My head is literally spinning these days as I try to sort through information about the pandemic. On one hand we have the science and medical facts. On the other, we have opinions of the scientific and medical facts. What do we do, what do we believe, when will it end?
Is it better to wear a mask or not wear one? Gloves … no gloves. Reopen our state, or follow phasing guidelines. Listen to medical experts or ignore the danger and stage a protest to protect our rights?
This whole pandemic thing makes me think of a children’s story I wrote years ago. The main character is Harvey Marvin, a little boy who has a strong opinion about underwear. He stages a protest … makes his opinion known … and finds himself alone in his opinion.
This story has been critiqued three times by three different judges. The first critique was that my humor is “off.” The second is that Harvey Marvin must be taught “good hygiene.” The third, well, I don’t wish to discuss it. A fourth is my own. I like it.
The point is that every reader will have their own opinion but those opinions will not actually change the story. Read it and see what you think:
Harvey Marvin’s mother seemed to be obsessed with underwear. Every time he took a bath she asked, “Did you change your underwear?” (He didn’t.)
When he was packing for a sleepover she’d say, “Don’t forget clean underwear.” (He did.)
Harvey Marvin even had a dresser drawer in his room dedicated to the keeping of underwear. (Thanks to his mother.)
It also seemed that people at Harvey Marvin’s house could not let a day go by without mentioning those “unmentionables.”
Uncle Albert came home from the Navy with his duffel full of “skivvies.” “I’ll just throw them in the wash,” he said.
When Grandma came for a visit, she did the laundry and hung her “bloomers” outside on the line. And there they flapped gently in the breeze, as if waving to the neighbors.
Grandpa once mentioned that he had holes in his “drawers.”
Harvey Marvin’s mother hung her fancy “lingerie” all over the bathroom to dry.
“Gross!” Harvey Marvin wailed.
“I’ll move them when they’re dry,” Mother promised.
One day Harvey Marvin had an argument with his sister because she used his paint set, and she didn’t even ask! “Don’t get your ‘knickers’ in a knot!” his sister shouted.
One cold day Father wanted to go hunting, but he couldn’t find his “long johns.” Harvey Marvin thought they might be in his long john drawer.
At Christmas time Aunt Maggie brought gifts of “undies” for the girls and “boxers” for the boys. “One can never have too many,” she said.
Harvey Marvin did not agree. In fact, he was offended. Underwear for Christmas! No thanks! So, he took a stand against underwear.
“I will not change them, or put them in a drawer, or pack them for a sleepover. Therefore, he announced, “I am done with underwear!”
And that’s when things got really awkward.
Aunt Maggie was offended too. “Go commando if you wish,” she sniffed.
“Oh no he won’t!” Mother declared.
“Well, long johns are very warm,” Father huffed.
“If I tear a hole in my pants those skivvies have me covered,” said Uncle Albert.
“How nice to have a new pair of drawers,” Grandpa said. “No holes!”
“Don’t mess with my bloomers, young man!” Grandma bellowed.
“Keep your opinions and your knotted knickers to yourself,” Harvey Marvin’s sister demanded.
“I suppose he has a right to his opinion,” stated Mother, appearing quite flustered. But she sent him to his room to think about improving his manners. She whispered to Father, “Harvey Marvin seems to be obsessed with underwear.”
Now that you’ve read this story you have formed your own opinion. Is this a story about synonyms? There sure are a lot of different names for underwear.
Is this a story about a kid whose opinion varies greatly from those of everyone else in his rather large family?
Is it about getting offended easily or about bad manners?
I guess my point is that all the personal opinions about this whole pandemic thing has not and will not change the medical and scientific facts. As we try to reason this thing out, let’s look at what’s more important as it pertains to life and death not rights and economic recovery.
These days I’m beginning to feel a bit like Harvey Marvin … alone in the opinions I have. I wish this concerned something more trivial like underwear instead of life and death.
Author Carol Hartsoe writes from her home in Bear Creek.