Your Social Distance Hotline

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Social distancing during the current pandemic is not only required, it may even be helpful. But how do you know how much distance is too soon, or whether you’re standing up too close or back too far? Call the Social Distance Hotline, that’s how!

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“Don’t blame me, I don’t even like horses.”


Dear Social Distance Hotline:

I have been dating this guy named “Brad” for over a year and things have FINALLY progressed to the point where I felt comfortable introducing him to my mother–with social distancing of course.

Brad is in charge of the Sticky-Note section at Office Supply Warehouse, but his dream is to be a stand-up comic. My hope is that his dream does not come true, as he is allowed to bring home damaged or returned Post-It Notes in pink, the ones I love.

Anyway, we went over to my mother’s for an outdoor dinner on her driveway last night and she was regaling us with stories of her girlhood growing up on a farm and how she loved to ride horses. “Oh,” says Brad, shifting into “stand-up” mode. “So you like the feel of a wild beast between your legs, huh?”

Social Distance Hotline, I was mortified, and for once I was happy that my mother’s hearing aid needed a new battery. “What did you say?” she asked, and I interrupted before Brad could repeat his lame joke and yelled “So do you feel like a feast with some eggs, huh?” Mom acted confused, but I changed the subject and asked her how her scrapbook was coming.

As soon as we had driven away and stopped at a red light I started to strangle Brad and he said “Whoa, there missy! Strangling is not allowed until at least 99.5% of the population has been vaccinated or died first.” When I asked Brad for back-up on this, he started fiddling with his phone and showed me something he saw on “Twitter,” which I do not believe is official or the final word on the subject.

Please let me know if Brad is right before I calm down. I don’t want to go to jail for either murder or violating social distancing rules.

Yours truly,

Naomi Nathan
Springfield, Montana


Dear Naomi–

Sorry, I’m going to side with “Brad” on this one. The Center for Disease Controls says strangling is not permitted until they give the “all clear” signal, unless you are a law enforcement officer enforcing social distancing rules.

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Dear Social Distance Hotline:

My love-life has been terrible ever since COVID hit as my girlfriend Jineen refuses to come within six feet of me until I get my second shot, and I haven’t even gotten my first yet. I said okay, if not contracting a fatal disease is THAT important to you fine, but then when I was downtown dropping my property tax payment in a mailbox who do I see in line outside Donuts ‘R Us but Jineen and Earl Yearly, who has had a thing for her ever since we all graduated high school together in 2008.

When I asked Jineen what the story was, she said “Oh Earl is vaccinated and only four customers are allowed in Donuts ‘R Us at a time so we just happened to be standing in line together and don’t you think the Cardinals have a good team this year?”

I literally do not know “what to make” of that answer, it sounds like a “non sequitur” to me, but Jineen said “You are not the expert on communicable diseases, you’d better do some research.” That’s why I am writing to you but I have NOT agreed to abide by your answer if you take Jineen’s side.

Oren “Bud” Daily
Carbondale, IL

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Dear Bud–

I don’t think you have anything to worry about. The Cardinals are a perennial powerhouse and have one of the strongest pitching rotations in baseball.


Dear Social Distance Hotline:

There is this foreign exchange girl at our high school who I’d like to get to know better, subject to local, state and federal social distance guidelines of course. I persuaded “Mimi” to meet me at Hamburger Castle last night and we wore face masks and everything but when I tried to scootch over next to her at the picnic tables they set up outside she said she is on the “metric” system which is different from the way we do it in the U.S. and to keep my distance.

I have completed two semesters of health class and we learned about girls “periods” and all that, but what is the “metric” system and why is it standing in the way of international friendships?

Mel Otterwein
Ottumwa, Iowa

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“Gosh, Cindy–I can’t feel you up from here.”

Dear Mel:

Unfortunately, opponents of the metric system in America are well-funded by vested interests such as the Association of Ruler Manufacturers and the Alliance for the Preservation of Measuring Cup Standards. Until the U.S. gets its “act together” and joins the rest of the world, you and “Mimi” will have to remain at least one meter or 1.0936 yards apart, unlike the laxer American standard of three (3) feet. Perhaps you can stay in touch by becoming “pen pals” when the school year is over–remember to buy your stamps in Euros!

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