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The real reason for social distancing

The last time I was able to visit anyone — you know, before all of the Stay at Home Order stuff — I learned why staying at home is a good thing.

Now I’m not talking about going to the grocery store and picking up a jar of peanut butter and some nitwit decides he has to get a jar, too, and practically reaches over and around you to grab some of Jif’s finest.

I mean, I know it’s important that you not waste those 10 seconds until I get the required six feet away from the peanut butter because your time is so much more important than anyone’s health …

Sorry, as usual, I digress.

I went to visit my son, Drew, and his new wife, Rhonda, in their humble abode. It’s actually a pretty cool abode, but “humble abode” just sounds better. I mean, who says, “I went to see them at their pretty cool abode”?

Nobody, that’s who.

Anyway, I knock on the door. No answer. I knock again. Still no answer.

Then I hear something that sounds like gunfire, a spine-chilling scream, something that sounds like glass breaking.

Well, being the good father that I am, I kicked open the door and rushed in just knowing I was about to break up some kind of armed terrorist attack on my son and daughter-in-law — not thinking that any armed terrorist worth their salt would not be causing calamity at a young couple’s house (because, like James Bond, I don’t think, I just react).

This is only the second time I have visited their humble (pretty cool) abode, so I don’t really know my way around because the first visit was spent helping them move furniture into the place.

And that’s why I tripped over the stool in the entrance way. Who puts a stool in an entrance way?

Nobody, that’s who, but armed terrorists will place one there to keep would-be rescuers from … rescuing folks.

After I picked myself up I decided that if I’m going to rescue people I need a weapon so I spot a bowl filled with … pine cones?

Who places pine cones in a bowl and calls it a decoration? But I figure that was better than nothing, so I grabbed the bowl and went charging through their house toward the sound of all the commotion.

It was knee-shaking. There was more gunshots and screaming and all sorts of banging and clashing and I’m running toward it with a bowl of pine cones.

Because I knew I’d find something more lethal along the way.

That’s probably why I didn’t see the cat lying on the rug in the hallway, and I have to ask this: Why do cats always just lie there? I mean dogs will get up and come after you (or armed terrorists) or at least jump up and yip and bark because they want to play, too.

But a cat? Nah, they just stay where they are with a look on their faces that says, “This is going to be interesting,” and then claw their way up your leg and back and face when you almost step on them and then you fall, dropping the bowl of pine cones (which is a stupid house decoration in my opinion), so that when you get back on your feet you’re only holding one pine cone.

And you’re bleeding profusely from about the head and shoulders because … Don’t they trim that cat’s claws?

By this time you’ve almost made as much noise as the armed terrorists, so you know you’ve lost the element of surprise — plus all you have is a pine cone in your hand. But that’s OK, because you’re bleeding like a stuck pig so maybe you’ll scare the armed terrorists, who aren’t very good armed terrorists if the only thing they can actually terrorize is a young couple — but you’re not really thinking about that. You’re thinking how you are going to be some kind of hero. Maybe get your photo in the paper. You and the pine cone will probably get a medal.

And then you think you find the room that all the noise is coming from and rush in holding that pine cone like a hand grenade or Thor’s hammer, and then, BAM!

Your daughter-in-law smacks you across the forehead with a broom handle because she didn’t know what was causing all that noise you were making and the cat ran in the room about 15 seconds before you did and peed on a chair and hissed real loud and she thought you were an armed terrorist.

You didn’t know your daughter-in-law could swing a broomstick like that, either.

And you fall like a felled tree and drop the pine cone you were going save your son and daughter-in-law with and have your picture taken with for the newspaper and then you wake up and your daughter-in-law is standing over you and looks down and says, “You broke my pine cones!”

And you still wonder, who in the world has a bowl of pine cones for a decoration.

And as you come out of the stupor that only a well-placed broomstick handle across the forehead can create, you realize the noises you heard were from a video game console and that your son was playing “Death Merchants” or “Killing Zone” or “War Zombie” or some video game where you shoot images on the screen and their heads turn to red globs of … globby stuff.

Because I didn’t know my son played those kinds of video games. I thought he still played Mario racing a go-cart.

But he doesn’t.

If we would have gotten the Stay at Home Order just one or two days earlier, I wouldn’t have scared the cat and made him tinkle on a chair in my son and daughter-in-law’s humble (pretty cool) abode.

Sometimes you’re just a day short and dollar late.