n COVID times, folks are looking for their own new hobbies. I have learned a few remodeling skills. My son has picked up a little bit of carpentry. My wife loves to scrapbook. Our hobbies lend themselves very well to quarantines and social distancing.
Others are more sketchy. Let’s say you’re a lake person. With Memorial Day weekend this past weekend marking the unofficial start of summer, we saw crowds grow at the Ozarks. Hundreds of folks piled into what looked like a K-Mart wading pool all drinking their Natural Lights. Frankly, I wouldn’t have wanted to do this before a global pandemic broke out. That’s an awful lot of stinky Ozark body odor to be cozying up next to.
The point here is that folks use the summer for their hobbies. One group of folks that seem to be really excelling at their new hobby is Karen. You know Karen from her many appearances on Facebook videos. There’s Karen yelling at the busboy about their fettuccine being cold at Olive Garden. There’s Karen dressing down a traffic cop for writing her a parking ticket after being double-parked. Karen is not taking this pandemic lying down and has decided to become a star in the meantime.
Karen, if you’re not familiar with the term, is an amalgam of mostly white women who scream for their entitlements usually at subservient people who have made a mistake or are asking them to comply with some rule.
Now that restaurants and businesses have reopened with more strict COVID rules, Karen is upset. Don’t you dare ask Karen to put on a mask in that Ace Hardware. She needs to buy her mums and to hell with someone making a bunch of rules.
Listen, I don’t like wearing the mask either. But if that means I can relatively safely visit my Red X to pick up a loaf of bread, some kitty litter, and $1 shots of something called “electric lemonade,” then I’ll wear the mask.
Karen, on the other hand, has been training for this moment. This has grown beyond just a hobby. This is now a lifestyle. Karen will not be told what to do. She does the telling. Want to ask her to don a mask? She’ll cough on you. Want to ask her to wipe down that grocery cart? Karen will run that cart right into the side of your leg.
Karen is a product of a strange phenomenon. While COVID-19 has killed 100,000 Americans, a-hole-2020 has affected an entire population. These folks feel like rules don’t apply to them, and that’s putting that poor door greeter at the Piggly Wiggly at risk so Karen can pick up those frozen hash browns.
I think if more science and research were paid to curing a-hole-2020, we’d be in much better shape as a country from the top on down to parking lot Karen refusing to yield that parking space.
In the meantime, my hobby is going to put out a line of Karen dolls. They’ll have a string in their back that you can pull that will then say different condescending things. “I’d like to see your manager!” “Show me the regulation that says I need to wear a mask!” “This Cobb salad is too cold.”
Hobbies are so much fun.
(Get more from Chris Kamler on Twitter where he is @TheFakeNed. Also find him on Landmark Live at plattecountylandmark.com)