Your Weekly Walt
Welcome back to my every-Wednesday collection of tips, tales and updates on my writing, art and publishing endeavors. My goal: to info-tain the world with smart fun; to inspire creativity in others, and to make hump-days more humpable.
Walt’s Log. Stardate: 7/15/20. Possibly a Wednesday.
Despite increasing virus cases, Missouri and St. Louis County have fully “opened up.” To commemorate, my wife Randy and I are going absolutely nowhere.
I don’t want to say I’m strict about social distancing, but lately even my reflection is looking too close. Back off, old guy! And put on a mask.
We are doing well here, though. I’m a busy, home-based, freelance creator; Randy is one busy retiree. In that regard, our Summer 2020 looks pretty much like our Summer 2019. Only with more beans. (Our new favorite, protein-packed staple.)
Randy is upcycling old t-shirts into masks; I am writing new comic series and children’s books. Rest assured, we also do #nothing.
We walk 5 miles a day through the wide, winding streets of suburbia, under remnants of old-growth forests, and every half-hour or so, we see what we remember to be a “person.”
During our walks, we stop and marvel at the exploding colors of nature. It’s called “hyper-awareness,” I think, but it might just be too much coffee.
Randy spent a night away caring for a family member. I spent it watching Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns from the 1960s. I called it my “testosterone festival,” or, for short, Test Fest.™
Together, we have found Schitt’s Creek to be a balm. Fun to sit back and watch comedy masters at work. It’s bouncier than Eugene Levy’s eyebrows. Which is to say, bouncy.
The Schitts are nothing if not resilient. And resilience, we’ve found, comes in handy. We are grateful to have spent 64 years developing a version of it.
Be well, everybody. Breathe. Talk a walk.
Have some beans.
P.S. More Weekly Walt content below!
Happy birthday (this week) to Sir Patrick Stewart!
On Tuesday, the versatile knighted thespian turned 80. Patrick Stewart was born on July 13, 1940, in Mirfield, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England. I thrill to him and revere him as Professor X in the X-Men movie franchise. Years before that, I was thrilled to write radio commercials about him! Well, about his “Star Trek: The Next Generation” character, Jean-Luc Picard. In this Paul & Walt Worldwide radio spot for the show’s syndicated run, I imagined his original “audition” for the role. It’s sily comedy, of course, but in its own way, I hope it says: nobody else could play this part.
Here’s the spot, followed by the script.
:30 Radio Script
SFX: Harp glisten, to indicate a flashback
ANNOUNCER: We take you back now to the auditions for Star Trek: The Next Generation.
DIRECTOR (as if to assembled actors): Okay, people, today we are auditioning for the role of Captain Picard. Please read the line in the script. You, the guy in the bow tie?
NERDY GUY (as nerdy as can be): I am Jean-Luc Picard, captain of the Enterprise…
DIRECTOR (cutting him off): Thank you. You, sir, the next guy?
BAD ACTOR (clunky): I. am. Jean-Luc. Picard…
DIRECTOR (cutting him off): Thank you. Okay, you, sir, the bald guy?
PATRICK STEWART (in perfect Picard speak): I am Jean-Luc Picard, captain of the Enterprise.
DIRECTOR: Hmmm. Uh, bald guy?
PATRICK STEWART: Yes?
DIRECTOR: Do you get air sick at warp speed?
MUSIC: Star Trek theme, under
ANNOUNCER: Star Trek: the Next Generation. One hip starship! Weeknights at 7 on Channel 6
Featured Pandemic Article
Shopping for the Apocalypse: How I Learned to Love Buying Emergency Supplies.
In early March, 2020, when I realized Covid-19 was materializing in the United States with alarming ferocity, I did what every good American does in times of crisis.
I went shopping.
Can you buy your way out of a global pandemic? Of course not. But there was a method to my retail madness.
My sudden, energizing goal was to assemble a Basic Disaster Supply Kit, something our household was lacking. I know a virus can’t be tamed with a flashlight, gallons of water, or a weather radio. My motivation to assemble was spurred by this question: what if, as Spring unfolds, we get hit by another type of disaster during the pandemic, concurrent with the pandemic? I call them:
Double dipping disasters.
For example: let’s say Midwestern thunderstorms knock our power out for days, as they have done multiple times in recent years. In the past, when the lights blinked out – and stayed out – I would move my home-office-based freelance business to a nearby motel, camp out for days, and keep working at the speed of thought, which was what the job required.
But during the first, dazed days of a lockdown, going to a hotel – or even a friend’s house – is somewhere between ludicrous and impossible. Staying home, staying safe and staying fed becomes the job.
That’s where having a Basic Disaster Supply Kit comes in.
First, I went to ready.gov, the official website of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and studied its list of recommended supplies. Then: I started buying.
Our Weekly Gnatcomic
It’s hot out there, folks! Especially with the so-called “heat index.” As explained by…
True dat, gnats! (More gnatcomics here.)
See you next Wednesday, folks! Stay cool out there. Eat beans.
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