As we all know, International Lick-A-Doorknob Day is right around the corner, and while I’m certain our fellow revelers abroad will take as many precautions as possible, here in the United States, I am not so certain of our ability to control ourselves. In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, our fellow Americans still traveled in record numbers to go be with loved ones for Thanksgiving and Halloween, and I fear more still will be traveling to go lick doorknobs with their friends and family across the country this December 11 when we all converge upon doorknobs and lick them. I would like to share a few tips and tricks for staying safe this Lick-A-Doorknob season, so we can all stay healthy in time for a Covid-19 vaccine early next year.
Anyone who looks at my body knows that I don’t exercise nearly as much as I ought to. I’ve gained forty pounds since the start of this pandemic, in part because I’ve transitioned from an active university lifestyle of walking frantically everywhere while jamming out to sick tunes, into a sedentary lifestyle of sitting in my old satellite chair, munching on whatever food I’ve brought upstairs with me and rewatching old episodes of sitcoms that premiered when I was too young to stay awake through the whole show. But that’s beside the point. Truth be told, I do not live an active lifestyle. Frankly, I never have. For the most part, it’s been due to circumstance that I’ve gotten even a modicum of exercise in. But, Vocal has been pestering me to drop an exercise playlist for a few days now, so here we are.
I spoke a little bit about the American Mythos in my article about the Star-Spangled Banner and why the song sucks. Long story short, the United States functions by its own strange cultish mythology; praise be to Uncle Sam, the Statue of Liberty, the primordial boy band that resides inside of Mount Rushmore, and the sweet stars and stripes of the ol’ American Flag. And sometimes I think the symbol-worship goes a bit too far; for instance, some people get all worked up when a sportsperson doesn’t stand up to sing the overrated song at the piece of cloth. And sometimes, I appreciate these figures. I, for one, very much enjoyed when the Statue of Liberty came to life in Ghostbusters II and beat up the ghosts or whatever. (I haven’t seen the movie in quite some time.)
It’s midnight. I see the green dot flash beside her profile picture on Messenger. I stare at it longingly, like Gatsby staring at the green lantern across the lake. With great care, I select a meme from my arsenal, something about Mary Shelley’s Graveyard Smash, since we talked about that once in passing, or frogs, because people generally like frogs. She heart-reacts the meme, sends one back in return. The ritual is complete. The courtship may commence.
Okay, so I’m going to be a bit meta here. I’ve been a freelance content writer on Vocal for maybe a week at this point. In the past week, I’ve racked up about 170 views on my articles. Not bad. For those 170 views, I have cashed in at about sixty-nine cents (nice). You know, the big bucks (or, cents?). Legitimately the most income I’ve made since graduating from college in May. That being said, I’ve crunched the numbers, ran the theorems, did math-things, and I have determined a goal that is far beyond the realm of possibilities. If six-million people read my articles, I will be able to pay off my student loans in full.
Last summer, my family was visiting my grandmother in her apartment in Vermont, and she was going through her old high school yearbook with myself and my brothers, telling us all about how she was in charge of finding sponsors and formatting the advertisements. It’s something my grandmother and I share, that appreciation of good formatting and the solidly-written word, and the conversation turned to how current technology makes her old job easier than ever. I don’t know how the topic turned to it, but my brother proudly told my grandmother about this wonderful plugin called “AdBlock,” wherein you don’t have to look at advertisements online anymore because the program filters them out. Aghast, my grandmother said to him, “That’s awful.” As someone who vehemently refuses to download AdBlock, I cannot help but agree.