Given how bizarre events in the world & the US have become its
impossible to satirize them, but I thought Id post this anyway before
things got even more bizarre.
The Council on Earth
Matters Meeting, December 31, 2020
On the planet
Spielberg, in a distant galaxy light years away and light years more advanced
than Earth, the Council for Earth Matters was having its annual year-end
meeting. As readers may know the Council had been formed when
it was discovered that intelligent life had somehow developed on the minor
planet Earth, although in view of Earths history of wars, famines,
plagues. natural disasters and more recently the CORONA-19 pandemic, tweeting,
Facebook, reality TV, rap music, iPhones, Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi, a
majority of Council members doubted this.
In any case, it was
feared that Earth might advance to achieving intergalactic travel and therefore
contaminate the universe. From the start, the majority had
advocated simply doing away with Earth, a simple matter for one of their battle
space ships. However, an equally solid minority had always managed to
stave off this solution for various reasons, citing humankinds
aspirations to peace on earth and good will toward men, some artistic
achievements, an occasional Einstein or DeVinci, Star Wars and the Fantasy
Now the Council
Chairman asked the Secretary to briefly summaries Earths activity during
the past year. The major event has been the pandemic,
which has infected and killed millions. The reaction of Earths leaders
has been mixed at best, especially in the United States where, like everything
else, the pandemic has been politicized at every turn and so has been made even
worse than it would otherwise be. The pandemic has caused an economic collapse
and left millions of people unemployed. The minor conflicts continue, North
Korea is still developing nuclear weapons, Iran is on its way to doing the
same, China is determined to displace the United States as the worlds
major economic power, and natural disasters have increased. Oh, yes, an
election was held in the United States and a mediocre politician who promised
normalcy was selected to replace Donald Trump, who, as might be expected, has
refused to accept his defeat. However, some vaccines have been developed
and have begun to be distributed in an uneven way, sports have resumed and the
National football League has completed its regular season.
I see, said
the Chairman. Any comments.
The Earth is just
as bad as ever, if not worse, immediately said the head of the anti-Earth
faction, whose name was Worff and might have some Klingon blood in him.
Lets end its misery now once and for all and extinguish
minute, said Smurff, the leader of the pro-Earth faction, who might have
some planet Xanadu blood. The pandemic has affected the Earth like no
pandemic before. The Secretary said that some vaccines have been
developed. Shouldnt we give them a chance to use them and see how
things are then?
The removal of
Trump is at least a small improvement, too, isnt it? interjected
another pro-Earth member.
That remains to
be seen, said Worff I see no reason to believe that human
beings will any better than before after the pandemic is over, if it is.
Therell be the usual wars, famines and bad TV shows.
And the United States is so divided it might erupt into Civil War. Also,
Im getting tired of these meetings. Lets end
Shall we take a
vote? asked the Chairman.
You forget one
thing, said Smurff. The National Football League has
completed its regular season. That means the playoffs and the Super Bowl
are to come. The Fantasy Football League is still in full
true, said the Chairman, and Id like to recoup the money I
lost last season. Who was it that told me the Jets were the team to
I propose we hold
a meeting after the Super Bowl, said Smurff. That will allow time to see what
happens after the vaccines start to start taking effect and after a new
administration takes over in the United States.
change. Things may even get worse, grumbled Worff.
see, said the Chairman, rapping his gavel. Meeting
adjourned. Refreshments will be served in the anteroom.
Although my brother
Jake and I grew up together in New York we were never really close. For
one thing he was five years older. For another after I returned from the
Army after Korea I left New York and came out to California. Jake was the
successful brother. He got a job in an ad agency when that business was
taking off and wound up being a vice president of something or other. I
was a lowly civil servant with the State for many years before retiring at the
age of sixty. At the time when the pandemic started Jake, who was closing
in on 80, was in a senior home in Manhattan, an expensive one. Hed
never married. I was in a retirement community with my wife Sally.
We had two sons.
Sometime in April I was
surprised to get an e-mail from Jake. It said: You probably
know the virus is pretty bad here in New York. Im staying put in my
apartment. No more going down to our restaurant. They deliver our meals.
If anyone leaves theyre in quarantine for a couple of weeks.
They dont want what happened to nursing homes to happen here. How
are things in California? Let me know. Jake
I e-mailed back:
Glad to hear from you. California isnt as bad as NY.
That virus is zeroing in on us old guys so were sheltering in place, even
ordering in our groceries. Hope things get better in NY.
A few weeks later I got
another e-mail from Jake. Glad to hear from you, too. How is
Sally doing, and your sons? Ive forgotten just what it is they
do. Things are a little better here. We can eat in the
cafeteria. Didnt you have a hip replacement? Hows that
going? My knees are OK but I cant walk too far. Thats
what comes from playing too much handball.
I e-mailed back and
told Jake that Sally was doing OK, occupied with her watercolor paintings.
I described the jobs our sons had and said that my hip was mostly
OK. A few weeks later Jake e-mailed: Glad Sally
is doing well, my nephews, too. Bad news here, a lady I know
tested positive. They say it was from someone who works here. Hes
in quarantine and so is she. So far nobody else I know of has been
infected. Stay safe.
I e-mailed back and in
a few days Jake replied that the lady had been in the hospital but had
recovered and was now back. We started exchanging e-mails about once a
week. He was very interested in what our sons were doing. He also
asked me for the first time about what I was writing as he knew Id become
some kind of writer after I retired. I told him to look at
In November Jake
e-mailed me: Well, at least Trump will be gone. What do you
think wed call him if he showed up at the handball courts. Id
say a meatball or maybe a stiff. Things are bad once again here and no
ones going anywhere. I hope you and Sally are staying put.
The good news is that theres a vaccine. I hope the pols dont
screw it up and we get it pretty soon. Well see. I read one
of your things, not bad.
A week before Christmas
Jake e-mailed: Things still pretty bad here and I guess just as bad
in California. Can you let me have the addresses of my nephews? I
want to send them a little something for Christmas.
In January Jake
e-mailed again: Im glad that 2020 is over. Things still
bad here but we may get the vaccine soon. I dont know if Ill
be up to it but maybe I can get out to California if things get back to nearly
normal later in the year. Would like to see you and Sally and my
nephews. Stay safe until the vaccine comes.