Since the coronavirus hit our shore, I have been so worried about getting terrible news indicating that the end of the world is near. I’ve been dreading and anticipating the straw that would break my proverbial camel’s back and send me right over the edge. That straw came Friday when I was informed by Ticketmaster that the Jimmy Buffett concert tour for 2020 has been cancelled. My money will be returned to me and I can drop my margarita glass at the door, thank you very much.
My sense of loss has pegged the meter on this depressing news.
No cheeseburger in paradise. No boat drinks. No coconut bra and grass skirt. No 40-year old pirates. No fins. No Monday’s coming. No pencil-thin moustache. And especially no volcano. AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!
I have seen Jimmy Buffett in concert nearly every year since college. For those of you who are counting, that is a lot of freaking years. So many Parrotheads under the bridge, I can’t even tell you.
If you are one of those people who don’t know who Jimmy Buffett is, you can stop reading now, because you are dead to me. The dude has 39 albums (not including compilations!) and several number one singles. And yet I find that he is not as well-known as some of the acts from his era (he started performing in the early 1970’s) perhaps because he was too busy having fun to care much about marketing, at least back then.
Jimmy Buffett is not Warren Buffett’s cousin (as some people think), he is a lifestyle. The lifestyle that most of us want to have – one that revolves around being barefoot, drinking idly at the beach, doing whatever the hell we want when we want to, all the while surrounded by beautiful people and silliness. Tired of that? Just sail off to parts unknown because, screw it, you can. Jimmy Buffett has created a lifestyle brand that appeals to the beach bum in all (ok, most) of us. If you hold up your Margarita glass to your ear, you can just hear the waves. The man even licensed his brand to a retirement community so you can live out your last years pretending you know how to surf. I love the guy.
I admit, during this pandemic I do have Jimmy’s barefoot and drinking idly parts down pat; unfortunately I am lacking for silliness and sailing. Sailing has been replaced by Zooming and the beach is the place where I think people are going specifically to catch COVID-19 at this moment, so that is pretty much out for me. When I hold my bourbon glass up to my ear, I hear the sound of Instacart ringing the doorbell. It ain’t quite the same.
All of us have had to give up a great deal during this challenging time – some have given up more than we can even bear to contemplate. I have known all too many people who have gotten sick, lost loved ones, or experienced the horror of being a clinician in a COVID-19 ICU. For those of us lucky enough to be relatively safe and healthy, it’s interesting to see what makes people ultimately just crack. If it wasn’t Jimmy Buffett, for me it would definitely be the meanness I am seeing in the world.
What the hell is wrong with people who refuse to wear masks into stores that require it and then think it is reasonable to physically and verbally assault the essential workers who are just trying to do their damn jobs and keep people safe. I agree, these unmasked shoppers should be allowed to exercise their right to die; they just shouldn’t be trying to take every grocery store patron with them. Hey, you’re not afraid of COVID-19? More power to you – I welcome you to lick the store floor. Just please do it when no one else is there.
I can only imagine poor Jimmy Buffett, sitting at home with his guitar, rewriting the words to his songs to suit this moment. What was previously “It’s 5 o’clock Somewhere” will now become “It’s 5 o’clock At All times So Just Drink Already.” “One Particular Harbour” will forevermore become “One Particular Amazon Delivery.” “Cheeseburger in Paradise”? You guessed it – it’s now “Cheeseburger and Lonely Sighs.”
To spare Jimmy the stress of having to re-write his biggest hit, I have updated the lyrics for him to match current circumstances. I present to you here:
Wasting Away Again in Quarantinaville
Getting a tummy ache Watching the world break All of these people, tempers a-boil Seeing this whole thing From my front porch swing Make your hat from aluminum foil Wastin’ away right here in Quarantinaville All my emotions under assault Some people claim it’s all a fictional game But I know, it's the virus’ fault Don't know the reason It came here this season You have to know that it can come get you And it's a real doozy A horrible cootie Spreading like hips, and all is askew Wastin’ away right here in Quarantinaville All exercise has come to a halt It even killed the beer that goes by its name Yes I know, it's the virus’ fault The president’s flip-flops Make me blow my top Makes me feel like we’ll never leave home Sure there’s booze in the blender But it cannot render Any concoction that pre-empts this moron Wastin’ away, my friends, in Quarantinaville Work from home has become the default There’s some people claim it’s a political game But it’s more like a wound packed with salt Yes, there’s some people claim masks are a reason for shame But can someone please make it halt?
And here’s the original in case you have been living under a rock your whole life and don’t know the tune: