social distancing master

Social Distancing Level: Master

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This morning I had to reach into Hudson’s mouth and pull out a large clump of deer poop he was intent on eating. It was about the size of a tennis ball. It was fresh.

He tried to sneak it past me. When I saw him going for it, I told him “NO!”, which stopped him for a moment.

“Don’t do it!” I warned.

Intent on the poop ball, he nevertheless considered my request. Then he opened his mouth and slowly lowered his head toward the delicacy, all while looking sideways at me.

It was like he was saying, “Sure, Boss, just let me do a quick Quality Test, to make sure it’s up to my standards, and… how about that! It’s in my mouth now. How did that happen? Well, can’t let it go to waste now, can I?”

I grabbed him and pried his mouth open.

“Gaaah! Yuck!”

I tossed the greasy clump of shit off to the side somewhere in the deep grass. Hudson made a move to go after it.

“Not so fast, Hotshot!” I said holding his collar with one hand, and trying to flick the last vestiges of greenish deer shit from the other hand.

I spent the rest of the walk looking for a patch of unmelted snow for a quick hand washing, and reminding myself not to touch my face.

See? I don’t need the Kung Flu in order to practice good hygiene. Just give me a dog with a hankering for deer scat and I’ll follow all the protocols.

We’ve lived out here for twenty years. Avoiding people. Working from home. Enjoying and actually opting for isolation. I prefer being alone in the woods to most everything else. People are a distant roar to the north, and I've learned to tune them out.

On the news there are interviews with mental health professionals counseling us how to survive “Social Distancing”.

Please! As far as I’m concerned, I’ve spent the last twenty years preparing for the Kung Flu.

This is my moment. This is what I’ve been training for.

I’m Steve McQueen in “The Great Escape” and the Nazis have come to release me from solitary confinement…

“OberStuffinFuhrer! The door won’t open!”

“What? Is it stuck?”

“No, OberStuffinFuhrer! There is no keyhole!”

“SchmittenYunkerLeppenStrupperCrappenFarten! Sargeant Schulz! It’s locked from the inside!”

Social Distancing is The Great Escape
Steve in 2021
About the Author

Topdog is Steve Merryman, a retired graphic designer, illustrator, and unrepentant asshole. Steve can usually be found working on a portrait commission or some other artwork. Steve fills his days by painting, writing, shootin' guns, cuttin' trees, hiking with his dogs, and savoring a beer or two, all while searching for the perfect cheeseburger. He studiously avoids social media and is occasionally without pants.