You might want to tiptoe away from this installment of "The Gods Are Bored." I'm sweating bullets myself. No one wants to see this creature coming up the walk.
Anne: Ummm ... uhhhh ... is it my time? Or someone who lives here? There are some ants in the cupboard that you can have ... ahhh .... not my Gamma cat, please. Or Mr. J, he makes such good pies!
Reaper: I have come with a message.
Anne: OH NO WHO IS GONNA GET IT????
Reaper: Many will get it. "It" being an untimely visit from me.
Anne: When you say "many," do you mean "many members of Anne's family" or "many people" in general?
Reaper: Many people in general. There are plagues afoot in America.
Anne: Don't I know it! But I got my vaccines, and my booster, and my flu shot, and I'm going to get Shingrix over Christmas ... and...
Reaper: SHUT UP A MINUTE OR ELSE.
Reaper: Your country is in the throes of multiple plagues. And no one seems to care. There's that illness Covid, and there's the opiate epidemic, and the gun thing. I am cutting down people in the prime of life. People who should be home with their families and friends.
Reaper: You may reply.
Anne: I was just going to say that both guns and opiate addiction are serious public health crises that no one seems to be taking seriously. There was a teenager out in Wisconsin just this week who got a free pass after shooting three people. To say nothing of all the gun violence in Philadelphia.
Reaper: It is thus everywhere right now.
Anne: I know! Gee, it's almost like the people profiting off guns and opiates don't care about who they harm.
Reaper: And that's the small stuff. The oil, coal, and gas barons are keeping me so busy with all these natural disasters. I have had to hire more staff.
Anne: I daresay. But Sir, or Your Majesty, or Your Grand Wazooness (How does one address the Grim Reaper?), what can I do? I feel like the horse is out of the barn with both opiates and guns. There's no way America can take all the weapons out of circulation. And doctors continue to prescribe opiates in great quantities.
Reaper: I know you are about to acquire some property. Do not buy a gun to "defend" it.
Anne: Wasn't planning to, honestly. The last gun I fired was a BB gun in day camp when I was 10. I almost shot my eye out. But Your Highness, I do so worry about my daughters in the city! There have been more than 450 deaths in Philadelphia this year to date.
Reaper: You're telling ME this?
Anne: Oh! My bad! So sorry! Of course you know all about it! I guess what I have learned in my many years (which I hope will be extended many more) is that the people who have the means of production do not care one whit about how their products are abused. As long as the bottom line is green in their ledger, they couldn't care less. And I am powerless to affect this. I do my part for climate change. I'm sure you don't notice, but it's cold in here because I'm trying to burn less fuel. I also have a clothesline. Soon I will own four acres of trees that will not be cut down. But guns and drugs? I feel so powerless.
Reaper: You are powerless over capitalism. It must run its ugly course.
Anne: I figured as much. Ummm ... can I offer you a warm beverage?
Anne: Oh, gee! Look at the time! I have to run to Petco to get some cat food! I mean, I hope there will be a need for cat food ...
Reaper: I am not going to take your cat. Or you. Not today.
Anne: (gulps) Tomorrow?????
Reaper: That is for me to know.
Anne: It sure is, Your Excellency. But I wonder. What will be the ultimate fate of Kyle Rittenhouse?
Reaper: Live by the sword, die by the sword.
Anne: I expect so. Guns are made to be used, and lots of people with guns don't like that kid. So! Umm. Is there anything else today? Because that cat food ...
Reaper: That is all. Have a nice day.
Anne: (big sigh of relief) Oh trust me, I will!
Actually I have plenty of cat food. It was the best dodge I could think of in a pinch. Dang. Close call.
Photo found here.