By Dan Haag
Hate watching the news? Tired of being cooped up in your house? Had enough of mouthing swear words at people from behind your face mask? Well, you’re in luck! It’s time for another edition of “Your Questions Answered” here on The Littoral Life.
Because the last edition of “Your Questions Answered” was widely read by 12 or possibly 13 people, I decided to go to that well once more. As a hard-hitting news person, I feel it’s my sacred duty to involve the reader in my writing process on occasion (translation: having them do a large portion of the work for me because I am incredibly lazy.)
In all honesty, I do enjoy having readers send me questions. Some of them are deeply personal and I am touched that the sender thought enough of my opinion to reach out. Others are, quite frankly, frightening and make me wonder if I should consider changing my name or faking my own death.
As was the case the first time around, I was hesitant to be doling out life lessons. Keep in mind that I count eating potato chips as my vegetable intake and my musical tastes never really ventured past 1985.
But with the meat grinder that is 2020 now more than half over, this feels like the appropriate time to answer some of these burning questions and provide the world with an advice service they never knew they even wanted. My only caveat was that I will not, under any circumstances, ever answer questions related to a certain pandemic. Not even one. I mean it.
Q: When will the pandemic be over in Oregon? – D.K. from Boise, ID
A: Right off the bat, huh? My best advice is to go to the nearest Facebook group and ask this very same question. Before you know it, you’ll be bombarded with helpful answers from a bevy of extremely warm, caring individuals who love nothing more than the unfiltered exchange of ideas and opinions.
Q: What does “I bless the rains down in Africa” really mean? – J.Z. Indianapolis, IN
A: That you are not in Kansas anymore, Toto. See what I did there?
Q: Can someone actually be too stupid to breathe? – T.A. from Manzanita, OR
A: I hope so. And I think anyone who has been keeping tabs on national politics would agree with me on that answer.
Q: Are dreams really dreams or are they messages? C.A. from Cannon Beach, OR
A: They are definitely messages. The other night, I dreamed I wrote a rock song that made me incredibly famous and wealthy. The lyrics were mostly “I wanna eat a watermelon, I really love my watermelon” repeated over and over again. The message here was that I need to stop drinking boxed wine, yelling at “House Hunters,” and falling asleep on the couch before 7 pm.
Q: Is writer’s block contagious? – T.C. from Manzanita, OR
A: As someone who suffers regularly from this ailment, I recommend that anyone working on an important writing project do it far away from me. Like in a different zip code. Or time zone.
Q: Shoes off or on when on the beach? – J.C. from Nehalem, OR
A: I’m a shoes off guy through and through, always will be. Nothing like sand between the toes to relieve stress. And this from a guy who has stepped on broken glass, a buried beach fire and something best described as a “canine toxic landfill” with bare feet.
Q: Socks on both feet first then shoes or sock/shoe, sock/shoe? – P.M. from Camas, WA
A: Assuming I could locate and match all of my pairs of socks from the darkened abyss that has mysteriously swallowed them, I would definitely say socks on both feet first. What a luxury that would be.
Q: What is the protocol for day drinking at home during the pandemic? Asking for a friend. – C.R. from Wheeler, OR
A: I wasn’t aware we needed a protocol. I work in the tourism industry, so I was day drinking at home waaaaay before the pandemic made it fashionable.
Q: Is it OK to work at home in your pajamas if your pajamas consist of a long T-shirt? And should you change before a Zoom meeting? – N.D. from Nehalem, OR
A: Judging by the attendees of the many Zoom meetings I’ve attended, I think any attire is pretty much acceptable these days. For my Zoom meetings, I’m strictly a hoodie and boxers guy. At least I was until my wife put a sticky note on my computer that said “PANTS PLEASE” in huge angry block letters.
Q: Where’s Jimmy Hoffa? – J.T. from Nehalem, OR
A: Easy. Running the human resources department for a cable news network.
There you have it! All the nuggets of wisdom I could fit into 800-plus words. Keep those questions coming! Chances are, a few of them will even make it to my desk for a thorough mocking. In the meantime keep your chins up, your spirits high, and your pants on for Zoom meetings. And for all meetings in general, actually.