A Journal of the Plague Year 2020–chapter 66

Buddy Guy needs to read this blog post.

Thursday, May 14

The demise of clothing retailer J. Crew threatens to leave us with a cultural void: color-branding.

J. Crew, particularly in its catalog, was in the vanguard of color-branding. They were never satisfied to have a pair of shorts or a shirt in Olive or Khaki. No, instead the item would be listed as available in Basil or Sand—maybe even Mojave. (These are just fictitious examples I’ve come up with, mind you.)

So, the question arises: What would be some new color names appropriate to our fraught moment? Yesterday, I came up with one: First Responder Orange. Today, I’m thinking of others: Gilets Jaunes Yellow, for the French vest-wearing, economic-justice protest movement. And Pandemic Green, for that color that you might see in photos of microscopic slides. 

Trying to come up with an appropriate name for a blue hue, Emily hits upon another notion: Shouldn’t we have some blues songs associated with our quarantine experience? Forget “Hesitation Blues” or “Crossroads Blues.” How about “Peapod Perplexity Blues”?

Got my pencil and paper, babe,

I’m gonna jot me down a list.

Yeah, I got a pencil and paper,

I’m needin’ you to assist.

Artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes,

without such stuff, we just can’t exist.

[next verse]

Maybe green peas and Jarlsberg,

eggs and walnuts we really need.

Garlic, yeast, and lemons,

cabbage, cukes, and cheddar cheese.

But that Peapod manager

he’s always giving us more green beans.

(and we’ve got three packs already!)


Haagen-Dazs and Keebler Sandies,

wheat flour and bread crumbs too.

Chicken broth and shiitakes,

and some of that Tahini goo.

[final verse]

Yes, I got my pencil and paper, baby

I’m ready to make us a list…

Hmmm, maybe Buddy Guy could use this.

Other ditties could include”Dr. Fauci’s Lament” or maybe “Damark Disappointment Blues,” named for the small store that I go to when Peapod fails. Damark also has been known to fall short, notably when it comes to ramen. But they do just fine when it comes to fresh vegetables, walnuts, and napkins.

Ramen? They say no man,

this store ain’t where that’s at.

You want that Asian foodstuff

better go back to Man-hat [tan]

I got my pencil and paper, baby

but a list ain’t all we lack.

Takes more than hopin’ and wishin’

to end this here virus attack.

O.K., enough of this now. The blues ain’t nothin’ but COVID-19 on your mind.

Tonight’s dinner: stuffed green peppers, roasted brussel sprouts, and salad

Entertainment: Two episodes of Austrialian journalism-politico thriller, Secret City, plus one episode of Twilight Zone.