Proof that I’m not one of “those people”

I’ve never been much for wearing jewelry. I know it’s hard to believe that a fashion icon like myself does not have his fingers, neck, ears, nose, tongue and teeth all decked out in gold and diamonds. I guess I just haven’t found the perfect jewels to match my formal flip-flops and sleeveless t-shirt.

Besides, I don’t like the way we discriminate with jewelry. Who got to decide that a diamond is a more valuable rock than quartz or limestone? Who got to decide gold is more valuable than silver and platinum is more valuable than aluminum? I’m so woke that I think all rocks and metals should be respected equally.

This week, however, my wife presented me with a bracelet. It has no gold, diamonds, silver or even aluminum. It’s one of those silicone armband thingies that have become so common. Often, folks wear these bands to support a worthy cause like fighting cancer, building homes or silencing modern “country” music. This one, though, is lime green, which I figured means it’s pro-margarita. Upon closer inspection, I saw the words “Vaccinated” and “COVID-19.” Hopefully, folks won’t just see the “COVID-19” on the lime green and think I just escaped from Jimmy Buffett Memorial Hospital while being treated for a dangerous new Margaritaville variant of the virus.

We got these armbands because the CDC decided that we vaccinated folks don’t have to do nearly as much mask-wearing as before. I was thrilled to go maskless at my nearest grocery store, which has dropped its mask mandate. Yet, there were still plenty of folks with masks on. And that’s OK. Be as cautious as you wish. It doesn’t impact me.

However, I felt like folks were looking at me the way I used to look at the maskless folks months earlier at the store. I’d usually stick my tongue out at them under my mask or quietly grumble things like, “Hey, you science-denying, pandemic-perpetuating moron. Have fun storming the Capitol?”

If someone wants to look at me and think I’m a moron, I want them to do it based on sound reasoning, and there are plenty of sound reasons to believe I’m a moron — I’ll grant you that. But I believe in science. I’ve found that most folks who don’t believe in the vaccine are the same folks who don’t believe in climate change. They’re also the same folks who are perfectly fine handing their ticket to Crazy-Eyes Eddie while boarding the Scrambly Vomitron he also assembled at the county fair while nursing a hangover. But a vaccine developed and tested by science? No way! That seems a little dangerous.

I’d considered getting a baseball cap or t-shirt that says, “I’m vaccinated,” so that people wouldn’t think of me as one of “those people.” Fortunately, my wife got these bracelets first because she also was worried about folks thinking she was one of “those people,” too. And she makes sure I wear mine so folks don’t think she married one of “those people.”

Today, I got to test it out at the store. I’m sure a few science-deniers who never wore a mask and now avoid vaccines probably looked at me and thought, “Dat dummy believe dat sciency stuff. Dey’s a sheeple.” But that’s fine. I’ve never really cared much what folks thought of me anyway. Why start now?

I was just so happy that I could shop while being able to breathe and not fog up my glasses. And I was able to get back to the normal day-to-day aggravations of grocery shopping, like having to move the cart some lazy person left in a parking space.

And, of course, I wound up behind a lady in the 10 items or less lane who had about 50 items. As I waited, I turned to a lady and her daughter socially distanced behind me and made sure they saw I was a safely vaccinated ordinary moron.

“Can you count to 10?” I asked the little girl.

“Yes,” she said.

“Wonderful, because a lot of grown-ups can’t!” I said loud enough for, well, everybody in the store to hear.

It feels so good for things to be getting back to normal.

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