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Blurday, July 21 in the year of the Pandemic

Top Stories

In Grooming News: Wife Changes Part


Yes, I’ve decided to change the part in my hair,” the wife confirmed to ODD. “It’s just one of the radical strategies I’ve taken to address the pandemic mess on my head.” [See also, News from Wife’s Office]

Asked why she’s taking this action, the wife said: “My part has been on the right, but let’s face it, in today’s political climate, it makes much more sense to go left.” Of the impact of this decision, she adds: “I’ve had the same part literally all my life, since I had hair. So in that sense, this decision is life-changing.”

She says she’s 50–50 about the future of her new part. Her plan is “to give it a week or so, and see what happens.”

In Garden News: Fungus Invades Front Lawn


“It started with a mushroom, then another, then another. In time big brown blotches began to appear all over the front lawn,” reported the husband. “What a bummer!” said the wife. “It seemed like yesterday we had a perfectly green lawn.”


Lawn doctors are working to bring it back to health, reassuring the couple that it will recover. “But I wonder if it this is just a sign of the times,” sighed the wife. “Pandemic lawn.”

More Garden News: Bee Stings Husband

mean bee.png

On a recent Sunday morning, the husband headed out with his shears, clippers and weed whacker to do what he has to do just a few times a year, clear the narrow path on the side of the house, from the back deck to the front porch, of all invading vines and weeds and poison ivy creeping up the stucco.

As he neared the end of his hacking, out of nowhere came the dreaded buzz. “I waved my arms around for several seconds and the bee seemed to disappear,” the husband tells ODD, “but then that little bastard followed me and followed me — from the side yard, to the back yard, to the front porch — yeah, I’m sure it was the same bee — and finally flew smack dab into my forehead!”

The husband made it back into the house and slathered Benadryl cream on the slightly swollen, slightly red spot above his left eye. The two cheered the fact that he’s not allergic to bees and therefore not dead, and on he went to tackle a less dangerous bug, the New York Times Spelling Bee.

Short Takes

News from the garage

New groceries bypass decontamination zone, head directly upstairs.

News from wife’s office

Husband finds wife’s new wig perched on wig stand “unnerving.”

News from the “wine cellar”

Hey, guys, it’s getting empty in here.

Tips for Surviving the Pandemic


Terry Gross’s interview with Matthew Rhys, the new Perry Mason on HBO. When Terry confesses that she often loses plot lines in shows like his previous hit, The Americans, she asks if that ever happened to him as an actor on the show. It did. “I was always whispering to co-star (and wife) Keri Russell, “Where are we? Why are we here? Who is that guy?”

What to Watch

“A Late Show” to see Stephen Colbert swing around his hilariously wild hair, which is — no surprise — “trending on social media.”

Podcast alert

Sandi Klein’s interview on Conversations with Creative Women with CBS Sunday Morning contributor Nancy Giles — it’s relevant, fascinating, and funny, especially when they compare (very large) shoe sizes.


John Lewis crowd-surfing …it’s astonishing.

Virtual Life Hacks

Hide your Zoom window so everyone else can see how discombobulated you look, but you can’t! Here’s how.

Hang in there...we're all in this together...and apart.

What You Said

From Rosie in the Catskills

“This is pretty hilarious… Of course, we’re happy to know you are keeping busy, and in meaningful ways.”

From Kate in Australia

“We splurged on a Dyson stick vacuum recently, which after just one use made us realize that we’d been living in filth. Haha, the purchase was (rather sadly) a highlight of our month.”

Editor's Reply

“Our new vac is a Dyson stick also!”

From Pittsburgh Becky

“I have also purchased a new vacuum to my delight AND the delight of my husband, Sujoe (not to be confused with Sunjoe, the power washer, see 7/14 issue). We also purchased a power washer and attacked the porches which, for someone whose favorite phrase has always been ‘pay someone to do it,’ was shocking. I’m wondering how many other couples have experienced these exact same phenomena.

From Claude in Manhattan

“Had you really never heard of Charlotte's Web?”

Editor's Reply

“Of course! We were just trying to be funny...”

From Rochelle in Connecticut

“Is there really a Queen Bee level in (NYT) Spelling Bee? (I feel my leg being pulled..."

Editor's Reply

"Yes! (and no about the leg)."

While you are rewarded with every word you make from the seven letters in the Bee’s hexagon with a “nice” “great” and “awesome,” if you get every word on the NYT word list for the day, you get crowned with the secret “Queen Bee” status. 

Laura Lippman's essay in Slate takes a hilarious dive into Bee-mania.

The Bee Hive

for NYT Spelling Bee Obsessors (we know you're there)

Weird Word of the Week

Pillion - a secondary pad, cushion or seat behind the main seat or saddle on a horse, motorcycle, bicycle or moped, on which the passenger is said to be "riding pillion".

Runner-up WWoW

Cloche - a bell or dome-shaped cover to protect outdoor plants, put over food, or plop on a woman's head, i.e. a close fitting hat.

Husband's Weekly Stats

Status: Queen Bee - 6 days; Genius - 1 day; words missed: 1

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