Jim Hicks: Social Isolation Up In Buffalo Derailing Its Most Prominent Benchsitter

Your friend Sven is sitting at his old Royal upright typewriter with a blank stare on his face this week. He wont speak. Not even blink. We think he is either in a mind-numbing trance or might be semi-comatose.

April 09, 20205 min read

Buffal wyoming road sign

By Sagebrush Sven, (translated by Jim Hicks)

BUFFALO – Your friend Sven is sitting at his old Royal upright typewriter with a blank stare on his face this week.  He won’t speak. Not even blink. We think he is either in a mind-numbing trance or might be semi-comatose.

We are not sure. But we are pretty certain it has to do with “social isolation” which, until just recently, was not classified as a mental disorder.

So, a couple of the Bench Sitters have volunteered to “fill in” for a week until his condition improves.

We’ll do our best to write what we think he may have wanted to say . . . but in reality nobody ever knows what might come out of that moldy old mind and twisted sense of humor.  We can only do our best.

Before he went silent, Sven said the “stay-at-home” thing was easy for some and damned hard for others. “They might have as well outlawed smoking, drinking, sex, and a few other things as well. Let’s get over it all at one time.”

He had earlier mentioned that being cooped up was only part of his problem. Reading the newspapers and watching television has made him into some kind of “germ-a-phoebe” who was starting to actually see those little virus bugs on his box of cornflakes in the morning.

Maudie caught him trying to put cereal in the bowl using one knee and both elbows.  Big mess on the kitchen floor. He peels the banana and then washes his hands before slicing it up on top of the cornflakes.

When groceries are brought to the house by a very kind person or two, he insists they be left outside next to the front door.  After a half hour he cracks the door open, reaches out with his old three-iron to lift the bags one-by-one and carry them to the kitchen counter. Then each item will be wiped down with a cloth soaked in 10 percent bleach before being put away.

At least he stopped doing that to raw chicken since serving Maudie some “teeth whitening” home-made chicken noodle soup that tasted mostly like laundry detergent.

Last week he put the family dog, “Muffin,” in the sink in the laundry room and gave her a full-body scrub down. 

Now every time Sven gets that Clorox rag out . . . old Muffin either hides behind the couch or runs out the dog-door.

We found a note Sven had written to his cousin in Florida the other day.  Imagine it was good that this bit of correspondence didn’t get mailed.

He wrote: “Dear Katy, I heard a doctor on TV say to have inner peace we should always finish things we start and we could use calm in our lives. “I looked through the house for things I had started and hadn’t finished. “So, I finished off a bottle of Crown Royal, a bottle of Tequila, a bodle of some old pinot, a butle of wum, tha mainder of Valiumun srciptuns, anda box o chocletz. Yu haf no idr how fabulous i feel rite now!”

We doubt that.  Sven gets ill after the third Keystone Light and we know that’s a fact.

So, this week we’ll pass along a few more “corona-one-liners” you may have already read in your e-mails. 

Half of us are going to come out of this quarantine as amazing cooks. The other:

— Half will come out of this with a drinking problem. 

— I need to practice social-distancing from the refrigerator.

–Every few days try your jeans on just to make sure they fit. Pajamas will have you believe all is well in the kingdom.

–Homeschooling is going well. 2 students suspended for fighting and 1 teacher fired for drinking on the job.

–I don’t think anyone expected that when we changed the clocks, we’d go from Standard Time to the Twilight Zone.

–This morning I saw a neighbor talking to her cat. It was obvious she thought her cat understood her. I came into my house, told my dog . . . we laughed a lot.

–So, after this quarantine . . . will the producers of “My 600-Pound Life” just find me or do I find them?

–Quarantine Day 5: Went to this restaurant called THE KITCHEN. You have to gather all the ingredients and make your own meal. I have no clue how this place is still in business.

–My body has absorbed so much soap and disinfectant lately that when I pee it cleans the toilet.

–Day 5 of Homeschooling: One of these little monsters called in a bomb threat.

–I’m so excited — it’s time to take out the garbage. What should I wear?

–Classified Ad: Single man with toilet paper seeks woman with hand sanitizer for good clean fun.

And so it goes this week without old SVEN. Maybe he’ll improve by next week.

Share this article