The cooler is full of sodas and bottled water. The bowl is full of candy bars. A sign for the delivery folks reads: “Help yourself! And thanx for being there for all of us!”
On the first afternoon, a delivery driver took some water. Another day, the letter carrier took a ginger ale, and a pair of delivery drivers took a pair of candy bars.
His neighbors have responded positively.
“I’ll leave it out overnight for The Post delivery lady in early morning,” Richard wrote. “She usually comes by from 4 ’til 5:30. Maybe I can think of a way to leave her a hot coffee, tea or hot chocolate!”
Scents and sensibility
Our lives have really changed.
Now there’s an understatement. I’m fortunate that my life has changed less than many people’s. Delivery drivers have been very good to us, bringing us our groceries. I still have my job. I still have my house. No one I know has been seriously ill with the virus.
But it’s interesting, two months into the pandemic lockdown, the little ways I’ve altered my behavior. For one thing, I’ve stopped taking pain relievers.
I wouldn’t say I was addicted to ibuprofen, but I felt no qualms about gobbling a few whenever my body started complaining. An incipient headache from staring at a computer screen all day? Ibuprofen. A sore elbow from drumming? Ibuprofen. A twinge in the wonky ankle? Ibuprofen.
But then we heard that a fever was a leading symptom of the novel coronavirus. If I was popping a fever reducer, how would I know if I was infected? I left the Advil in the medicine cabinet.
I’ve largely been fine without it, learning to live with the thousand natural shocks that 57-year-old flesh is heir to. The joints are going to be sore in the morning. Get used to it.
While I’ve stopped with the ibuprofen, I’ve started with something else: cologne. No, it’s not because working from home means I can go days without showering and need to obscure the result. It’s because of another supposed coronavirus symptom: the temporary loss of smell. Some people who test positive for the virus report not being able to smell or taste things.
And so now the last part of my toilette is a couple of squirts of cologne, something that pre-virus I only bothered with before going out to an expensive restaurant dinner. (The scent? Sauvage by Dior, a gift from My Lovely Wife. I don’t think I’ve ever bought cologne for myself. Lectric Shave, maybe.)
I want my nose to be the canary in the coal mine — an early warning system — so I give it something to smell. The day I can’t detect anything is the day you’ll start seeing a “John Kelly is away” box in this space.
In my column on Monday, I wrote about how often the same British actors pop up in British TV shows. My Lovely Wife and I often spend less time watching the show than Googling the cast to figure out where we’ve seen them before.
Apparently we’re not alone. I heard from many readers who do the same thing, with British shows but also with Scandinavian programs and Westerns.
Anne Weadon and her husband, Mark, have another game. “If you are film buffs, you might enjoy it as well,” wrote Anne, who lives in Crofton. “You take an actor from the 1930s or 1940s and link him/her, through film, to someone who’s active today.”
For example, here’s how Anne connected Fredric March to Brad Pitt:
March appeared with Teresa Wright in “The Best Years of Our Lives.”
Wright was with Gary Cooper in “Pride of the Yankees.”
Cooper was with Patricia Neal in “The Fountainhead.”
Neal was with Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”
Hepburn was with Sean Connery in “Robin and Marian.”
Connery was with Harrison Ford in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.”
Ford was with Danny Glover in “Witness.”
Glover was with Sally Field in “Places in the Heart.”
Field was with Tom Skerritt in “Steel Magnolias.”
Skerritt was with Pitt in “A River Runs Through It.”
It’s like Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon on steroids.
Carillon, my wayward son
In Tuesday’s column, I wrote that Washington National Cathedral only has change bells, the kind that you play with ropes. In fact, there’s also a carillon there, played via a keyboard. The Kibbey Carillon, a gift from Bessie J. Kibbey in memory of her grandparents, is the third heaviest in the world. It has 53 bells, making it a grand carillon.
For previous columns, visit washingtonpost.com/john-kelly.