The Funny Pages

finding fun in the news

It’s hard finding fun and funny in the news these days. But from ill-timed stories about dream vacations to ads for toilet paper and swimsuits,  it’s there. It does prove, however, that not all the news (and ads) are truly fit to print in these days of disease and worry.

Our “Patriotic” Duty?

Nationwide stores are launching online sales. I admit it’s tempting, but also weird. Shop for what? A new dress? To wear where? When? Shop now when so many people don’t have money for food and rent?

Yet, is it our “patriotic” duty to shop and inject money into the cratering economy? If so, what’s “in” when you’re sheltering IN place? And will it still be “in” when we finally emerge from this terrible time in our lives? I’m twisting myself in fashion and moral knots trying to sort this out!

Timing is Everything

Looking for more fun in the news? Well, then you, like me, might be amused by the many ill-timed ads and articles placed and not pulled before COVID-19 caused the economy — and our lives — to ground to a halt. A few of my favorites:

  • “10 Tips to Travel Like a Pro”
  • “Your (sic) one newsletter away from your best life ever!”
  • “18 Time-Saving Tips – Ingenious ideas from (and for) busy women everywhere.”

Last night I saw a commercial for toilet paper. What a waste of ad dollars, just like flushing money down a toilet. Who needs a reminder to shop for tp? Was the company taunting us? Everybody knows that hunting for toilet paper has become the national pastime, more popular than searching for Waldo. In fact, I heard book publishers are re-doing all the Where’s Waldo? books, replacing the popular character’s image with the Charmin bears!

Re-purposing with a Purpose

In the midst of the gloom and fear, I’ve been cheered by the cleverness of editors and writers who quickly repurposed already-written stories to make them coronavirus-relevant. Case in point, this one from Vogue: “The 11 Best Hand Creams to Apply After Frequent Washing,” originally tied to winter’s polar vortex and it impacts on dry skin. My problem with applying hand cream after washing my hands? I always slather on so much, I have to — you guessed it — wash my hands again!

That’s Entertainment?

And for those of fun-seeking readers who love entertainment yarns, we now have celebs-who’ve-got-it stories, with the “it” sadly being coronavirus. It’s a ghoulish spin on celebrity watching, if ever there was one!

Sheltering-in-place foodies and survivalists alike are finding solace in articles like “Vegetables and fruit that stay fresh for months,” “15 foods you can eat past their expiration date,” and “Immune-boosting foods.”

For the self-help crowd, there are helpful tips on “How to stop touching your face.” I personally read that story seven times. Since we’ve been told to avoid touching our faces, I simply cannot stop doing it. Nerves, I guess.

One story suggested rubbing an onion on your hands. The theory? The odor will dissuade you from putting fingers to face. Alas, in my case, Handsome Hubby fell victim to my onion-laced paws. I went to caress his cheek and instead brought tears — and loathing — to his eyes. He immediately sought shelter in another place!

Sheltering in Place

Please don’t think I’m making light of these articles. In truth, I’m devouring them like hotcakes. How can I help myself? I’m on Day 14 of sheltering in place here in the San Francisco Bay. Besides binge eating, tracking down rumors of bootleg supplies of toilet paper (I am KIDDING, people, just kidding.), and writing, what is there to do but read, read, read and surf the net? By the end of this ordeal, we will all be viral experts. And trust me, with all this reading online, I’m searching hard for any fun in the news I can find.

So, read on, one and all, but take it all with a grain of salt and lots of hand soap!

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2 thoughts on “The Funny Pages”

  1. Hey, I’m doing my patriotic duty and buying online. I”ll be damned if I don’t get to wear my new bathing suits or use my nifty new seed spreader in the backyard or the six-month supply of bird food or use my new makeup I saw on the infomercial…

    1. Do you wear your new bathing suit while using your nifty new seed spreader while sporting your new makeup? DO post FB pictures! Your adoring fans wait breathlessly!

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