I’m self-isolating with the TV on for white noise when this happens:
“We interrupt this program to bring you breaking news out of Mallomar Bay, where Mayor Dude Coolson is livestreaming San Angelico’s emergency response to the dosequisvirus epidemic. We now go live to the valet area outside of Provenance.”
The picture transitions to shaky smartphone footage of Coolson, who’s been surrounded by an angry mob that appears to have ambushed him between the restaurant entrance and his just-valeted luxury sedan.
“My fellow Angelicans,” he says, removing the napkin from his collar and motioning with his hands in a calming manner, “please be assured that you are not alone in these dire times. As we speak, local and state authorities are coordinating their efforts to ensure that the dosequisvirus epidemic is met head-on, and with minimal detriment to our economy. I’ve just signed off on a bill that will repurpose this year’s unused Santana Winds Disaster Preparedness Plan. It’s going to be hard. Sacrifices will have to be made by each and every one of us, but I’m confident that we can come together in a time of crisis and lead this great nation of ours by example. If we are diligent, if we are obedient, if we are willing to do whatever it takes, I can assure you that this time next month, our dosequisvirus numbers will be down to zero.
“To that end, effective immediately, we’re shutting down the power grid as a preventative measure to deter wildfires. All non-essential clothes and coverings will be disallowed so as to prevent the spread of rogue embers and viruses via ultra-flammable apparel, reusable cloth tote bags, dry skin, and the like. We’re setting up glisten checkpoints throughout the city that will distribute spray bottles so that our citizens can maintain a healthy sheen at all times. We’ve already distributed over fifty-thousand energy-saver vouchers, and I’d like to hit the one-hundred-thousand mark by next week. These vouchers can be exchanged for flame-retardant loincloths, sarongs, and bath towels.
“Go about your daily business. Walk your pets. Share your selfies. Pay your bills on time.” Coolson glances irritably at the shorts of a well-built teen dude onlooking nearby. “And for God’s sake, take your fucking clothes off.”
Meanwhile, via Eva’s SuperMegaNet feed, I spot Ernie standing in front of his grandparents’ house with a kite lying broken on the lawn.
“This whole thing is stupid,” he says, and hurls the kite’s spool to the ground.
Eva switches her phone to selfie mode and nods in agreement.