Vaccine Hesitancy Goes Off the Deep End

The seventh day of spring here in Washington looked glorious – and at sixty-nine degrees Fahrenheit, it certainly felt that way, too. Arising around ten at my home in Great Falls, Virginia, Cerise and I took a late brunch of fresh fruit crepes, mesclun and charcuterie indoors and then ensconced ourselves on the backyard deck to enjoy piping hot Redbreast 21 Irish coffees and read the Sunday papers. Yes, that’s right – newspapers – the Washington Post and the New York Times, to be exact. There are still some people who read newspapers, and on a day like that, under the blazing bright sun, gentle breezes playing with the edges of the pages, as a change of pace it’s an interesting alternative to reading stuff off an electronic screen, and to those who have never done so, I highly recommend they try it. Goes great with Irish coffee, I can tell you that.
A plethora a bird species perched in the trees and gathered around the feeders at the far end of the back yard sang a chorus of avian hosannas to Demeter and Persephone as the local deer herd, the matriarch gravid with her impending yearly delivery of twin fawns, lead a procession of her sisters, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren out of the woodland to graze, lounge and gambol on the lawn. Looking up from reading about the cares and travails of the world, I gazed around at the pastoral scene, then closed my eyes for a moment in contemplating Nature’s vernal message of serenity and hope.
Upon opening them, though, I noticed the deer, their ears now erect, their attention directed to a point somewhere downward and to the right of the deck. Then, as one, the herd started from its placid reverie and ran back into the woods, vanishing like a coven of cervid wraiths.
“Hey, Tom!” a familiar voice rang out. “Can’t you answer your [expletive] front door bell, [expletive]? We had to climb over the [expletive] fence to get back here!”
It was Shannon, I realized as I saw her ascending the steps from the yard as the noise of her shout precipitated a huge upward rush of frightened songbirds into the flawless blue sky.
“Uh, hi, Tom!” Hank gamely followed up in his best jovial voice, climbing up the steps after her, obviously embarrassed, once again, by Shannon’s characteristically crude behavior. As she approached us, I couldn’t help but think to myself, how much she had changed since she and Hank ran off to West Virginia together on their misguided mission to save the Martini and Pawlikowski families from the Apocalypse.
“Jesus Christ, Hank!” I admonished, as he and Shannon seated themselves on two of the remaining unoccupied California redwood Adirondack chairs. “The terms of your bail specified that you remain in the State of West Virginia until your trial date!”
He won’t tell if you don’t,” Shannon shot back with a wink and a grin.
“What the hell are you two doing here?” Cerise indignantly demanded of Shannon. “Didn’t Hank cause enough trouble when he came here on January sixth and stormed the United States Capitol? Isn’t he in enough trouble now, facing federal charges for doing that, without getting caught jumping bail and ending up locked in a jail cell until his trial date for traipsing out here with you? And didn’t you learn anything by listening to the demented lies that Trump was spouting – the lies that made you catch Covid-19 and spend six weeks in a coma?”
“You know something, Cerise?” Shannon japed, “You are one woke cancel-culture leftie socialist piece of work, you are! I never had what you lib-tards call ‘Covid-19’ because ‘Covid-19’ is a [expletive] hoax perpetrated by New World Order elitist conspirators!”
“Aw come on, Shannon,” Hank pleaded, “you promised, remember? No cat fights with Cerise!”
At this point, I took a rather overly long pull off my Irish coffee, then looked Shannon straight in the eye. “All right, let’s get on with it. To what absurd imagined circumstances do I owe the honor of your visit this time, Madame?”
“The vaccine!” Shannon shouted. “We’re here to save you from the vaccine! Have you been injected with it yet?”
“Of course not,” I replied. “The only people eligible for Covid-19 vaccinations in the state of Virginia at the moment are individuals over sixty-five years of age, employed in certain designated occupations which I do not practice, or having one of several clearly defined medical conditions, none of which I have. It will probably be several weeks before I can obtain a Covid-19 vaccination, and frankly, that’s fine with me, because I am working from home and making plenty of money at it, and practicing all the CDC recommended public health measures.”
“And how about you, Cerise?” Shannon demanded.
“Same here,” Cerise declared with a shrug.
“So the two of you have been hanging around here,” Shannon inquired, waving her hands in a grandiose gesture to encompass my admittedly upscale domicile in an admittedly upscale neighborhood, “eating gourmet food, drinking expensive liquor and fancy wines, attending Zoom meetings with other Washington wonks, making big bucks and, I suppose, [expletive] like rabbits in the lap of luxury for a year?”
“Essentially,” Cerise concurred. “We do that at my place, too, when we feel like a change of scenery, a nice drive on nearly empty streets, and a couple of stops at Balducci’s, Canale’s, Stachowski’s, Blacksalt, St. Michele Bakery, Heidelberg Pastry Shop, Addy Bassins, Calvert Woodley or some place similar to them to buy some more… as you so quaintly put it, ‘gourmet food, expensive liquor and fancy wines.’”
“And while you two have been living like lords and padding your bank accounts, what about the [expletive]-up stuff the liberals did to the economy with the Covid-19 hoax?” Shannon smugly asked. “You don’t feel the least bit responsible for that?”
“Covid-19 is not a hoax,” Cerise maintained, “and besides, Tom and I both work and contribute to the economy – and usually more than forty hours a week.”
“Right,” Shannon noted with an air of having made a point, although about what, I’m certain nobody else there could discern. “You earn impressive incomes at home on the Internet, while millions of people are out of work because of the Covid-19 lockdowns. And you don’t feel the least bit guilty about that, do you?”
“Hell, no,” Cerise responded. “Why should I? Covid-19 is a virus – a natural phenomenon, that caused a world-wide public health crisis. I realized that the scientists who work for my government knew what they were talking about and I followed their advice, and so now, a year later, I’m perfectly healthy. And because I was that nerdy girl that the cheerleaders made fun of and the guys all considered too smart to ask out on a date, when the Covid-19 crisis hit, I had a graduate degree and a job working in Washington DC formulating policy that could be performed just as well, if not better, from my home using the Internet as it could be done live at an office building in the Federal Triangle or at a high-tech corporate headquarters on the Beltway. Did any of those cheerleaders and jocks with their jobs in retail sales or restaurant management or tourism or sports or landscaping feel the least bit sorry for me when Trump and other bozo Republicans caused massive federal government shutdowns that left me without an income for weeks or months? No, of course not, they laughed about it, probably – ‘Those damned Washington bureaucrats deserve it,’ they said, no doubt. And now that Covid-19 has them down and out stony broke, what am I doing all day? I’m fixing their little red wagon, while they sit there and bawl like babies, aren’t I? I’m coming up with solutions so the government in Washington, which they all hate and despise, can forestall foreclosures on their mortgages, keep them from being evicted for nonpayment of rent, send them money to keep their stupid SUVs running and full of gas to guzzle and spew out carbon dioxide to destroy the planet so they can drive to the Safeway and buy groceries with the money the federal government gives them because of the Covid-19 disaster. Oh, screw it – you’re both totally brainwashed, obviously, and I’m wasting my time talking to you. Forget this, I’m going inside to get a warm-up on my Irish coffee. I don’t suppose either of you stalwart patriot crusaders would be interested in your own decadent servings of that, would you?”
“Uh, I’d like one,” Hank piped up as Shannon threw him an icy glare.
“Tom?” Cerise queried.
“Sure,” I told her. “Another one seems like just the thing. Same as before – a pony of Redbreast 21, a shot of Borghetti XO, and top it off with some fresh Hacienda La Esmeralda. The whipped grass fed water buffalo cream with Madagascar vanilla powder is on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator.”
“I’ll have a double shot of straight whiskey,” Shannon proclaimed. “Some Jack, if you have it.”
“As I recall,” I advised Cerise, “Somewhere in the back of the third shelf of the liquor cabinet is a bottle of Jack Daniels Single Barrel Special Release Barrel Proof Rye. The double shot glasses are to the right of the brandy snifters on the second shelf of the glassware vitrine.”
“Got it,” Cerise nodded, rising with a downcast and condescending glance at Shannon. “Three Irish coffees and a double shot of the finest backwoods Tennessee redneck rotgut man nor woman ever drunk.”
“Now, now,” I chided, don’t talk that way about Jack Daniels just because it comes from a state full of Trumpistas, Bible-thumping, strychnine-swilling snake handlers and white supremacists who hate Jews, Asians, Hispanics, Negroes and foreigners. Nobody’s perfect, you know.”
“Well, excuse me,” Cerise commented with extreme irony, eyeing our uninvited, unexpected and, truth be told, at this point bordering on unwelcome guests, as she strutted off like a lioness after consuming the best parts of a kill.
“What’s this vaccine nonsense all about, anyway?” I demanded, at this juncture not particularly shy about betraying just a hint of annoyance. “Yes, I know you’re family – but honestly, hasn’t this become… just a bit much?”
“’Just a bit much?‘” Shannon mocked. “Don’t you know those ‘Covid-19’ vaccines,” she sarcastically asked, emphasizing the phrase by wiggling her fingers to symbolize scare quotes, “get into your DNA and change it so you go gay, become infertile and get less intelligent?”
“The messenger RNA vaccines,” I told her, “contain instructions for the assembly of Covid SARS II surface spike protein fragments. Encapsulated in specially designed micro-lipid capsules created by biochemical engineers, the mRNA reaches a destination in the cell cytoplasm, not the nucleus where the DNA is located. There, in the cytoplasm, the mRNA interacts with enzymes known as transcriptases located in cellulars structures called ribosomes that manufacture proteins and polypeptides. These cytoplasmic bodies make duplicates of the Covid SARS II surface spike protein fragments coded for by the synthetic messenger RNA constructed by molecular biologists working from specifications developed by clinicians and virologists. The body’s immune system then reacts to the presence of the foreign protein by manufacturing antibodies to it, and that natural body process conveys immunity. That’s what the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines do and how they do it. There is absolutely no evidence that they do anything else, or any theoretical scientific basis to hypothesize that they would do anything other than convey immunity to a specific virus strain, as intended.”
“And that,” Shannon mockingly sneered, “is nothing other than a [expletive] load of liberal elitist lies and propaganda, funded by child murdering. blood drinking Hollywood and Silicon Valley liberal Democrat billionaire cannibals and pedophiles, and cranked out by the fake news lame-stream media for the consumption of sheeple like you and your snooty girlfriend!”
“Okay,” I allowed, “I’ve told you the biochemical mechanism by which the mRNA Covid vaccines work. Now, how about you tell me the biochemical mechanisms by which those vaccines would supposedly turn me into a mincing, prancing, lisping fairy and transform my snooty girlfriend into a cigar-smoking, muscle-bound, fist-fighting bull dyke?”
“Actually,” Hank opined, “I see you more as turning into a teddy-bear gay and Cerise turning into a lipstick lesbian.”
“So,” I inquired, “I suppose that makes you some sort of expert on those biochemical mechanisms. Please, explain your predictions.”
“Uh, it’s not really a prediction,” Hank began, “it’s more like, when I look at you two, I think…”
“Biochemical mechanisms my lily white Irish [expletive]!” Shannon broke in, yelling at me, leaning forward in her chair and enunciating with a haughty precision. “We’re talking about the facts here! Get on Facebook, join some groups that really know what’s going on! Get on Twitter and start following the people who have the insider information! Start a Parler account and find out the truth before you’re completely brainwashed by the Zionist Occupation Government!”
“I’m waiting, Shannon,” I needled, “Come on and tell me – what you’ve just said indicates that you you’ve done what you think is definitive research on these Covid vaccine horror stories you keep spouting, so tell me what they say – how is it that these vaccines are suppose to make me and Cerise gay, infertile and less intelligent?”
“Nobody but the Illuminati, The Bilderbergers, the Davos Conspiracy and the Trilateral Commission know how that works!” Shannon bellowed. “That’s the whole [expletive] point, [expletive]-wad! The point is, numbskull, that there are thousands and thousands of stories about how the vaccines make people stupid afterward! There are thousands and thousand of stories about how the vaccines made men and women infertile, and thousands and thousands of stories about how the vaccines turned people gay!”
“Thousands and thousands of stories,” I pointed out, “are what scientist call ‘anecdotes,’ and anecdotes are not data. And only data can prove or disprove a hypothesis tested by an experiment. Everything else is just imaginative folk tales, malicious rumors, ignorant superstitions, wishful thinking and vapid myths. People say on Facebook or Parler or 4Chan or whatever that the vaccines do this, that or the other thing, but if you look into it, you’ll find out that the people saying those things are either just repeating something somebody else posted, expressing their unfounded fears, making stuff up because Vladimir Putin or some wealthy Republican is paying them to do it; or even just making stuff up for the hell of it – to get a sadistic laugh out seeing what gullible fools like you will believe.”
“Oh yeah?” Shannon fumed. “You wait until New World Order Location Tracking starts stalking your every move and United Nations Mind Control takes over your brain, mister, and then you tell me, just what’s ‘a bit much!’”
“Would you care to explain that,” I offered, “or do you prefer that I interpret what I just heard as the utter lunacy it appears to be?”
“That Covid-19 vaccine you’re so anxious to get, once the International Illuminati Bilderberg Bohemian Grove Davos Conspiracy lets you have a dose,” Shannon ominously warned, “is loaded with artificial intelligence nano-chips!”
“Which do what?” I challenged. “Steal your credit card numbers? Break into your bank account? Transmit fake tweets that look like they’re from you to all your friends telling them about great opportunities to buy time shares in Florida vacation condominiums? Send you bogus emails from somebody who claims to be a Nigerian prince and…”
“Monitor your every movement!” Hank excitedly interjected. “Follow you everywhere you go!”
“Plus,” Shannon leaned forward, confiding a bombshell revelation, “they can use those nano-chips to target George Soros’ space lasers!”
“You mean the space lasers that the tinfoil hat set claim started the California wildfires last summer?” I asked.
“’Tinfoil hats,’ my red Irish bush!” Shannon shouted. “Once you get chipped by a ‘Covid-19 injection,’” she proclaimed, once again emphasizing the phrase by wiggling her fingers to symbolize scare quotes, “they’ll be able to aim one of those suckers right up your [expletive]!”
Taking another rather long pull from my Irish coffee, I offered this rejoinder: “All right, look, Shannon, if I have a satellite with a space laser in it and and I want to target people’s keisters, I don’t need them to have been injected with nano-chips. People send off perfectly good infrared signals that today’s technology would allow me to detect from space. So why, may I ask, would I go to the trouble of injecting them with chips that could do no more than signal ‘Hey, here’s a person,’ or something to that effect?”
“Oh, they do more than that,” Hank vouched. “Once those nano-chips get inside, they can find out everything about you!”
“They can read your thoughts!” Shannon confidently vouched.
“And report them to the government!” Hank insisted.
“And how,” I pressed, “do they do that?”
“Well, uh… um…” Hank stammered, “It’s like Shannon says, only George Soros and the Hollywood child-blood-drinking cannibals and the Illuminati and those other guys know exactly how the nano-chips work, but there are…”
“’Thousands and thousands of stories’” I interrupted, “on Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, WhatsApp, Tumblr, YouTube, Pinterest, Tik-Tok, Snapchat…”
“And Instagram,” Hank added with a helpful tone.
“And…. Instagram.,” I slowly repeated back to him, “that say… what? That space lasers have burned their butts?”
“Um… no… not that,” Hank confessed. “It’s more like, there are thousands and thousands of stories saying that they can.”
“Okay,” I continued with a sigh, “So what motivated you two to drive all the way down here from your survival compound in West Virginia to visit me and tell me all these fascinating… allegations about the Covid vaccines?”
“Well, uh, we want you not to take them,” Hank replied. “I guess it’s simple as that.”
“And,” Shannon elaborated, “we want you to keep Rose and Arthur from taking them too. And Hank Jr., since he’s old enough now, and all our kids, Hank’s and mine, sixteen and over – you have to keep all of them from being vaccinated!”
“Because you’re too busy preparing for Armageddon to do it yourself?” I inquired.
“No,” Shannon flatly stated without further explanation.
“Because you’re too ashamed to look your families in the face after all this time gallivanting around in the wilds of West Virginia?” I japed.
“No!” Shannon vehemently spat, throwing me an irritated glance. “Of course not! And Hank and I are not gallivanting, not in West Virginia or anywhere else!”
“Then presumably,” I continued, “it’s because you know you have no credibility with any of them, but you think I do.”
“Um… well… yeah,” Hank sheepishly divulged. “That’s sort of the… reasoning… behind it. We figure they’ll… listen to you.”
“Here are your drinks, folks!” Cerise announced as she approached, a tray with three Irish coffees and a double shot glass balanced on her right hand. “How’s our little soiree progressing so far?”
“I think we’re making some progress,” Shannon announced as Cerise handed her the shot glass.
“The want me to talk my sister, Shannon’s husband and Hank’s oldest son into not get vaccinated against Covid-19 and also convince Rose and Arthur to prevent all the other children in both families who are sixteen or older from getting vaccinated, too,” I informed her.
“So let me get this straight,” Cerise mused as she distributed Irish coffees to Hank and me, then settled in with her own, taking a sip. “They want to die from Covid, they want their spouses to die from Covid and they want their children to die from Covid, too. Correct? Or do they just want some of them to die and the others to spend the rest of their lives with vascular and nerve damage? Or do they just want them to catch it and spread it around so other people get it and die?”
“Um, well,” Hank attempted to explain, “we’ve already had Covid, so we don’t need vaccinations, and…”
“Wrong!” Cerise broke in. “You still need them.”
“Hey, [expletive] for brains!” Shannon objected, gesturing with her shot glass at Hank, “I’ve never had Covid and neither have you! Covid is a hoax!”
“Tom,” Cerise asked me, “you’re not going along with any of this cockamamie stuff, are you?”
“Of course not,” I assured her.
“In that case,” Shannon concluded with a massive swig from her shot glass, “we’re out of here!”
“Hey wait a minute!” Hank pleaded. “I haven’t even had any of this Irish coffee, and it’s way to hot to drink all in one gulp!”
“To hell with your [expletive] Irish coffee!” Shannon brayed. “We have to get over to Fairfax right away and save our families from becoming zombie slaves for ZOG, and save our children from becoming fodder for liberal elite cannibals, sex toys for Democrat politicians and adrenochrome sources for blood drinking Hollywood vampires!”
With that, Shannon bolted from her chair, ran down the deck stairs to the back yard and disappeared, running around the side of the house toward the fence separating it from the front.
“I guess I gotta go,” Hank regretfully murmured, staring wistfully at his piping hot Irish coffee. “She’s got the keys, and if don’t she’ll probably…”
“Come the [expletive] on, [expletive]!” Shannon shouted from the driveway.
“… drive off and leave me here,” he finished.
“Better run, then,” Cerise advised, “because there’s no way we’re going to let you into the house anymore.”
“Hey, wait a second,” Hank remarked. “This is Tom’s house, isn’t it?”
“I’m leaving!” Shannon’s shout drifted back to us, “Right [expletive] now, [expletive],” emphasizing her utterance with four prolonged horn blasts.
“Yes, it’s my house,” I agreed, and “I’m afraid I have to agree with Cerise. No way we’re going to let you spend twelve or sixteen hours sharing indoor air with us just weeks before we can get vaccinated.”
“Nobody wants to be the last sucker to die in Vietnam,” Cerise told Hank in a meaningful tone.
“Right… [BEEP]… [expletive]… now… [BEEP] [BE-BEEEEEEP] [BEEP] [BEEP] [BEEP] [BEEP]… now, you [expletive]!” came Shannon’s frantic message from the driveway.
“Get the [expletive] out of here,” Cerise sharply snapped, “before the neighbors call the police and they find out you’re here violating your West Virginia bail bond.”
Hank’s eyes went wide in shocked realization. “Oh yeah, that,” he quietly exclaimed as he jumped up and ran down the deck stairs after Shannon.