Dennis Hinkamp 2020

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I know we all couldn’t wait for 2020 to be over, but like your age, income and weight, it is just an uncaring ancient Hindu-Arabic base-10 number with multi-variant consequences. The number 2020 don’t care. We may be ready for 2020 to be over, but is 2020 through with us? Maybe it is like taxes and we really have to pay based on what happened last year.

For me 2020 can’t be over. It has to last until March 15, 2021, since the toxic spawn that was 2020 really didn’t start until March 15, 2020. Before March 15, 2020, life was just like 2019 and most years prior. If all these numbers are confusing it is because they are just numbers. You don’t think there was anything magical that happened when you turned 16 that made you able to drive or mature enough to vote at 18? What magic happened at age 21 that allowed you to legally drink as much booze as you wanted?

Eleven-year-olds might actually be better drivers since they have yet to hit puberty. They might need a booster seat and brake pedal extenders, but otherwise they should be good to go. Their video game experience already gives them eye/hand coordination superior to most statistically alleged adults. Maybe 16-23 should be the years you should absolutely not drive because your brain is too fogged by hormones. Maybe you should never be able to vote until you pass a civics literacy test. Maybe you should be able to drink at any age so long as you don’t do bad things when you do so. Maybe we should pay less attention to age numbers.

However I reserve the right to reconsider. What in the name of Viagra is a 55+ Community anyway? Why not 54? Why not 65? As one approaching that latter age, I don’t want all those young, noisy 55-year-olds ruining my neighborhood with their youthful frivolity. I was still a real jerk when I was 55 … and probably, at times, most of the preceding years. Age has never been a reliable indicator of maturity or common sense.

I’ve spent a lot of my life competing in individual sports measured by age groups. It was always a nice consolation that if you didn’t win the race that you could win your age group. Maybe the world’s major religions could adopt this approach. “You placed in the top 20 percent of the 40-45 year-old midlife crisis age group,” the celestial judge might say. You get a silver ribbon for that.

Speaking further of numbers, I have also been a much larger and smaller person in my adult life. As an adult I have weighed between 148 and 208 pounds. There are a lot of years separating those milestones, but I was the same person. If not for gravity and scales I never would have known. So on Jan. 2 do you feel like the monster that was 2020 is safely back under the bed?

To me it will always be Pandemic20 until it feels as normal as 2019. I still will think of my PandemicDennis20 numbers as “so far.” So far I have eaten convenience store food about 80 times while traveling because it seemed like getting food and gasoline at the same time was the quickest and safest option. So far, I’m averaging two dog walks a day for the last 10 months. I have felt like screaming about 1,000 times, but only did so about a dozen times or so when the dog startled me by barking at something only she could see. I have thrown away about 100 takeout food containers that I swore I was going to save for a subsequent use. I had about 257 minor sore throats that I was afraid were indicators of COVID-19, and I sucked on about 300 cough drops to make my fears subside.

I felt depressed about once a week and kicked myself about two times a week remembering that what I was really feeling was survivor’s guilt. My lifestyle, income and health have been affected at a percentage number approaching zero.

Dennis Hinkamp wishes you good numbers in 20-Whatever.

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