Memorial Day 2020: Let The Summer Of COVID-19 Begin!

It's Memorial Day! Donald Trump has no doubt said or done something terrible, but let's just forget about him for one day like Melania probably does every night. If you've a brain in your head and a human soul in your possession, you have no plans worth sharing. You're aren't taking part in Zombie COVID-19 parades on Maryland boardwalks or other highly contagious, public spaces. You aren't soaking in coronavirus at Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks, which is a real place. You're at home and you're so bored your sanity's in question. That is true patriotism worthy of the holiday.

Later today, you might grill a hamburger or two in your backyard. Maybe invite some friends and family over on Zoom if they remember to bring the watermelon. Then you'll wonder why your dried-out bricks on stale, oversized buns don't look anywhere near as appetizing as what “burger scholar" George Motz serves up on YouTube.

A Burger Scholar Breaks Down Classic Regional Burger Styles | The Burger

OMG! I'm want to deep fry a burger Tennessee-style. This is what 2020 has done to me. On the other hand, I recently fucked up one of our stainless steel pots making french fries because I forgot we owned a dutch oven, so why don't we all just save ourselves the hassle and potential catastrophe and order takeout from a local restaurant that could use our help right now. This is the year to cater your cookout.

Memorial Day weekend is normally a big time for movies, usually blockbusters that are big, dumb, and expensive, which is truly the American way. Last year, everyone saw the live-action Alladdin yet no one thought to wish for a plague-free 2020. It was a tragic lack of foresight. But the Internet is streaming free goodies for stay-at-home viewing. Charge yourself $20 for the popcorn you made yourself and watch Gillian Anderson and Vanessa Kirby in the 2016 Young Vic production of A Streetcar Named Desire, one of my favorite plays because I'm secretly Tennessee Williams. It's available until May 28 and is worth a watch.

I should point out that neither Anderson nor Kirby are Southern (they rarely seem to cast Southern women as Blanche and Stella). Nor do they sound like they learned English in the same household. However, Kirby at least pronounces New Orleans “New Or-LONS" and not “New Or-LEENS" like Anderson does. This Southerner is willing to look the other way, though. We're in quarantine.

Official Young Vic's A Streetcar Named Desire w/ Gillian Anderson | Free National Theatre Live

Memorial Day weekend holds a special meaning for me personally because that's when my wife and I met in 2007. We all honor her sacrifice and service to her nation. Our actual anniversary is Halloween because of course it is, but we usually made a point of celebrating around Memorial Day, even going so far as to leave the house. This is the first year we've not done anything personally exciting, but we're content that we're helping keep people alive. That's something.

This year, we'll just fondly remember this bottle of wine we had during our trip to Paris in 2009. It's from 1985 and it's dusty!

Now go order some burgers and stay safe. This is now your open thread!

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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