Opinion

Tabatha Southey answers the Top 40 most commonly asked questions in the Pandemic Era

Tabatha Southey offers guidance on e-commerce, TikTok fame, podcast fame, Facebook concerts, Zoom poetry readings and even the nature of time itself

1. No, it hasn’t come yet—shipping has, understandably, been a bit disrupted. Also, you should get an “out for delivery” notification so you don’t need to stand on the front porch, in your slippers and a parka, waving at all the neighbours, in their slippers and parkas.

2. Yes, you should wear a parka if you’re out on the porch for some non-parcel-related reason, because the long isolation has not broken your mind and it is snowing in late April in southern Ontario.

3. Now, more than ever, if you have to ask me, yes, the milk is off.

4. No, I will not taste it.

5. No.

6. No.

7. Nothing, I didn’t say anything about how you should pour yourself down the sink as well. That was just the sound of the blender.

8. Last I checked it was Dayday, why?

9. I don’t know exactly when it’s going to be over, but apparently it’s not going to end until every single one of my friends has hosted an acoustic American folk standards set on Facebook Live. How was I to know she played the ocarina when I clicked “accept”?

10. Totally professional! And it will grow back.

11. Yes, time is collapsing in on itself. We’ve already lost Tuesdays.

12. I don’t think someone else ate them. Mushrooms shrink a lot when you cook them, so you end up going through them a lot faster than you expect, but let’s talk about this more. Please?

13. Season 4. Be patient. Willow does not get gay until season 4.

14. Hey, you’re the one who checked “allow substitutions,” and we can’t be the first people to serve jute cord in a bolognese sauce.

15. Yes, that’s really good, very funny.

16. No, I cannot explain why you’re not TikTok famous yet.

17. Because cabbage is the anti-arugula, that’s why. And you used to like coleslaw.

18. No, there’s something in my eye.

19. Plenty, you’ve done plenty with your life.

20. No, I’m not going to get into specifics.

21. No question. Very impressive, very, and the Grade Seven science fair is not for the faint of heart.

22. No, nobody is creeping into your house at night to steal your frozen yogurt to give it to Bill Gates because cold dairy protects you from 5G. You need to spend less time on Facebook.

23. Because, “Her emails.”

24. Oh, the ugly villagers? You beat them with a bug net until they leave. Hidden feature.

25. No, this doesn’t work on Tom Nook. You’d better find some way to pay that bastard raccoon.

26. If it were here, I would tell you. You’ve lived this long with a copy of the Dune board game. Another few business days won’t hurt you.

27. Do I look like the sort of person who would go outside the house, and then touch things? I’m hurt.

28. That’s a good point, Tom Nook doesn’t charge interest, or even demand to be paid back on a set schedule. Clearly isolation has made me cruel to, frankly, pretty generous wildlife.

29. Well, I’m hearing from my friends that the money comes fast. These days the biggest single complaint I’m hearing about the CERB site is that the application doesn’t take long enough. The government needs to make it so that we can play CERB up to the next level, for more money, or at least they could add some invigorating CAPTCHAs. “Select all squares you should stay 2 metres away from.”

30. Oh, I’d love to come to your Zoom Poetry Reading but I’m already booked for a Zoom Seance right after my Zoom Sixth Doctor Who Trivia Night back-to-back with a Zoom Literally Anything Other Than Your Poetry Reading.

31. Do I want to try your sourdough what now? And I thought we were out of Sichuan peppercorns.

32. Yeah, I think they’re in the clear, but I remember when we used to speculate pruriently about whether or not two people we knew were sleeping together, not wildly about whether two complete strangers live in the same house.

33. Do I think Carol Baskin killed her husband?  Well…oh, oh, I’m sorry, my house is going through a tunnel.

34. No, that would not be a good podcast.

35. No, that would also not be a good podcast.

36. No, that is already at least three podcasts of varying quality.

37. Funny you should ask. I, too, wake up at night in a cold sweat, fearful that we will never reclaim our cities lost to the Pokémon that are now overtaking them. It’s normal.

38. Anything you eat for breakfast is a “breakfast food.” Anything I wear at 2:30 in the afternoon is “grown-up pants.” I just wish I’d invested heavily in the sweatpants sector before this whole thing went down.

39. “Canadians are allowed to grow up to four cannabis plants per residence for personal use from licensed seeds.”

40. No, it’s not at all weird to order your life around reading a humour column in Maclean’s.