HodgePodge By Charlie Hodge – Stay Home Please

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HodgePodge By Charlie Hodge – Stay Home Please

‘Just because I’m paranoid does not mean they are not after me.’

Good for a chuckle yet apropos for times like this.

The writer in me consistently trickles proverbs or adages through my brain. During intense times that trickle becomes a flood. Sadly the one expression that currently runs through my head a lot more than I wish was spouted many years ago by life-long buddy James the Painter.  “Human beings, in general, are embarrassing.”

James the Painter has contributed his witty thoughts, expressions, outlandish creative skills or insights to HodgePodge before it was even HodgePodge. In fact James the Painter was an original cast member of my first regular columns flagged Overtime Oracle and Off the Record back in the mid and late 1970’s. ‘The Painter’ (revealed today as Jim Krahn) seems able to find humour in literally everything. His particular gift at crafting dark, disturbed sarcasm or wit makes me sometimes ponder whether or not he’s actually just a twisted journalist disguised as an artist. Regardless his proclamation of humans being embarrassing is accurate.

Some folks just don’t get it, don’t listen, don’t care, or quite frankly just don’t give a damn.

That’s a deadly attitude that must stop if we are to avoid massive death around this town, province, and planet. Coronavirus is not a game.

There is no reset button for this in real life Saying you’re sorry because you caught on too late will  not save you or the ones you love so learn and listen now. STAY HOME.

I shake my head in disbelief at the duplex across the street. Another friend owns the place and lives upstairs. He’s finally convinced his mom to stop coming by for visits, however now his young tenant downstairs has a steady stream of people in and out of the house. Yesterday I watched at least four people pop in. My neighbour can’t stop her, can’t kick her out, and can’t convince her to stop. Sadly – the only hope is she figures out how selfish and stupid she is and stops. But she likely won’t. Hence James the Painter’s words flow into my head. Human beings are largely embarrassing.

In our home Tez now gets groceries and hits the drug store when it comes to essentials. Naturally Tez  is using all precautions (masks, gloves, hand sanitizers…) yet reports back how shocking others out in the real world are acting. Some folks are too stupid or arrogant to understand the need for safety and caution. While many folks are cooperating there are still too many who are putting themselves first, believing cautions and rules are for others – not them.

It’s imperative to keep at least six feet apart, hugs are a thing of the past for now. Pawing through vegetables or food stocks is not acceptable, especially without gloves. Hoarding or taking forever in aisles and holding up others is also plain rude and dangerous.

Of biggest concern, however, are folks who insist on visiting family or friends believing for some bizarre reason it’s okay to pop over and ‘check in on family or friends’. If your family member or friend does not live with you then stay away. Feeling well does not mean you are not carrying the disease. You can have the disease and not know it which means you’re either giving to or getting germs from family and friends. There is no ‘get out of jail free’ card when visiting family members. Stop it, now.

In general, Kelowna has reacted fairly well to working together and heeding the common sense guidelines. However, as is the case elsewhere there are some who are not listening or not caring. Ironically a lot of them are the ‘athletic’ health fitness fans who flood to parks and play areas to exercise.

I rarely wear my City Councillor hat in this column, however I tell readers today that City Council and City staff are monitoring Knox Mountain trails and other such areas very closely and if residents do not smarten up and respect one way traffic travel signs and proper distancing we will shut down such sites. It is not something any of us want to do, but be warned it will happen if proper protocol and conduct is not strictly adhered to.

Don’t wreck the opportunity and access for yourself or others. Smarten up.

I had planned on penning a humours and fun positive column today, however the severity of the current ‘stay home’ scenario dictated  this plea for common sense. Some wit and humour next week.

Bless you all – play safe.

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Charlie Hodge is a best-selling author, writer, a current Kelowna City Councillor, and a Director on the Regional District of the Central Okanagan Board. He spent more than 25 years as a full-time newspaper journalist and has a diverse background in public relations, promotions, personal coaching, and strategic planning. A former managing editor, assistant editor, sports editor, entertainment editor, journalist, and photographer, Hodge also co-hosted a variety of radio talk shows and still writes a regular weekly newspaper column titled Hodge Podge, which he has crafted now for 41 years. His biography on Howie Meeker, titled Golly Gee It’s Me is a Canadian bestseller and his second book, Stop It There, Back It Up – 50 Years of the NHL garnered lots of attention from media and hockey fans alike. Charlie is currently working on a third hockey book, as well as a contracted historical/fiction novel. His creative promotional skills and strategic planning have been utilized for many years in the Canadian music industry, provincial, national, and international environmental fields, and municipal, provincial, and federal politics. Charlie is a skilled facilitator, a dynamic motivational speaker, and effective personal coach. His hobbies include gardening, canoeing, playing pool, and writing music. Charlie shares his Okanagan home with wife Teresa and five spoiled cats.

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