Jerks of the Week: April Fools and April Truths VIII: Coronavirus Edition
I've been promising a seven-part Jerks of the Week series about my trip to Miami, and it's coming, I promise. The initial posting will be up next week. I would have made it available today, but it's close enough to April Fools' Day that I had to bring back the April Fools and April Truths segment once more.
For those of you who are new, this is the eighth-annual edition of this sort of segment, where I post six stories, and you'll have to determine whether you're being "April Fooled" or not. The answer key to see whether each story is a fabrication or not will be available at the bottom of this entry.
This, of course, was inspired by Fact or Fiction, a show from the 90s where Jonathan Frakes, the man who played Commander William Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation, hosted an hourlong program featuring creepy tales that may or may not have been true. At the end of each segment, Frakes would pop on screen and ask the audience if it thought the story was true or not, only he would do so with a cheesy pun, like these:
I've been promising to ask Frakes to write up puns for April Fools and April Truths for seven years now, but I'll admit that I've been hesitant to contact him. All this time, I assumed he had just become a hermit in the woods who makes pizza for his wife and daughter, but he's one of the directors of Star Trek Picard. The show sucks, but he's been one of the few bright spots.
Despite my hesitation, I have news on the Frakes front. That's the perfect segue to our first story!
1. The Super Bowl Party:
Leigh Steinberg's Super Bowl party was a blast. I'll tell you all the details in a few weeks, but for now, I'd like to focus on a certain guest who attended the event.
The first thing Charlie Campbell and I did upon arriving to the party was head to the food table, of course. Neither of us had a nice breakfast after drinking the night before, and being a fat man, I needed my food, or I was going to collapse.
After cramming enough food to fill two plates, Charlie and I went to the bar. There were several people waiting for drinks, one of whom caught my attention. He had gray hair and a matching beard. He was a husky man, and he was hunched over the counter, with both elbows planted on it. He looked like he was frustrated with the bartender, almost as if he had been waiting for a drink for a half hour.
"Sir, I've asked for a gin and tonic five times," he grumbled, but to no avail.
I recognized the man instantly. It was Jonathan Frakes - the very same Jonathan Frakes I've been referencing in April Fools and April Truths for eight years!
Bumping into Frakes wasn't even the weirdest part. What was so strange about this situation was that he had a plate of half-eaten pancakes in front of him on the bar. Why was Frakes eating pancakes? And more importantly, how did Charlie and I miss them? We scoured the food section very carefully. Obese people like myself don't miss pancakes when they are around, so my fat senses would have picked up the scent.
I had the urge to ask Frakes where he found those pancakes, but I thought that introducing myself would be the better move. I told him my name and who he was, but he seemed more focused on eating his pancakes. I then told him about April Fools and April Truths and how I thought it would be great if he wrote the puns for each story. When I mentioned that last part, he looked like he had a piece of pancake lodged in his throat. He seemed so appalled that I would ask him to do anything, but I made sure to tell him the next part rather quickly.
"I'll contribute to any charity you want," I muttered. "I didn't mean for you to do it for free, or anything."
Frakes looked relieved.
"Here's my card," he said, reaching into his coat pocket. "Call me tomorrow, and we can set something up. Now, if someone can get me a damn drink to wash down these pancakes, I'll start having a good time here!"
The worthless bartender jumped.
"Sorry sir, we're just so busy and I can't find the gin," the bartender said meekly.
Frakes shook his head in further frustration and stuffed more pancakes into his mouth.
I was thrilled to be able to contact Frakes. I called him the next day, but no one answered the phone. I tried again a couple of hours later, and had the same result. I left a message and later called a third time a few days later. Still, nothing. Frakes flaked on me!
So, what do you think? Did I really meet Jonathan Frakes at the Super Bowl party? Or do you need a gin and tonic to wash down the lie I just fed you?
2. Coronavirus Patient:
If you haven't read my book (shameless plug incoming)...
...My dad mentioned that Julian Edelman was my fourth cousin very matter-of-factly. He has a habit of saying surprisingly important things in passing. One such instance occurred when I was on the phone with him a couple of weeks ago. We were talking about President Xi's Coronavirus, when my dad brought up a surprising fact.
Dad: Coronavirus is no big deal. I had it last month.
Me: Wait, what!?
Dad: Wait what, what?
Me: You had Coronavirus? How?
Dad: Yeah, I caught it at the airport when I was flying back from Poland. There were lots of Chinese people at the airport, so I caught Coronavirus..
Dad: No big deal. I felt very sick for a few days, and I'm OK now.
My dad didn't seem to think this was a big deal, but I was shocked. Thank goodness he was OK, but I hope he didn't spread it to too many people. I don't think he did, as he told me he stayed home to recover while he was symptomatic.
So, is the story of my dad having Chinese Coronavirus true? Or will you be sick after learning that I was lying to you?
3. New E-Sports Player:
I'm a part-time professional DraftKings player, so the President Xi Coronavirus has made playing daily fantasy sports impossible. Not having sports to bet on is a major bummer, and it's also made me a bit crazy.
DraftKings has a sub menu in its lobby, which allows you to access a specific sport. There's always been something called "LOL," and I just assumed it had something to do with carnivals or clowns, or anything else that can make someone laugh out loud. Naturally, I've always gravitated to NFL, NBA, MLB and even XFL in previous months.
With all real sports gone, this "LOL" was the only thing that remained. Being a degenerate gambler, I was desperate for some action. I clicked on the "LOL" tab and looked at the contests. I then sought out "LOL" scoring projections and entered a lineup. This prompted me to post this on Facebook:
I naturally lost my $10 entry because I didn't know what I was doing, but I was determined to solve this "LOL," whatever the hell it was.
Upon doing some research, "LOL" doesn't stand for "laugh out loud" as I initially suspected. It's League of Legends, an e-sport where 12-year-old Chinese and Korean kids play a five-on-five video game against each other. Setting League of Legends lineups isn't as hectic as the NBA because there aren't any injuries to speak of. I suppose one of the kids can sprain their thumb, but that's about it. As long as their parents sign their permission slips, they're good to play, and we can bet on them. It's sad, but it's all us degenerates have at the moment!
Playing League of Legends fantasy had me intrigued by how the game looked. I went on Twitch and watched a few matches. I was instantly hooked! In fact, I've even started playing myself.
I've actually been playing a lot. Like, I nearly didn't complete this Jerks of the Week entry on time because of the amount of time I've dedicated to playing League of Legends.
But it was all worth it. The city of Philadelphia is starting its own League of Legends league, and I was contacted to participate. The only one on the team thus far, besides me, is someone named Dave Kim, a seventh grader who just got an A+ on a biology pop quiz.
Nevertheless, I'm eager to begin my new career in e-sports. Football is a thing of the past. League of Legends, here I come!
So, is this League of Legends story actually true? Or is it game over for me and Dave Kim?
4. Missing Dogs:
Many events have been canceled or postponed because of the Chinese Coronavirus. I discussed in a previous entry that I had two upcoming weddings in March and April, including one that I was slated to be a groomsman of, and I wondered if those events would be postponed. That's exactly what happened, as they were pushed back to July and August, respectively. I can only hope that President Xi's scourge is eradicated by then so each groom and bride can have their special day.
Some events weren't able to get postponed and had to be canceled outright. The NCAA Tournament is one such example because many of the players would already be on the verge of being selected in the NBA Draft by the time games were possible. Another example was my sister-in-law's baby shower. My wife was planning on hosting this event at our house at the end of March, but that's been completely canceled because her sister will be due before a scheduling would be possible.
Because the baby shower was at our house, my wife asked our neighbors, Liz and Paul, a married couple in their 50s, to watch our dogs that particular day. Liz and Paul weren't burdened by this; in fact, they looked forward to it. They love dogs, but can't have one because they don't own the house they occupy.
"I can't wait!" Liz squeaked gleefully, looking at Raven. "We're going to have so much fun!"
This, of course, didn't come to fruition. My wife had to cancel the baby shower several days before the day of the event. Her two other siblings were both due to come in from New York, but both told her they were staying home. When my wife began advising the older people to remain isolated at home, she realized the endeavor was pointless and just nixed the entire thing.
Canceling was upsetting to my wife because she worked hard at preparing for the baby shower, but it was the necessary decision. Unlike some people I'll discuss in the final entry, we're not dumb, and we've been taking the Chinese pandemic seriously. Outside of picking up takeout on a few occasions, I haven't left my house since March 15!
At any rate, I was sleeping in last Sunday morning when my wife woke me up in a panic.
"Walt, are the dogs in here!?" she asked.
I looked around, half-asleep, then plopped my head back down on my pillow seconds later.
"Walt, I can't find the dogs anywhere!"
I grumbled and rolled my fat a** out of bed. I slipped on my pajama pants and proceeded to look for my dogs with my wife. We checked the basement, the garage and any closed rooms. Indeed, they were gone. Our babies, Sherlock and Raven, had vanished.
My wife and I didn't know what to do. We scoured every inch of the house twice more and called out their names. Nothing.
It was at that point that I decided to go outside. Our doors are always closed, so I didn't know how they could've slipped out of the house, but that was the only logical explanation for where they could've gone.
I put on my sneakers and went to grab their leashes, except I couldn't find them. Their leashes were gone, too!
My wife was confused by this, but I had a suspicion. I walked over to Liz and Paul's house and rang their doorbell. Seconds later, Paul opened the door.
Me: Hey, have you seen our dogs?
Paul: Yeah, they're in the living room playing with Liz.
Me: How did you get them?
Paul: Oh, we went into your house in the morning and took them so you wouldn't have to bring them over because of the baby shower.
I guess we were at fault for not telling Liz and Paul the baby shower was canceled, but who sneaks into someone's house and borrows two dogs? What a weird thing to do.
That wasn't even the strangest part. That occurred when I stepped into their living room and saw my two dogs. Liz was sitting on the ground, happily clapping her hands, as she watched Sherlock and Raven running around. Both Sherlock and Raven were donned in costumes. Sherlock was wearing a Superman outfit, while Raven had a ballerina tutu of sorts on her.
"I thought we'd play dress-up with Sherlock and Raven!" she beamed, leaving me wondering why they had dog costumes. Remember, these people don't have dogs, so why would they have dog costumes unless they bought them specifically for this day?
My wife and I don't talk to these people anymore.
So, is this story of the dog kidnappers true? Or am I just howling at the moon? Awoooooo!!!
5. Japanese Restaurant:
I mentioned in the previous story that I've gotten takeout a few times. Some idiot I follow on Twitter recently argued that restaurants having takeout isn't an essential business. I almost replied, "You're a moron," but I didn't want to instigate anything. Instead, I'll talk trash behind his back in this space. As a fat man, I'm appalled anyone can have this wrong opinion. Takeout food is essential to life, especially for the obese like me.
One of the restaurants I went to was Kyoto, a Japanese hibachi place within walking distance from my house. I'm not a big hibachi fan, but my wife was in the mood for it one night, so I walked over once our order was ready.
Kyoto looked much different than it did in the pre-Coronavirus days. The entrance to the lobby was blocked off by a table in the lobby. The only thing I could see inside the restaurant was two Asian people standing behind the counter wearing masks and gloves. I wish I could've taken a picture because this looked like a hospital, but I left my phone at home.
There was room enough for one person in the lobby, so I had to stand outside as a husky man standing at the table. Fortunately, I was able to see and hear everything that was happening.
The husky man made his order. As he reached into his wallet to grab his credit card, the Asian guy behind the table gestured toward a bottle of hand sanitizer on the table.
Kyoto Guy: Please.
Husky Man: Hmm?
Kyoto Guy: Please use.
Husky Man: My hands are clean.
Kyoto Guy: No please use.
Husky Man: I don't need to, I used hand sanitizer earlier.
Kyoto Guy: If you no use, you no get food!
Husky Man: I don't need to use it!
Kyoto Guy: That's it! You go! No food for you!
Husky Man: What!?
Kyoto Guy: No food for you!
Husky Man: Because I won't use hand sanitizer!?
Kyoto Guy: Get out of lobby! Next customer please!
Husky Man: What the f**k! Screw you!
Husky Man stormed out of the lobby, and I took his place. And yes, I used the hand sanitizer.
So, is this story about the hand sanitizer-obsessed restaurant worker true? Or was this tale too clean to be true?
I can't believe how moronic these people are. All they're doing is spreading the Chinese Coronavirus, all because they can't wait a few months to have fun on the beach. They're so incredibly selfish. I wish there was a way to punish them, but the only thing I can think of was something I mentioned last week. If you run a company and are in position to hire people, don't bring on anyone you know who went on spring break like this.
I know this may anger some in the zoomer generation, but I don't care. They're a**holes, and they deserve permanent unemployment.
I'm aware the zoomers are angry because one of them contacted me! It was this idiot I made fun of last week:
He messaged me on Facebook after I accepted his friend request. Here's the conversation, if you want to call it that:
He didn't respond because he blocked me. I guess his peanut-sized brain thought that if he blocked me, he'd be able to get a job in the future. In your dreams, Brady!
So, is this story true? Did a spring breaker contact me? Or was I having too much fun in the sun when I made up this conversation?
Did you figure out which stories are April Fools and which ones are April Truths? Here's your last chance before looking at the answer key...
The Super Bowl Party - April Truth! Yes, believe it or not, Jonathan Frakes was eating pancakes at a bar at Leigh Steinberg's Super Bowl party!
OK, well, sort of. You see, this never happened in reality, but I had this actual dream a few nights ago. I don't know why I dreamt of bumping into Frakes at a bar, but he certainly loved those pancakes.
Coronavirus Patient - April Truth! While I can't say for certain that my dad did, in fact, have the Chinese Coronavirus, he claims that he did. I actually hope he did, which means he may have built an immunity to it.
New E-Sports Player - April Fools! Sadly, I was not recruited by a Philadelphia League of Legends team. Dave Kim isn't even real. So, my apologies to fake Dave Kim's fake parents: Your son did not get an A+ on his biology pop quiz.
Missing Dogs - April Fools! Liz and Paul offered to watch Sherlock and Raven during the baby shower, but they did not sneak into our house to borrow them.
Japanese Restaurant - April Truth! The husky man eager for hibachi didn't get his coveted food because he was too stubborn to use the hand sanitizer. What an idiot.
Spring Breaker - April Fools! Brady Sluder, sadly, did not contact me. If anyone knows Brady, or any of his idiot friends, please tell them to e-mail or Facebook message me. I need some more Jerks of the Week material after my seven-part Miami saga because I'm not leaving the house.
So, how did you do? Were you able to get most of these right? Were you fooled this time? And were you disappointed that for the seventh year in a row, I've failed to deliver my Jonathan Frakes promise?
Hopefully April Fools and April Truths IX actually contains Frakes' puns. As I said, I'll donate to a charity of his to make it happen. And I'll even buy him pancakes!