Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Yes, we need testing, just not the kind you think ...

So much of our tottering economy’s hoped-for rebound is pegged to testing. It’s all we’re hearing.

The states need tests. The municipalities need tests. The hospitals need tests.

I see many restaurants and businesses are looking to gun-like devices that when pointed at a potential customer’s forehead will light up when that person is registering a telltale fever.

My fear is that in these contentious times when you point a gun-shaped device at anyone’s forehead many will in court-sanctioned self-defense draw a real weapon and come up blastin’.

America 2020: Where you don’t need a fever to act like a hot head!

Still, by all means, let’s test. Let’s test the elderly. The young. The polite social distancer and the in-your-face protester. Test the city dweller and test her country cousin. 

Test! Test! Test!

But let’s be sure we have a test that determines the outcome that matters most.

PATIENT: “I thought this coronavirus test was a swab up the nose and we’re done. Why am I hooked up to these monitors and why’s my right hand on this Bible?”

TECH: “This isn’t that kind of test. Now just please truthfully answer the questions. Do you post political upper-case rants on FaceBook?”

PATIENT: “If I see a situation that needs a little homespun common sense then I exercise my 1st Amendment rights and,  yes, I sometimes for emphasis use ALL-CAPS.”

NURSE: “Have you ever stepped in front of an elderly shopper to snag the last roll of toilet paper when you knew you already had sufficient toilet paper at home?”

PATIENT: “Well, there was that one time — but that was before the Don Patron was closing up!”

NURSE: “Do you ever watch the COVID-19 death toll demographics and secretly cheer when it momentarily seems like it’s wiping out a larger proportion of your favored presidential candidate’s opponents?”

PATIENT: “Hey, it’s God’s will …”

NURSE: “That’s enough. I’m afraid I have bad news …”


NURSE: “Our tests indicate that unless you change your core behavior, there’s a 96 percent chance your soul is going to Hell.”

PATIENT: “Ninety-six percent? Jesus H. Christ!”

NURSE: “Uh, taking the Lord’s name in vain just bumped it up another point. Oh! And you’re also testing positive for coronavirus.”

PATIENT: “Mother-&*%#!!!”

NURSE: “ … 98 …”

Imagine how much better people would behave if they took a test that would within reason relate a percentage likelihood that their soul was headed for eternal damnation. 

All but the most irredeemable would undergo overnight personality transformations that would make old Ebenezer seem like a spiritual stoic.

They’d shelter the homeless, nurse the sick and year-round spread the cheer of the Christmas season.

God bless us, Everyone!

We live our lives like there are no consequences to our rampant incivilities.

A simple test calculating the chance we’ll wind up in Hell might change that. And who wouldn’t welcome even a little more civility?

Because my fear isn’t the results of tests that calculate the chances we’re all going to Hell.

My fear is we’ll all wake up one day and realize Hell’s here.

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