to reconnect deeply with oneself and realise what really matters.Collective humanity. We are all in this together. We are all vulnerable. We need to take care of the elderly and the infirm and get in touch with our souls. Find a cure and move on having learnt nothing as usual.

People are dying all over the globe and families’ bread-winners are losing their jobs and their business.

My daughter can’t visit any more or it may be just a casual chat at arm’s length. I miss the hugs.

Even my alter ego Austen Tayshus can’t find anything to laugh about. People are dying out there.

See you when this is over….


One Response to “Not funny”
  1. James Scanlon says:

    Thanks for that, Sandy. “..having learnt nothing as usual” – that is one easily foreseeable result. Hotels room windows that open? Large residential buildings with gardens or open space on the roof? Cruise liners not under flags of convenience; instead, properly regulated by the countries whose ports they operate through. Pay tax in this country, not Bermuda. And provide good wages and conditions to the crew, not the lowest common denominator.
    And manufacturing – why wasn’t there a govt. stockpile of surgical masks? Why isn’t there an Australian company doing a lot of this stuff? Yes, you may be warehousing 10,000 tarpaulins for years but one day that hailstorm is going to come.
    Hope for the best, expect the worst. Good luck to all.

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