Published on August 26th, 2020 | by Randy Weeks1
The View From The Balcony: Summit on The Balcony
I had a unique opportunity last week to set up a meeting between Dr. Anthony Fauci and Governor Tate Reeves. How that came about is a story for another day. For the sake of secrecy, the three of us met Sunday, shortly after nightfall, on The Balcony. The following is an excerpt from our tête-à-tête.
Tony: Tate, for a long time you were saying that you were going to take a surgical approach to wearing masks in Mississippi rather than to declare a statewide mandate. What do you know about surgery?
Tate: Well, Tony, I watched a lot of E.R. and MASH back in the day. I learned that sometimes surgery is messy and that doctors and nurses don’t always get along. But they keep on slicing and splicing and suturing and suctioning until their job is done. Sometimes the patient dies, but most of the time they live. I also recently watched my personal physician sew my butt back on after the Legislature handed it to me on a platter over my education budget. I think I’m a little less anal now.
Tony: Do you mind telling me how you applied that to the Coronavirus pandemic?
Tate: Not at all, Tony. When the rates of infection got high in a county I’d get my gubernatorial scalpel—a pen, of course—and declare mandatory mask measures. Then when another county got bad I’d do the same thing there.
Tony: That sounds kind of like playing Whack-A-Mole.
Tate: Bingo! Whack COVID in Hinds County. Whack COVID in Harrison County. Whack COVID in DeSoto County. Whack COVID in Jackson County. Hell, Tony. I absolutely love being a whacker!
Tony: No doubt. Weren’t you concerned about the infection spreading to adjoining counties?
Tate: Not until I learned that the Coronavirus doesn’t play by the rules. You see, Tony, we have this thing in Mississippi called “county lines.” These lines separate the counties. You can clearly see them on a map. The Coronavirus ignored the county lines and crossed over without permission—not unlike the Duke boys crossing the Hazzard County line to get away from Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane. Love me some Dukes of Hazzard! Off the record, I wanted to get me a big ole Confederate flag like theirs on my official state vehicle but the damn ACLU stopped me. Freakin’ outside agitators!
Tony: You really expected the Coronavirus to remain within your county lines?
Tate: Tony, respectfully, you’re up there in that Washington D.C. swamp that’s teeming with corruption and backstabbing. Down here we’re law abiding citizens. We’ve got that southern hospitality thing going for us. The virus turned out not to be very hospitable.
Tony (chuckling): Actually, the hospitality rates on the pandemic are quite high.
Tony: Never mind. Let’s talk college football. You just said it was essential in Mississippi. What about the players and the fans getting infected?
Tate: I have come up with a solution to a problem that has yet to exist. The players already wear face masks on their helmets, so we’re ahead of the game there. In addition, they’ll all wear full-body latex suits. I came up with that one myself. I’m pretty damn proud of it, if I may say so.
Tony: Body condoms. Interesting. Tate, you and our president think so much alike it’s downright frightening.
Tate (blushing): Aw, shucks, Tony. I ‘preciate that. As for the fans, unfortunately we’re going to have to limit the crowd size, and that grieves me greatly since football is the national pastime in Mississippi. But having crowds could move us closer to that herd immunity thing and a pruning of the weaker parts of our population. Mississippi could come out of this pandemic a winner, all because of football and my great leadership!
Tony: Tate, I can see my time is wasted here.
Tate: It is, Tony, but I ‘preciate you coming down. You couldn’t have known we were so on top of things. Now you can go help some of those backward states. Tony, you’re a go-getter—a real tiger. Tony the Tiger! You might want to use that someday. Put it on your mask!
Tony: I’ll get right on that, Tater—er, Tate.
…and that’s the View from The Balcony.
Randy Weeks is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Life Coach. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.