Once upon a time, there were three college students who met and became close friends their freshmen year. Their names were Carrie, Shirley and Flo. A year after graduating, they reunited and fell into reminiscing about the spring semester of 2020, when the coronavirus was ravaging the country..
“That semester was the best,” Carrie said.
“It was for me, too,” Flo said.
“Didn’t you lose your job at the pub?” Carrie asked.
“I did,” Flo answered, “and I made way more in tips than I did working.”
“How’d you manage that?” Carrie asked.
“Easy. Venmo tip jar. The regulars at the pub felt sorry for me being out of work. So, whenever they had their virtual happy hours, they gave me a tip.”
“But, how did you end up with more tips than you made working?” Carrie asked.
“Well,” Flo answered, “when you’re alone in front of a screen, you can give your friends a little more to look at than a mug of beer.”
“So is that how you got your A in statistics?” Carrie asked. “By giving Dr. Wills a little more to look at, too?”
“You always were the smart one,” Flo said.
“Not half as smart as you, apparently,” Carrie said. “I worked for my A’s.”
“Really?” Flo asked. “Then explain to me how you got an A that semester in speech.”
“Our classes went online the week I was scheduled to make my first speech,” Carrie said.
“Are the online classes what you liked so much about that spring?” Flo asked.
“I loved everything about social distancing,” Carrie answered. “The biggest relief was when we stopped all that social kissing. I always wonder if I’m supposed to make the first move. Or is that too forward? Do I kiss on the lips? Or the cheek? Left? Right? Or both? In front of a guy’s girlfriend? Or only when she’s not around? Or am I supposed to hug instead? Or just shake hands?
“And those virtual happy hours… I didn’t have to utter a single word. I just tapped an icon that turned my face green or my hair blue, and voilà, I was the life of the party.”
“How’d you make it through the semester, Shirley,” Flo asked, “when all the gyms and hair salons were closed?”
“Oh, it was scary at first,” Shirley said. “I thought my gut and butt would turn to Jell-O. Then a friend told me I didn’t need a gym to work out. I had no idea.
“I could do pushups, squats and crunches at home, with nothing more than a floor. I even rode my bike. It’s like spin class with honking horns instead of techno.”
“No wonder you always looked so good,” Carrie said. “What did you do about your hair?”
“Well, I started by spending an hour every day in front of the mirror hunting for roots,” Shirley said. “But you know what? They never showed up. My hair really is blond. I had no idea.”
“Didn’t you get engaged that spring to…What was his name?” Flo asked.
“Oh, I can’t keep them straight. But I had some nickname for him. I think it rhymes with YouTube.”
“So what happened?”
“Well, social distancing ended, and we were all ready for the wedding, but Mom said I had to meet him in person first. You know how moms are. So we met, and he shows up wearing a polo shirt, khaki shorts and, no lie, black wing tips.”
“Shoe Boob,” Flo blurted out.
“That’s it. How’d you know?”
“If we put our minds to it,” Carrie said, “we could bring those days back.”
“How?” Flo asked.
“By demanding they reinstate social and business restrictions,” Carrie said. “First, we drum up support on social media. Then we organize a march on Washington. Who could resist?”
“Will the politicians go for it?” Flo asked.
“They took away the restrictions before we had effective testing or a vaccine,” Carrie said. “Why wouldn’t they bring them back now that we do?
“Besides, this is a presidential election year.”
“Oh, I can’t wait,” Shirley said. “We are going to make America great again.”