Still in the mid-late portion of the early segment of my life, I consider myself lucky to never have been evicted from a residence. But I seriously worry for many other people these days. In better times, moderately-employed people of all stripes seemed able to keep rooves over their heads, despite the lack of safety nets under their feet, by delivering pizzas, waiting tables, and laundering strangers’ underthings. Then, this damnable coronavirus came along, wrecking it all. Now masked people eagerly willing to serve you and your tipsy friends hazy IPAs until you are too drunk to drive are poised to be thrown into the mean streets during the cold winter months, unless our very brave politicians with their excellent healthcare are willing to do something to help them. Not because the masked folk are unwilling to serve your drunk buddies hazy IPAs, but because there is nowhere for beer drinkers to congregate around kegs safely these days.
As someone who has delivered many a pizza and laundered many a strangers’ underthings in my checkered past, I wonder what it must feel like to find that you can no longer pull yourself up by the bootstraps, try as you might.
I’m not suggesting, as some do, that the burden should rest upon the shoulders of the landlords, who owe mortgage payments to banks. Here in the Parkway region of Boston, lots of “landlords” happen to be ordinary folk who might prefer a single family home but opted for a “three-deckah” to make ends meet. These people are in a bind as well.
Which brings us to our soon-to-be Squatter-in-Chief. Let’s be clear: this is not a person who deserves one iota of your sympathy. That he is likely to be removed from the Weiss Haus by the local Sheriffs is at once hilarious and a little scary. Sorry that you don’t want to leave, but there are many people who don’t want to leave their homes either who have better excuses for staying in their apartments than you have for staying in a mansion.
Some people worry that the president’s refusal to leave the White House will be awkward for America, and to them I say, “Yeah, probably.” But there is a lot of awkward to go around. Alas, with the inauguration’s social distancing rules, we’ll not be able to appreciate the further awkwardness of having a single, vacant chair just behind our President, Joe Biden, where the outgoing president would traditionally sit. Thanks to social distancing, there will be many vacant chairs. But at least we won’t have a man-child making faces, rolling his eyes, and sulking while we peacefully transfer power from one administration to another.