Smith Says

This 'Bizarro' cartoon life brings new twists

Someone asked me yesterday if I think we’re in the end times. The short answer is no—I think we’re in a Bizarro cartoon. Life is surreal and each day brings some new twist.

Still, 99 percent of us are healthy and hopeful. We’ll get through the coronavirus, because we’re Americans; we get through everything. Remember, we tamed a wild country with axes and oxen.

Booze-soaked spring breakers aside, we’ve all been doing what we must to stay safe and hopefully help others. My biggest problem, besides forgetting what day it is, is boredom. For me, boredom leads to worrying, which leads to panic, which leads to nowhere good at all.

Because I love y’all, I made a list of what we can do besides binge drink, stare at the TV for 36 hours or envision our lingering deaths. (Seriously, we’re not going to die. Get over that.)

Learn how to make beer.

Walk the dog.

Do stretches; breathe deeply. (You need to stay limber in case you have to outrun zombies.)

Wash your hands.

Make a quilt. Too ambitious? Learn to hem a pair of pants. WikiHow and YouTube have great tutorials.

Look through old scrapbooks. Remember scrapbooks?

Find a calendar. On it write the birthdays of friends and family. Put it somewhere you’ll see it every day, and wish those people happy birthday on social media. (Or send a card. Whatever.)

Take your vitamins.

Wash your hands.

Make your own chalk paint. (Blend 1 cup latex paint, 1 cup water, 1/3 cup plaster of Paris. Goes on smooth, dries fast. Top with paste wax or polyurethane.)

Make infused olive oils.

Learn to play cards.

Teach someone to play cards. (Guys, teach your wives to Texas Hold ‘Em. You won’t regret it.)

Wash your hands.

Drag those dusty games from the attic and play a rousing round of Mad Libs, Sorry or Trouble.

Learn how to cook. If you’re already a wizard in the kitchen, make something you’ve never tried before. It’s amazing what can happen with a can of black beans.

Do something with your hands: Till a garden, knit a scarf, bake bread, give yourself a manicure.

Practice using chopsticks.

Wash your hands.

Thank the Lord for toilet paper.

Start working on your Christmas card list.

Remember that this, too, shall pass.

Plant an indoor herb garden.

Make soap.

Wash your hands.

Move the furniture around.

Bake something. Millions of people are stress-baking as we speak. A friend in Atlanta makes a different bread recipe every day.



Start a journal. Or a blog.

Wash your hands.

Paint something. A room, a wall, a picture frame, a breadbox. Painting is therapeutic, right up there with baking.

Take a nap.

Alphabetize your spices.

Church closed? Live stream a service online. Thousands of churches stream services every week.

Wash your hands.

Do the hardest crossword puzzle you can find.

If you absolutely cannot think of another activity, clean the baseboards. You’ll be amazed at the other things you find to do!

Find your favorite artist on YouTube.

Open five cans at random and make soup. (If you wind up with pumpkin noodle soup, my bad.)

Hose the pollen off your porch.

Watch all the TV shows you recorded.


Call people you haven’t checked on lately.

Tackle the laundry room. Or, in our case, “awkward laundry nook in kitchen.” I found a sprouted bag of onions, three dollars in change, expired bleach and other stuff I won’t tell you about.

Wash. Your. Hands.

Julie R. Smith, who may take up nail-biting again, can be reached at