I’m one shot into my two-shot minimum of the Dolly Parton Super Serum. As such, dare I say I actually see light at the end of the tunnel from this awful pandemic? Dare I do. In keeping with such thinking, I’ve started to think about what life might look like as we return to “normal.” All of us have this stopgap of a year forced upon us has given some the chance to really think about what they’re doing with their lives. I, a darling child of anxiety, have spent a lot of time assessing things.
I have wondered if some lifestyle changes are not in order. Not in terms of my diet—it’s a balanced diet of KFC and salt licks I come across in the wild–it’s fine. More in terms of what will be my first major “flex” I will lean hard into as life opens up again. I haven’t had a haircut in over a year and a friend told me last night on video chat that I’m getting dangerously close to “Tom Jones territory.” So, much like those Hair Club for Men ads from the 1990s, I think I might lean into my new shaggy hairstyle and the life it could give me.
First, I’ll have to buy a captain’s hat and wear it while I practice learning to play a dinky electric organ. Second, I’ll find an abandoned Ramada Inn somewhere and open the lounge portion of it. There’ll be a salad bar, steaks, cocktails, nightly live entertainment. I’ll play the organ and find some talented singer to back up while we work our way through all the songs that were rejected by the programmer of the local soft rock station.
I will bring strong energy to this. The energy of a divorced dad in his late ‘40s getting ready to have the granddaddy of all mid-life crises. The single ladies of the tri-cities will find my powerful profile on Tinder and feel a turgid eroticism by all my life and its excitements can offer. Dates will return post-pandemic. Boy howdy, will they ever. I’ll take the ladies that I hope to impress out to the Applebees and show them that I’m a man of taste and thrift. I have a coupon for a free appetizer on Tuesdays, and I’m not afraid to use it.
Should this not entice anyone to join me on this new lounge lizard lifestyle, I’ll go into one of the other flexes I’ve dreamed up for myself. Changing my name to Bristol Montana and opening a ranch outside of Kingsport, downwind from the chemical plant. What will I raise on my ranch? Sheep? Cattle? Sky’s the limit really. It’ll be an impressive, but reasonable ranch. We’ll have a problem with dust getting on everything, but I’ll just use that as an excuse to look at city folks and make comments like “Never lifted a dirty shovel on a Tuesday morning in a warm July, have you?”
I’ll lean into a mysterious past with this persona. There will have been some incident in Utah I don’t discuss, but it’s the one that caused me to relocate to Tennessee. A downside of this new persona is that I will have to drink nothing but Folgers coffee with every single meal. Which I’m sure isn’t healthy, but I imagine all the wrangling I’ll do that should make up for the coffee. To add an extra twist to this flex, I won’t listen to Garth Brooks, but Chris Gaines as I ride around on my property wondering why this ranch isn’t making money and what a bad idea it was to lean into this weird cowboy fantasy when I’m not an outdoorsman by any stretch of the imagination.
Yet, in the cold light of day, I think these both may be ill-advised ideas. I don’t want to buy a ranch outside of Kingsport, nor do I want to learn how to play a dinky electric organ and deal with getting an abandoned motel up to code. I suspect post-pandemic I’ll do much of what I did pre-pandemic. Floating through life just doing my thing and debating if I need more board games or not. Oh, and I should probably get a haircut too. I mean I think if I’m not gonna lean into being a titan of lounge lizards the Tom Jones cut should go. Don’t you think? See you next week.