I’ve Started Having Dreams About Facemasks

There was a knock at my door. I rushed from my home office to answer it.

But wait! I need to put on a mask before answering. It’s the right thing to do.

So I scavenge around our living room and the little box we keep by the door.

No masks.

Shit. More knocking at the door.

I start turning over the sofa, calling for my wife. The knocking, all the while, grew more and more impatient

So there I was, all the while frantically running around and somehow unable to find one of the dozens of masks in our home when I woke up.

It was a dream. And an oddly topical one at that.

Surprisingly, as far as I can recall, this was the first dream since the start of the pandemic that explicitly involved face masks.

I’m not sure why it took so long (8 or so months) before that part of everyday reality finally crept into my unconscious mind. However, what’s more remarkable is the kind of dream where they finally popped up.

I’m no stranger to anxious dreams. I’ve had my fair share of being the only one in the room who somehow forgot to wear pants or realizing I had an imminent deadline that had somehow slipped my mind all week.

Where in high school it wasn’t uncommon to dream, I forgot my locker combination as recess was rapidly drawing to a close, during COVID my anxiety has found new ways to express itself.

Mask anxiety strikes me as just the latest in that series of dreams. Though it is odd that masks are the only element of COVID to have snuck in. Where are all those anxiety-riddled dreams about hand washing, running out of sanitizer, and maintaining social distancing?

I suppose we’ll see. Maybe they’ll be more frequent, but I have a suspicion it was either a one-off or a few and far between kind of deal.

Now that the weather’s gotten cooler and my wife and I have a newborn, we’re not doing a lot of “getting out of the house.” In that regard, a lot of the major bits of the pandemic haven’t really been touching us. I spend more time worrying about washing my hands before handling the baby or after changing a diaper on a daily basis than I do out in the wild.

Now let’s wait and see when those baby anxiety dreams start trickling in.


Got my author’s copy of Recoil with my story “Detour” inside

I just got my author’s copy of Shotgun Honey Presents: Recoil (Volume 4) in the mail this week, where my crime story “Detour” appears.

Shotgun Honey is a great little crime fiction publisher (a few other of my flash fiction stories have appeared in their online archives) and I’m really happy to have gotten one of my short stories picked up and appearing in print.

Also in this anthology is a short story from Nick Kolakowski, one of my favourite crime authors.

Looking forward to giving the whole collection a read as soon as I finish tearing through book 7 of Maurice Druon’s Accursed Kings historical fiction series.


Let’s face it: Donald Trump Likely Failed his Dementia Test

In case you missed it, Donald Trump has been boasting on national TV about how he recently “aced” a test, bragging that:

“The first few questions are easy, but I’ll bet you couldn’t even answer the last five questions.”

Not only did he manage to get all 35 questions right, he claims, but the test was remarkably difficult. So difficult in fact that he challenged Fox News host Chris Wallace to take it, expecting the other man to fail miserably.

All this boasting begs the question: what on Earth could this challenging test actually be asking? What were the questions which Donald Trump, President of the United States and titular Leader of the Free World have found so ruthlessly challenging?

Well, fortunately we know.

Yes, indeed. The test that Trump is boasting to the world about having defeated is asking him if he can tell the difference between a snake and an elephant.

A snake and an elephant.

One is the largest land animal which currently exists. And the other is a snake.

I suppose it it’s not quite as jejeune about bragging that he could answer “1+2=???” or completing a paint by numbers picture without painting over the lines, but it’s certainly below the caliber of the other perennially challenging exam that demand students write 200 words about what they did during summer vacation.

Though, let’s bear in mind that the above test comes from the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MOCA) test to ascertain whether the taker is suffering from dementia.

Still, all this begs the question: did Trump in fact ace this test?

Looking at his past history, Trump has a tendency to loudly boast about his failures by pretending that they were successes, all in his audience will be immune to the Streisand effect this time.

After all, this was the man who on the first days of his tenure, had his spokesperson declare in a bold faced lie that his inaugural crowds were the largest ever in history and then circulate a cropped image that made the crowd size look more flattering.

He also boasted that he knows the best people who could help him drain the swamp, even as most of them were revealed to be petty criminals and many of whom landed in jail in under 2 years.

And then there were his failed businesses and scam college. All these rubbish fires certainly are what brought in the wealth he loves to brag about.

Let’s not forget this is the man who Colin Powell said “Lies all the time.

Now, I assume he doesn’t law all the time – I mean, when he orders a big mac, I assume he really wants it – but his track record is certainly lying most of the time.

So let’s face it, and go with what we know. The old orange probably failed his exam and wants to cover his tracks by boasting that he aced it.

Of course, like the Streisand effect, if he hoped this would make people look the other way, it’s only done the opposite.

As I pointed out above, the whole world knows the President is proud of the fact he can successfully name an elephant and not confuse it with a snake.

Or rather, claims he can.