Shell Shocked: Fighting CD-10 mania
Accentuate the positive. Eliminate the negative. This is the beginning of an old Johnny Mercer song. But how can we eliminate all the negatives stalking us every single day in this wild adventure called life?
Life today consists of being imprisoned in our homes, losing money in the stock market, concern about racial equality – and for millions of Americans putting food on the table.
Is it possible to maintain a sense of humor in this bloodied environment? It may be tough. But at the same time are we all predisposing ourselves to a life of deep depression, mental anxiety and apprehension? Will wearing a mask constantly turn you into the Phantom of the Opera? Will social distancing require you to carry a tape measure publicly?
Oh, the good times. Whatever happened to restaurants, movies, theater, baseball games and parades? Are they a thing of the past as we remain in our homes going absolutely stir crazy? Or are there ways to reset our brain cells to deal with the daily dilemmas we face currently?
I turned to a healthcare expert to learn the answers to these questions. He is Dr. Magnum cum Shellshocked, whose office is in the produce section of Bailey’s.
Art: Thank you for chatting with me today. It’s a bit chilly in the produce section today but I’m happy to conduct this interview with you anyway. The main question I have for you is how can we all remain of sane mind considering the issues we now deal with on a daily basis.
Dr. S: Would you like a head of lettuce. If you don’t like its taste you can use it as a pillow. At any rate, I’ve done a lot of research on how to keep sane under duress. One of my important studies was on the mental status of prison inmates when they’re strapped into electric chairs. I found that if they whistled a happy tune they were less likely to panic. So I went to a dozen or so electrocutions and walked with the inmates from their cells to the dreaded chair and taught them to whistle different tunes.
Art: Did it work?
Dr. S: Not for all. Some inmates had no teeth and couldn’t whistle. Others couldn’t carry a tune. And others were so frightened that their teeth chattered too much to whistle. But the exercise worked with a little more than half of the prisoners. And the song that worked best for whistling was “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” When they whistled this tune they began to smile. And even when they were strapped into the electric chairs the last words they uttered were “For it’s one strike, two strikes, three strikes you’re out at the old ballgame.”
Art: So are you suggesting that we all whistle tunes while we’re quarantined in our homes?
Dr. S: As the old saying goes, it couldn’t hurt.
Art: So how does this technique work for those of us staying imprisoned in our homes and are not on their way to an electric chair?
Dr. S: It’s really simple. When you think you can’t quarantine yourself anymore and have delusions of banging your head against the wall, stop in your tracks. Immediately begin to whistle “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and you will see a remarkable difference in your mental outlook. Your face will immediately begin to brighten and the quarantine demons will disappear. It will work, I guarantee it.
Art: What about those individuals who don’t know that song?
Dr. S: They’re to meet me here in the produce section of Bailey’s and I will conduct “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” classes. This is a matter of life or death.