Paranoid Pete and other tales

| April 22, 2020 7:28 AM

“What’s up Paranoid Pete?” I asked. “You look a little flush.”

“I’ve been holding it,” he said.

“Holding what?” I said.

My friend Paranoid Pete is paranoid about a lot of things, as the name implies.

He pointed to his stomach.

“Holding my bm’s,” he said.

“That sounds, uh, uncomfortable,” I said.

“Well I’m afraid I’ll run out of toilet paper, you know, because of the coronavirus,” he said. “So I’ve been holding it. I try to go every three days.”

“What day you on?”

“It’s been an hour since lunch,” he said. “Three hot dogs from Town Pump and a Thirsty-Two Ounce Mountain Dew.”

“So how’s it going?”

“Not so good,” he said.

Paranoid Pete’s not my smartest friend. I wanted to give him a hug, but you know, there’s a 6-foot distancing thing and all, so I just nodded and wished him the best.

A real friend of mine actually did give me a roll of toilet paper and a bottle of wine for Easter. It was an especially good year, velvety smooth, and the wine?

Oh, that was pretty good, too.

Life in these coronavirus times sure has taken a turn, hasn’t it? Woooo Boy!

I’m trying to maintain a sense of levity, but it can be tough some days.

Like a lot of folks, I suspected that things would pretty much blow over.

If only that were true. I know New York City is a long way from the Big Sky State, but the scope of the carnage and the people that are dealing with it should make anyone take pause, whether your a right winger, left winger or flightless bird.

Selfishly, I’ve been trying to figure out ways to safely open Glacier National Park. It’s no secret that my life really isn’t the same without the Park open. I know how to social distance in Glacier. Heck, I made a career out of it.

This might be the best time ever for Glacier to roll out a reservation system for Sun Road traffic. The Park could certainly control crowds on roads buses and trailheads with a proper plan.

Another option that it used during fire years was to allow traffic on the road, but no stopping, even in turnouts.

The bigger problem with opening Glacier is the health of employees and surrounding communities. The Blackfeet have significant concerns about the coronavirus, as they should, and the Park draws a ton of traffic to the reservation.

On a more personal note, I have a vacation rental myself. My wife runs it and the quandary is this: Do we want visitors from another state who could very well be carrying the virus in our home?

I know what my friend Paranoid Pete would say. And at this point, I’d strongly agree.

Chris Peterson is the editor of the Hungry Horse News.