A Nevin Ruins Fairy Tale
Once upon a time a man named Nevin Ruins sat behind a nice, wood desk and spoke while the cameras were rolling. He said things like “This is a great time to go out with friends.” And “This is a great time to go to your favorite restaurant.” He said “great” a lot. There were lots of people in the San Fernando Valley who said Nevin Ruins was a great guy. That’s in California.
When he was done with his great talk and all the filming and production things he shook hands with the cinematographer and the producer, told them what a great job they were doing, then he left the Encino studio, stopping on the way out to lean over and give the receptionist, a 26-year old named Sally Bowles, a kiss on her left cheek. After he left the building Sally wiped his kiss away with her right hand, all four fingers. “Yuck,” she said.
Mr. Nevin Ruins – who, by the way, if your head has been in the sand or something and you haven’t kept up on the so-called current events, he’s a member of the United States House of Representatives, what they call a minority member of the Un-American Activities Committee – Mr. Nevin Ruins drove over to the 405 and down to an apartment he kept in Huntington Beach, for when he is not at home in the Valley or in Washington D.C., where he works. Actually he was playing hooky from work. Before driving to his apartment, which was up on a hill in a nice neighborhood and provided a lovely view of the Pacific Ocean from a really great living room window, Mr. Nevin Ruins stopped at a local Trader Joe’s to pick up a few supplies. He grabbed one of their red shopping carts and went into the store. He likes avocados, being from California and all, and went to the vegetable section of the store and picked up and squeezed five or six until he found one nearly ripe. Those are the best to buy. He leaned one hand on the wood frame while squeezing avocados with the other. Then he went and got one of those Trader Joe’s little free coffee’s, grabbing six of the little paper cups by mistake and pulling them all apart, then pulling the dispensing lever down to pour the coffee. Plus they use a metal container for the half and half, which of course he used too. He finished shopping and paid for his purchases with a debit card, punching in his secret pin on the pay machine.
Having no items in need of refrigeration, and being a person who does what he says, Mr. Nevin Ruins drove directly to an In-N-Out-Burger for lunch. Politicians often shake hands and Mr. Ruins walked throughout the crowded fast-food establishment shaking the hands of all the patrons enjoying the delectable and famous offerings. These were his people, Mr. Nevin Ruins surmised, being out and all, gun-loving, religion-yelling, immigrant-hatin’ good Americans out supporting local business, taking his very advice, and he made a big deal of congratulating and saluting, extended shakes and hugs, kisses on the cheek for the old ladies, back-slapping. Ditto for the kids and the one old guy behind the counter, though he was slightly put off when two black kids – a young boy and girl – and an older white woman serving fries, declined his offered hand. “Antifa, likely” was what he thought. Leaving a pocketful of quarters on the counter for a tip, the scrumptious lunch consumed, Mr. Nevin Ruins drove off the lot, straight down to the 1 and stopped into the John Birch lodge a mile from his apartment, glad-handing, hugging, making “commie and squad” jokes, then, after a beer in a frosted glass, left these best people on earth, drove up the road and up the hill, grabbed his mail from the mailbox, let himself in, and lay down on the couch where he promptly fell asleep for a well-deserved nap. It says that spreading the good word is hard work. Hard and righteous. This commie/lefty/squad/antifa/black women/Adam Schiff virus thing has been put in its place.
All the events of which you have just read took place on Friday, March 13th. Being a Friday the 13th plays no role in this tale. What matters is today’s date – April 3rd. Three weeks have passed. Mr. Nevin Ruins has not been seen on YouTube or Twitter, on Facebook or the national or local news, has not been seen at the Huntington Beach Trader Joe’s or the nearby In-N-Out Burger. Not even a quick schmooze with his Birch brethren. Nor has he returned to his duties as a representative of the people of California in the United States halls of Congress. The word around D.C. is he is “hunkering down”.
There are, however, more significant, fact-laden updates on others. Daryl Rayburn, the cinematographer at the Friday 13th film session in Studio City, has tested positive for the coronavirus. As has his wife Cheryl, his sister-in-law Amy, and Amy’s 14-year old daughter Naomi. They remain in their home. Sally Bowles, the studio’s receptionist, is as healthy as you’d hope to find any vivacious 26-year old. She continues to live with her parents in Sherman Oaks, though, as you might expect in these economic times, and her father William – good old Billy Bowles to all the friends who love him – is on a ventilator in a four-bed community room at Sherman Oaks General. Sally’s mom, Missy, is sick in bed, feeling helpless and hopeless. Sally’s boyfriend, Alvin Young, has tested positive as well, and there has been no contact between the young formerly full-of-life couple in a week.
Also testing positive for the virus, which apparently gives not one rat’s ass regarding political persuasion, choice of religion, country of birth, favorite sports team, or whether you still watch cable or stream, are seven workers at Trader Joe’s, eight at the In-N-Out Burger, 14 members of the Huntington Beach Birch hall, 11 of their wives, three of whom similarly find themselves at SO General. On the Birch wall, right where you come into the main room from the front door, is a lovely flyer, in color, with information for the memorial services to be held Sunday at Our Lady of Constant Sorrows down the road in Redondo for Larry “Racky” Howlette, one of the long-time loyal and devoted best people you could ever hope to find on earth. Some 22 Los Angeles area hospitals have admitted 37 new patients, and you have just heard the route of entry for them all.
Any good fairy tale, we all know, offers up a moral. What’d a fairy tale be without one? The moral here is go and find the calculator you have shoved back somewhere in the desk or maybe a kitchen drawer. The math will be too much without it.
Mr. Nevin Ruins spent the remainder of the March 13th weekend at various functions around Orange County, and one back at his home town in the valley. Say he shook hands during those 48 hours with 200 people. God-loving, Country-loving people. Four of the staff at Trader Joe’s and six from the In-N-Out Burger live at home, and yeah, there’s good news that of that number four come from a single-parent family. But they all have friends. Lots of friends. For giggles – and isn’t it nice when a fairy tale such as this tale of Nevin Ruins offers up the occasional giggle – say those ten each went and hung out with just four other people. Not all of them, some were probably antifa or the like and bought into all that “virus” fear and loathing hysteria and they stayed home, what’s become known these past three weeks as “social distancing”. But some went to clubs and some went to parties so we’ll call it an average of four. And yes, the Birch guys visited friends and their wives visited friends and their kids visited friends, and though they did soon after close the schools, friendship rules.
About that calculator. You might want to wipe it with an alcohol swab, or not. Then enter these numbers: 1 x 4 x 3 x 7 x 8 x 14 x 11 x 4 x 4 x (?)200. Well, kind of a yikes. That number is one million, six hundred and fifty five thousand, eight hundred and eight. 1,655,808. Not counting any of the Orange and LA County folks Mr. Nevin Ruins did the glad-hand, fund-raise thing with that weekend three weeks ago. Living the dream – “A great time to go out with friends.”
However, I don’t want any part of that dream, you feel me? Though, for that matter, I don’t have a clue where my postman spent this last weekend. Or with whom. Or if he touched the mailbox when he left the mail. Or if I’ll remember not to. Or the people we could call to deliver the food, instead of going to the store, who packed it, who touched the truck steering wheel before today’s driver. Or who’s been working at Bi-Mart when we need to get coffee filters in a few days, and who do they live with and where have those people been. We need coffee, what with this hunkering-in, social-distancing, try-to-do-the-right-thing life we got today. You feel me?
Once upon a time most of the people in the United States seemed smarter. Then again, maybe it’s just the lefty in me going on and exaggerating.
Here in the time of virus.