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More dispatches from the front as we all continue the Work-from Home Battle...

Despite the current circumstances in the world, I feel we all always need to continue to question, to learn, to search the unfathomable for the answers to life's most critical mysteries. For instance, during this time, I'm on a mission to determine the difference between HBO Now and HBO Go. I don't think there is one that matters, but my streaming service appears to disagree.

I don't have a huge house, but it's not tiny, either. Certainly large enough for the three people who are currently living here. However, after a few weeks (OK, two months) of living together, in reasonably spacious quarters, we have arrived at that point where, regardless of what room you're in and what you're doing, someone is in your way.

So, one of my favorite games to play, now that I've reached "a certain age," is the "Why, exactly, did I come into this room?" game.

It's easy to play, and not as challenging as the "Where are my glasses?" or "Where did I put the car keys?" games, which are also a lot more stressful, since there really are "right-wrong" answers and some sense of urgency. I mean, if you can't find the keys, you miss your grocery pickup window. But if you wander into a room, you wind up watching TV.

Now, it seems the Lovely Mrs. Smith and I have settled on a new game almost as much fun as "Why Did I Come Into This Room?" It's called "Did You Order This?"

Basically, the rules are pretty simple. You go to the front porch and find a package. These days, there is always a package there. Then, you try to remember if you ordered it; if your spouse ordered it; if you all just put it in the cart and then accidentally ordered it; if this was from an earlier order when the store was out of stuff, but got it back and you bought it without remembering you had an order (anyone need trash bags, for instance? We're stocked. Through 2022 ...); if it got left on your porch accidentally; or if the Tonic Fairy just left 10 bottles (nope, those are ours. And, a long story).

The thing is, opening the package doesn't always help. In fact, it might just make things more confusing, since we're all spending so much time online clicking links we're not that familiar with. I mean, maybe I wanted that engine block or the scuba diving outfit? Although I don't work on engines. Or swim ...

Add to that the reality that for most of us, having access to free shipping is the glue that holds families together and it's always possible the package whose origin you're debating was, in fact, "ordered" by you (wink, wink) but actually belongs to someone else. Who may or may not (but definitely is) related to you.

The Lovely Mrs. Smith and I got to play the "Did You Order This?" game the other day, made it through the preliminary rounds ("I know we talked about this. At least I think we did."), on to the Lightning Round ("What is this, exactly, and how does it work?") and finally got to the Bonus Round, mostly by phoning a friend. Or in this case, a family member, who told us it was a present. For us. So ... winning!

Now, if I can only find my glasses, so I can see to find the keys, so I can start the car, which hasn't moved in a week.

Speaking of cars that haven't moved ... remember when I suggested you start your car a few times just to see if you remember how? Well, you also need to do it so the battery won't run down. Which it will do.

I know this because I hit the Daily Double last weekend. Two cars in the driveway, two dead batteries. Which is definitely not something you can say every day. Or at least every day you don't wake up in the Arctic Circle.

Also, yes, operating jumper cables is still pretty much like wrestling a giant anaconda. Except the anaconda will only squeeze you to death and not blow up both your cars if you forget it's red on positive and black on negative. Or is it the other way around?

And so the battle goes on...

Commentary on 05/15/2020

Print Headline: Notes from a pandemic

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