Stay Home Save Lives (Non-fiction)

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot made this PSA urging Chicago residents to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It also helps that Illinois has a shelter in place order that’s been extended to April 30th.  She’s also closed the Lakeshore Trail, parks, and playgrounds.  Which sparked some anger, but also a lot of memes, which she’s taking in stride:

“We all need to find the humor, and from humor stems hope,” Lightfoot said. “When you have hope, you can heal. Hope is the thing that gets you up in the morning, and propels you over the course of the day, and we need that hope. We need to have that sense that, even in this dark storm, there’s light.”

With Cook County having the most Coronavirus cases, she’s currently in the middle of a dark storm. I’m in the same storm too since I now live in Cook County.  It remains to be seen how this will play out, but I’d rather have a local leader who does PSAs during a pandemic than a Florida governor who would rather blame quarantine New Yorkers than spoil Spring Break.

Bolingbrook cracks down on weredogs’ cannabis home delivery service (Fiction)

Bolingbrook’s Department of Paranormal Affairs announced a crackdown on the weredogs’ “fetching” cannabis for residents.

The press release stated: “Pandemic or no pandemic, home delivery of cannabis is still illegal in Illinois. Any weredog involved in this criminal operation is a bad dog!”

Hillary, who asked that we not use her last name, witnessed the department trying to arrest a weredog:

“This cute dog dropped a bag of weed on my front door.  I was about to tip him when this black armored vehicle drove on to my front yard.  Two masked men told the dog to roll over.  Instead, he shape-shifted into a giant dog and ran away.  One of the men yelled: ‘Bolingbrook says no to drugs.’ I said Roger wasn’t Bolingbrook.  They said they would deal with me later.  They drove off before I could tell them what I felt.”

Bud, the Alpha dog of the Bolingbrook Weredeer association, says his fellow weredogs are performing an essential service for Bolingbrook:

“Residents are stressed.  It’s not enough for (Mayor Roger Claar) to tell us to stay calm.  They need weed.  It’s great the dispensaries are offering curbside pick up, but that shouldn’t be the only option.  We’re happy to fetch weed for anyone who wants it.  You can give us a treat instead of cash!”

Ruth, another weredog, claims Claar tried to arrest her for delivering cannabis:

“I was walking in human form and minding my own business.  Roger drove by and gave me a look.  I waved and kept walking.  He pulled up to a police car and told the officer to arrest me.  The officer refused because I was still walking, and he wasn’t allowed to chase suspects.  Roger said he was the mayor of Bolingbrook and he was ordering the officer to chase me.  That’s when I shifted into dog form and rushed into the bushes.”

A receptionist for Claar said he was busy “saving Bolingbrook” and could not be disturbed.

In the background, a man who sounded like Claar said: “Mr. President.  You are the greatest leader the world has ever known.  I risked my political career when I first endorsed you.  Your followers will say anything to defend me online.  I am forever in debt to you and the MAGA family.  How’s that?”

“A man who sounded like President Trump replied:  “Not bad.  Where are you from again?”

“Bolingbrook, Illinois.”

Never been there.”

“Mr. President, can I count on you to make sure we get some medical supplies?  I don’t know what else I can give you.”

“That golf course.”

“You want to buy the Bolingbrook Golf Club?”

“I suppose I could with all the billions Congress just gave me.  But you see, there’s a serious problem.  It’s too far away from the airport.  I need you to do me a favor and move it closer to the Chicago airport.”

“Um, for the first time, I really don’t know what to say, Mr. President.  I don’t think you can move a golf course.”

“Have you tried?”

Also in the Babbler:

Nitrile Glove monsters terrorize grocery shoppers
Hidden Lakes Monster frolics as residents shelter in place
Mayor Claar postpones weredeer hunting season
God to smite Bolingbrook on 4/2/20

Note:  This is a work of fiction. All opinions expressed are my own. They do not reflect the views of any organization I work for or of my employer.  Feel free to leave a comment here or in the Bolingbrook Babbler Readers Group. 

Sources: Mayor Claar conscripts wereskunks to help combat COVID-19 (Fiction)

A COVID-19 infographic allegedly created by the Village of Bolingbrook, featuring Snowy the Bolingbrook Skunk.

Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar has ordered the village’s wereskunks to help with COVID-19 relief efforts.

“Roger said he gives us unrestricted access to trash,” said Zac, who claims to be a wereskunk.  “He said we need to help out because we’re immune to COVID-19, and if every resident dies, there won’t be any trash.  How can we live without Bolingbrook’s generous trash offerings?”

Sources (and wereskunks) say wereskunks are expected to patrol non-essential businesses and parks.  They are also required to combat “rumors and misinformation” about the virus.

Peter, who asked that we not use his last name, claims he was attacked by a wereskunk:

“I was telling my neighbors that President Trump says we should all take chloroquine and azithromycin to fight off the virus.  Then this scruffy woman walked up to me and said our President was lying to us.  She said chloroquine hasn’t been tested and can be poisonous. She then had the nerve to say azithromycin can cause heart problems and is an antibiotic, not an antiviral.  I said she was spreading fake news.  Then she turned into a giant skunk and sprayed me.  She called me human garbage and threatened to spread my organs around Bolingbrook if I ever quoted Trump again.  Now it’s easy for me to practice social distancing because nobody wants to stand closer than 20 feet to me.”

Anita, another resident who asked that we not use her last name, claims that she saw a wereskunk eat someone:

“This guy was spouting anti-Semitic nonsense and saying he was going to infect Jews with the Coronavirus.  A wereskunk jumped down from a tree and ate him.  I was horrified.  The wereskunk explained that he was immune to the virus and it was the only way to protect us.  I guess that was nice.  Maybe I’ll leave out an extra bag of garbage for his skunk cousins.”

A receptionist for Claar denied the existence of wereskunks and said he was too busy for an interview. She said:

“You should be thankful that the governor thinks the media should be classified as an essential business.”

In the background, a man who sounded like Claar said:  “Dear God, I’ve had a good life.  Please take me now before I have to commit an unspeakable act to save my village…Fine, be that way!”

A few moments later he said: “Hello Jackie.  I guess we have to work together to save Bolingbrook.”

A woman who sounded like Will County Board member Jackie Traynere, said: “Yes we do, Roger.”

Also in the Babbler:

Lisle’s trees warn residents not to horde paper products
A miraculous image of ‘Friendly Atheist’ inspires local atheists to harass bloggers
Weredogs fetch groceries for Bolingbrook’s elderly residents
God to smite Bolingbrook on 3/25/20

Note:  This is a work of fiction. All opinions expressed are my own. They do not reflect the views of any organization I work for or of my employer.  Feel free to leave a comment here or in the Bolingbrook Babbler Readers Group. 

Help out Abe at Oceanoxia (Non-fiction)

Abe, who writes for Oceanoxia on FtB, needs help and has set up a Patreon page.

Thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak, layoffs have increased, job interviews have been indefinitely postponed, and many places aren’t hiring new workers. All of that means I really need help paying my bills and keeping a roof over my head. Patreon.com is a way for you to help with that, even if it’s just a little bit, and get some perks and extra content in return. You control how much you give, and how long you give it, and every little bit really does help. When lots of people pitch in, it can make a huge difference. Please help if you’re able, and share my work with others. Thank you!

Thanks to his blog, I was finally able to see this video, The Quiz Broadcast:

Shabbat Alone and Together (Video Non-fiction)

Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation, which I serve as a board member, recently decided to cancel our events due to the Coronavirus, and some of them online instead.  Rabbi Adam Chalom put together this online service at the last minute.  It’s pretty close to what a typical service at Kol Hadash is like:

 

Future services will be on the Kol Hadash YouTube channel.

My wife and I love being members of the Kol Hadash community, and we are saddened that we won’t be seeing our fellow members in person for a long time.  We may be stuck in our homes, but thanks to social media, we’ll be riding out this pandemic together.

COVID-19: A Babbler Special Report (Fiction)

With Bolingbrook, like the rest of Illinois, under lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we sent a team of reporters outside so our readers wouldn’t have to go.  These are their stories.

Church of Christopher Hitchens holds ‘Day of Booze’ service

Bolingbrook’s Church of Christopher Hitchens held a “Day of Booze” service to protest President Trump’s national day of prayer.  The church held a service in their parking lot, which was open to the public.  Attendees were offered a small bottle of whiskey and a free copy of God is not Great. Speeches by Hitchens played over a loudspeaker.

“Normally praying is a waste of breath,” said Grand Bartender Dennis X. Silverton.  “This month, it’s deadly because a sick person could be spewing death while begging a non-existent God for healing.  This is yet another example of religion poisoning Bolingbrook.”

Silverton added that he believed his service was helpful:  “Whiskey can be used to disinfect both inside and outside our bodies.  It’s better than holy water or a stale wafer.”  He also insisted that the Church of Christopher Hitchens is a real religious institution and not a way to avoid needing a liquor license. 

Beth, (who asked that we not use her last name) took a bottle of whiskey, then left the service early:

“I loved hearing Christopher Hitchens bash Islam— Especially when he said: ‘If the Qur’an was the word of God, it had been dictated on a very bad day.’  When he called Mother Teresa a fraud, I had to leave.  At least the booze was free.”

Mayor Roger Claar attended the service, though he didn’t engage with the audience.  He asked Silverton if he could “inspect” the church’s Corona Beer stock.  He later made a phone call and could be heard saying: “I’m not asking if we can use Bolingbrook Commons to house patients.  I’m telling you!” 

Weredeer struggle to find human mates due to bar closings

With the suspension of dine-in service at all of Illinois’ bars and restaurants, Bolingbrook’s weredeer are struggling to find human mates.

“The humans now want to sext instead of meet in person,” said Joan, a 20-year-old wereskunk.  “This is mating season.  I don’t want naughty messages!  I want kids!”

Steve, another Bolingbrook wereskunk, has tried “door to door” mating without success:

“Nobody opens the door anymore.  If they talk to you, it’s through a video doorbell.  When I do talk to them, my pickup lines don’t work.  Take last night, for example.  I tried this line on a woman:  ‘Women tell me their sex lives stunk until they went wereskunk.’  Instead of inviting me in, she called the Department of Paranormal Affairs on me.”

Unlike most animals, wereskunks can only conceive children with a human or skunk partner.  Most experts expect a baby boom of feral wereskunks this year.

“I’m not a bad guy,” said Steve.  “I’ll mate with my skunk cousins if I have to, but it’s boring.  Humans enjoy sex once they get around to it.  Skunks just treat it like a job.”

Joan added: “My brother had a skunk dad.  It was a struggle teaching him how to act like a human.  That’s why I want human kids, but it’s not going to happen this year.  Even when I say they don’t have to pay child support, and I’ll raise him or her myself, they’re still not interested.”

WeatherTech Restaurant closes at Clow UFO Base

By Reporter X

Clow UFO Base’s famed WeatherTech Restaurant is temporally closed due to the base’s COVID-19 lockdown.

“As much as we’d like to stay open,” said manager Pete Z. Timble, “we can’t because we’ve been cut off from the factory.”

The restaurant’s meals are made with plastic scraps from the Bolingbrook factory.  For years, alien dignitaries have dined at the restaurant, and it is considered one of Clow UFO Base’s biggest tourist attractions.

Zoglod, a resident of Alpha Centauri, dined during the restaurant’s last day open:

“I fly here every year to try one of their dishes.  I’m glad I got to eat their CupFone sundae.  It was just the right mix of cold and warm plastic.  If humanity doesn’t go extinct, I’ll come back.”

According to Timble, the restaurant’s current leftover food will be added to Clow’s meal rations.  He expects the restaurant to reopen once the lockdown ends.

Also in the Babbler:

Village considers taking over all Bolingbrook Facebook groups
Will County Board Member Ventura demands county conscript all doctors
Weredogs insist they are immune to COVID-19
God to smite Bolingbrook on 3/18/20

Note:  This is a work of fiction. All opinions expressed are my own. They do not reflect the views of any organization I work for or of my employer.  Feel free to leave a comment here or in the Bolingbrook Babbler Readers Group. 

Bolingbrook braces for COVID-19 outbreak (Fiction)

Please note:  This is a work of fiction.  For real information go to the CDC web site and/or the Will County Health Department.

As COVID-19 virus spreads around the world, Bolingbrook braces for its possible arrival.  The following reports are from our reporters:

Emergency command center fully operational at the Bolingbrook Golf Club

Sources at village hall confirmed that Mayor Claar activated the secret emergency command center at the Bolingbrook Golf club.

“It’s the perfect place to house a pandemic command center,” said one anonymous source.  “It’s isolated.  Hardly anyone comes here most of the week, and we have plenty of food and supplies on hand.”

According to the sources, the command center consists of a hidden room in the golf club and a “bridal suite” that has been converted into an office for Claar.  The sources agree that the hidden room has never been used before, and Claar has conducted many “practice runs” setting up his office.

The command center is staffed by representatives from each department, and a backup village board.  Initially, Claar selected all the members of the backup board, but after Trustee Robert Jaskiewicz protested, he was allowed to select his alternate to the board.

According to a member of Jaskiewicz’s Bolingbrook United party, “the alternate board is now just as representative of Bolingbrook as the main board is. This means our alternate will be allowed to protest any boneheaded decisions Roger makes before his lackeys enact them.”

The command center staff are described as being in “good health and good spirits.”  Though there are no cases of COVID-19 reported in Will County, the staff are staying busy.

“They’re learning how to play golf,” said an anonymous source.  “Which makes the Golf Club look popular.  Plus they’re eating the food that would normally get thrown out.  They love the Mayor’s Platter!  So right now, this is a big win for the Golf Club.  If we manage to avoid an outbreak, the village will come out ahead!”

Bolingbrook’s Department of Paranormal Affairs orders vampires to “self-quarantine”

Because COVID-19 can be carried by bats, all of Bolingbrook’s vampires have been ordered to self-quarantine until the end of the outbreak.

“Sure it’s discrimination,” said Don Z. Williams, a spokesperson for Bolingbrook’s Department of Paranormal Affairs.  “But vampires don’t have rights in Bolingbrook, and we need to look like we’re doing something to protect the residents of Bolingbrook.”

Vlad, a vampire who did not use his real name, resents being asked to stay in his apartment during the outbreak:  

“I’m not sick.  I haven’t fed on anyone who visited China, Italy, or Chicago.  Why should I have to suffer?”

The Guild of Bolingbrook Vampires released a statement claiming that vampires are immune to all disease and shouldn’t be confined to their homes:

“We are the undead.  Viruses need living hosts.  This is yet another example of vampire-phobia.  Just because we suck human blood, does not mean we spread disease, turn humanity into our cattle, or want to turn everyone into a vampire.  We’re people just like you, only we like to bite humans.”

The Department says they will supply every Vampire in Bolingbrook with cow and pigs blood until the quarantine is lifted.

Bolingbrook tests ‘quarantine drones’

Like China, sources say the Village of Bolingbrook is prepared to use drones in case a quarantine is enacted:

“We don’t want to endanger our police officers by doing door to door searches,” said Jill, a village official who asked that we not use her real name.  With drones, we can quickly search  the village for violators.”

According to the sources, the drones are currently equipped with video cameras and loudspeakers.  Public safety officials are conducting test flights around Bolingbrook.  Most of the flights involve no communication with residents, and videos are erased after each flight.

Some sources, however, showed video of Claar speaking to residents using the drones.  In one video, Claar speaks to Trustee Jaskiewicz as the drone flies over Jaskiewicz’s driveway:

Claar:Bob, the Coronavirus targets old people like us.You should stay indoors until I tell you to leave.

Jaskiewicz:You first, Roger.Now leave me alone.

In another video, a drone flies over Will County Board Member Jackie Traynere.

Claar:  Didn’t you hear?  The election has been canceled.  Go home!

Traynere:  You wish, Roger.

Claar:  You’re spreading Socialism, Jackie.  That’s just as bad as the Coronavirus.

Traynere:  You’re confusing authoritarianism with socialism, Roger.  Bernie’s healthcare plan will help all Bolingbrook residents.

Claar:  That’s what socialists like you want residents to think.  Socialism is an illness.

Traynere:  I don’t know.  You seem to like socialized luxury golf clubs, and I don’t see you threatening to privatize our roads.  

Claar:  You can’t stop me.  I’m a God fearing Trump supporter.

Traynere:  God won’t protect you from the Coronavirus   I’ll summon my online Bernie friends if you don’t leave me alone.

(Drone flies away.)

The sources also added that there are plans to arm some of the drones with guns:

“Don’t even think of trying to shoot one down.  They’ll be able to shoot back, and you’ll be charged with destroying police property.”

When reached for comments, Claar replied:  “Drones are a great idea!  I’ll use my campaign fund to buy some.  I can use them to deliver leaflets and keep an eye on my foes!”

Also in the Babbler:

Aliens celebrate as Lady Raiders finish third in the state finals
No plans to close Clow UFO Base per Mayor Claar
Church of Christopher Hitchens will be included in church closings
God to smite Bolingbrook on 3/10/20

Note:  This is a work of fiction. All opinions expressed are my own and may not reflect the views of any organizations I work for or my employer.  Feel free to leave a comment here or in the Bolingbrook Babbler Readers Group. 

UFO crew surrenders to Pete Buttigieg (Fiction)

By Reporter X

Former Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg meets with a crew of alien supporters.

After attacking UFOs displaying ads for Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren, a UFO crew loyal to Pete Buttigieg surrendered after meeting with him. 

“The alien crew didn’t believe the reports of Pete suspending his campaign,” said Sheila Z. Blake, a spokesperson for the Palatine Police Department and Palatine’s Rob Sherman UFO Base.  “Thanks to Pete, we were able to bring this unfortunate situation to a peaceful end.”

The craft started its attacks Sunday evening.  Interceptors from all three of Chicagoland’s UFO bases attacked the craft.

An interceptor pilot, who asked not to be identified, described the aliens as fanatics:

“They kept saying that Pete’s confession speech was ‘deep fake’ created by the Russians to fool Americans into electing Joe Biden.  They thought if Biden gets the nomination, then Trump would win the election.  I said the polls show that all the Democratic candidates beat Trump.  Plus Pete’s withdrawal might mean no candidate gets a majority of delegates.  The commander accused me of being fake news and tried to destroy me.  I never thought of Pete as having fanatical followers.  Let alone alien fanatical followers.”

After a long aerial dogfight, Sherman UFO Base told the crew that Pete Buttigieg wanted to meet them.  The crew agreed to land at Sherman UFO Base.  Interceptors from Bolingbrook’s Clow UFO Base at first kept attacking the craft but were eventually recalled.  According to sources inside Clow, Mayor Roger Claar choose to recall the fighters because he did not want to risk “dragging Bolingbrook into a protracted Democratic delegate fight.”

When the craft landed, Buttigieg entered the craft and let the crew scan him.  Once they confirmed his identity, Buttigieg told that he really did suspend his campaign and he did not approve of their “terrorism.”

“But,” said the commander, “How could you stop fighting?  You convinced us to dedicate ourselves to find the progressive middle.  You said that we must change the ways of your Washington DC, but not go down the path of Bernie Sanders.  You said Joe Biden was the path of failure.”

“Yeah, I said a lot of things during the election,” replied Buttigieg.  “But the fact is I can’t win, and Joe offered me a really good deal.”

“You made a deal?”

“Yes.  If Joe is elected, I will become the ambassador to the Interstellar Commonwealth.  Remember, the path of moderation requires compromise.  An unwillingness to compromise leads you down the path of Bernie Sanders.”

“We understand!  We surrender!  Please forgive us.”

Buttigieg forgave them but said they had to serve time for what they did.

The crew is currently in the custody of the New World Order, pending extradition to their home planet.

The Buttigieg campaign said they will donate their UFO ad spaces to the Biden campaign.

Also in the Babbler:

Mayor Claar actives emergency command center at the Bolingbrook Golf Club
Minnesota talking land squids reported canvassing for Sanders
Bolingbrook tests ‘quarantine drones’
God to smite Bolingbrook on 3/4/20

Note:  This is a work of fiction. All opinions expressed are my own and may not reflect the views of any organizations I work for or my employer.  Feel free to leave a comment here or in the Bolingbrook Babbler Readers Group.