After six weeks in a light quarantine, Jack Winston stopped keeping track of time. He wouldn’t admit it, but he missed the excitement that accompanied the lockdown’s early days, back when fear of the virus’ spread compelled him to stay up all night tracking Italian morbidity rates. The panic that defined March and April had been replaced by a constant, ever-present anxiety that hadn’t spiked since he found out his job status was transitioning from furloughed to terminated. Since then the days have felt blended, broken up only by the occasional thrill of going to the grocery store for pasta or paper towels, although even those adventures have been less pleasant because his mask had really started to smell.

Jack couldn’t remember whether it was Tuesday or Wednesday when he woke up this morning and gave up on the analysis before deciding. Dates become entirely anecdotal without the deadlines that accompany a normal work schedule or the occasional celebrations that end up peppering a calendar. This fugue is only intensified by the steady, seemingly endless current of new streaming content that doesn’t so much premier but just assimilate into the vastness of things you plan to watch one day; though you know you never will.

Most days followed a similar routine consisting of screentime only occasionally interrupted by a Postmates delivery. He’d venture to the store only if absolutely necessary. Texts and video calls with friends and family had become less frequent, likely because no one really had much left to say. these days.

Occasionally, Jack would write. Or at least prepare to write by making himself some tea and opening up a word document containing various ideas and starts of phrases that invariably remained just as incomplete at the end of the day as it was at the start. His attitude vacillated between a strong belief that this time was exactly what he needed to create and a certainty that he hadn’t the talent or attention to actually do so. The former feeling would motivate the tea-making and word-fiddling parts of his writing sessions, while the latter would compel him to scornfully close his laptop. Jack expected this droll, albeit comfortable, existence to continue until his savings depleted, which would certainly happen before the economy recovered enough for him to find a new job. He didn’t like to think about what would happen then.

On Thursday, perhaps, of some week there was a knock on Jack’s door. He called out, “Just leave the food at the door,” which was met with a still louder reply.

A woman in her late 20s stood before him. “You’re Jack Winston,” she said. It wasn’t a question, she knew who he was. She wasn’t wearing a mask.

“Yes?” Jack said through his. “Are you from Postmates?”

Her name was Amberlyn and it took her several minutes to convince Jack to let her inside his apartment. He resisted until he felt the speed of a gunshot just miss the young woman’s head and enter the doorframe that he obliged.

“What’s going on? Is someone shooting–”

“Dad, listen to me,” she said, instinctively.

“Dad?” Jack asked the girl who appeared at most only a few years younger than he was.

“My name is Amberlynn Winston and I’ve been sent back in time to stop you from writing your novel, have you finished it yet?”

“My novel?” Jack asked. “I haven’t really made much progress,” he said honestly. “That’s great,” she said, looking almost confused. “By this point in the timeline you should have been almost finished. According to legend, you completed the manuscript by the 25th.”

This all surprised Jack and as he took it in he tried to calculate how long it would be until the 25th. He guessed it was around a week.

“I have to go back, I only have a few more moments before the jump,” she said, taking in the lines in Jack’s face that mirrored her own. Her reflection was interrupted by another loud bang at the door.

“Amberlynn! Open the door right now!” yelled an ambiguously European accent. “Who is that? Why is he shooting at you?” Jack asked the girl claiming to be his daughter.

“That’s Murphy. He’s trying to catch me before I jump,” she said, Murphy’s fist continuing to bang at Jack’s front door. “He’s from the resistance and he desperately wants you to complete the novel. But don’t worry, he’ll never get in here before he jumps back.” Jack continued to question his daughter but she said there was no time to explain everything, only that she had a 6-minute window before she would be sent back that was about to expire. Murphy would be sent back through time seconds after.

“I always wanted to meet you,” she said to her father, the grave implications of which were immediately apparent to Jack. “I’m glad you were able to,” he told his daughter as he watched her disappear. Not thirty seconds later Murphy’s rapping vanished and Jack was left only with the strange memory of what had happened and a bullet hole in his door frame.

Jack returned to his couch after all that excitement but found it difficult to concentrate on anything other than the knowledge that he would be giving birth to a daughter in the next year or so and would most likely be dead shortly after. The act of meditating on his own mortality compelled Jack to start journaling these feelings. For the next several days Jack had filled hundreds of pages with musings about the impermanent nature of being and ways in which society could organize itself to maximize the utility of its resources not individually, but collectively.

The ideas flowed from Jack as easily as anything had and less than a week after his encounter with Amberlynn he had completed what he believed to be a manifesto of incredible importance. As he completed its final sentence it dawned on him that this document which his daughter so desperately wished to nullify had actually been inspired by the act intended to destroy it. The paradox of it all seemed inexplicable, if not ironical, and after some consideration, Jack decided it would be better for the world to publish his manuscript. The only publisher Jack was aware of was Penguin so he sent it there with a note that read-only “Please publish this book. It appears destined to be important.”

Two years after completing his book it was published. It’s release coincided nicely with the economy being fully reopened and Jack took his book on tour where he spoke at college campuses and bookstores about the limitations of modern society, a message that had become co-opted by the leftist student group called Jokarda as a call for revolution. It was on one of these tours that Jack met a young woman from Jokarda named Ruth. Over the course of several days Ruth told Jack about their plan to overtake the current regime and while the seeds of what would eventually be known as “The Winston Rebellion” fomented so did his feelings for Ruth. Within weeks she had moved in. She became pregnant only weeks after the last box was unpacked.

Believing he’d never meet his daughter, Jack spent the next several months inside the house so as to not risk injury or death. The paranoia grew so much that Ruth had moved back to the Jakorda compound right outside of Escondido. She made him promise he’d join them once the baby was born. He said he would, although he knew he’d not be able to live that long. As the familiar creep of isolation began to reattach itself to Jack’s life he decided it was too painful to simply wait for an end that could occur at any moment.

As the last of the pills were swallowed, Jack wondered again whether the chemicals making their way through his bloodstream was just another example of Amberlynn causing that with which she so desperately wanted to stop. As he drifted into sleep he received a text from Ruth that she had given birth. “What should we name her?” she texted Jack. “Amberlynn,” he wrote as he faded. In those last brief moments, he thought of his newborn daughter, eagerly anticipating running into her again, somehow, in 2020 for what will surely be the same tragic misunderstanding.

“Oh cool…several planes,” thought Marcos Santiago of Boyle Heights as he watched a formation of the Air Force’s Thunderbird squadron from the sidewalk outside his apartment. After the flyover, the former bartender went back inside to see if his unemployment application was processed and pray Los Angeles does not lift its moratorium on evictions.

“People love planes and the military and displays of American exceptionalism,” said Air Force Lieutenant Jared L. Pumperstuff. “A military flyover is the very least the U.S. government can do for our country during this time of crisis,” said Pumperstuff, who noted in addition to the flyover the federal government had also given most Americans $1200 in addition to 1.8 trillion dollars in Corporate subsidies and relief.

The Avocado asked Mr. Santiago how he felt about the government’s response to the expanding economic crisis caused by Coronavirus, to which the 33-year-old shot himself in the head. We then asked the question to Mr. Santiago’s widow who noted that the money they had received from the government was not enough to cover their monthly bills and that the moratorium on evictions still required them to pay back any back rent, a prospect Mr. Santiago found daunting. She did not, however, that before he died he told her he thought the planes were pretty cool.

“See! People love planes!” said Lt. Pumperstuff when we told him about Mr. Santiago’s death.  When asked whether recent military flyovers by the Air Force’s Thunderbird division and the Navy’s Blue Angels are the best use of public money during a time of deep economic crisis, Pumperstuff said “That’s the best part. The flyovers are totally free!”

The Avocado noted that it costs over $60,000 per hour to fly a military squadron, but was then informed that because military pilots need a certain amount of hours of flight time, and they were going to need to fly the planes anyway, the government thought they might as well give people like Mr. Santiago and his widow a morale boost. “So, it doesn’t actually cost the taxpayer more money because it’s just part of the United States’s 1.4 trillion dollars military budget. It’s basically free!”

I tried to explain to Pumperstuff that taxpayers fund the U.S.’s military budget, to which the 30-year Air Force veteran just replied: “People love planes.”

The University of Southern California announced today that it would raise the price of undergraduate tuition to $59,000 a year, a cost students believe is unfair considering the campus is effectively shut down because of Coronavirus.

“We understand this is a lot of money,” said USC’s Dean of Give Me That Fuckin’ Money, Harold Porter, but said the increased fees would be used to build a new online learning platform that will allow students to attend virtual lectures remotely, and parents to make direct payments to the school’s admission office from the comfort of their very large homes.

“With the world becoming more digital we knew we had to create a tool that allowed us to offer everything that makes USC unique online,” said USC director of admission Amanda Reed who called us from her prison cell. “These new online tools allow our students to receive a high-quality education so long as their parents pay us off first. It’s so convenient!” said Ms. Reed before our call was interrupted by guards. “You can bribe us from the app! Hey, get off of me! I want my lawyer! USC won’t let Coronavirus change ussssss!” she screamed as a guard confiscated her prison cell.

“I love the convenience,” said Donald J. Erkoff, a successful real estate developer and the parent of a USC freshman. “When I was told by [REDACTED – STATES WITNESS] that Don Jr. could get into USC on a rowing scholarship I was surprised because he’s very obese and can’t swim and has Lupus and is missing both arms and is blind in one eye and is also just sort of a mean guy who doesn’t do well in interviews. But sure enough, now he’s a Trojan and it only cost me $500,000 in small payments made out to Amanda Reed and various “non-profits” and consultancies.

The Avocado spoke to Don Jr. about his experience at USC online. The 19-year-old double-amputee said he was enjoying the online classes but felt like he was missing out on a traditional college experience. “I would have liked to pledge a fraternity in person,” said Don Jr. who is currently part of Alpha Cappa Dickhole’s online pledge class. “It’s okay, but if I wanted to get bullied online I would have stayed in high school, you know?”

When asked whether he thought it was fair that he was able to get into USC on a rowing scholarship when he was not a rower, Don Jr. said it was not fair. “If I was black I would have been able to get into freakin’ Stanford on a fake rowing scholarship,” he said, adding that he felt the college admission system needed significant reform.

Editors Note: Shortly after publication, Don Sr. asked that we remove his son’s statement that he would have gotten into Stanford if he were African American, explaining that “Don Jr. getting metooed or whatever would really fuck up his chances of getting an internship at Goldman next summer.” We told him that it would betray our journalistic integrity to remove the attribution, to which the real estate mogul promised to get us into California State University, Northridge through a fake archery scholarship if we “did him the solid.” We told Don Sr. not to insult us and declined the offer.

Following the release of a video of Los Angeles Police Department officers tasing and beating the shit out of a homeless man in Boyle Heights for no reason, the LAPD promises to make significant changes in their department.

In the video, Officer Frank Hernandez, a twenty-year veterand of the police force with a history of violence, can be seen punching a homeless man in the head and body while calling him a “mother fucker” while his piddly ass partner threatens to shoot the man with a stun gun.

The Avocado spoke to LAPD Chief Michael Moore about the incident who admitted that he had seen the video and was disturbed by its contents. “Our Officers should always be wearing face masks when beating up innocent people,” said Officer Moore. “Masks save lives and our officers should have known better than to engage in their day-to-day police brutality without personal protective equipment.”

The Avocado had initially contacted the LAPD about the incident last week, but had been told that “no cops do nothin’ wrong.” When I mentioned I hadn’t told him what I was calling about yet, the spokesperson apologized, allowed me to ask about his officer beating up an innocent person in the middle of a pandemic for no reason, then responded, “no cops do nothin’ wrong” before calling me a faggot and hanging up.

The LAPD’s response changed, however, following community outrage after a recording of the incident leaked online. On Thursday, the LAPD issued an additional statement that “even though no cops do nothin’ wrong, we have updated our internal protocols to require all our officers to wear masks when interacting with…oh jeez, how should I say this…can’t say black or hispanic or homeless people any more thanks to the liberal media, ah, I got it…with persons reasonably believed in the officer’s sole discretion to be subject to the type of harassment that could go viral.”

When asked why a racist officer’s anonymity should be protected, the spokesperson said: “Officer safety is our most important task.” When asked about the safety of Los Angeles’s residents and how the police would make sure its officers do not continue to harass the City’s marginalized communities including the homeless population and people of color, the spokesperson put on a mask and threatened to detain me if I didn’t stop asking “stupid fucking questions, mother fucker.”

Friday 7:22 PM

It’s the freakin’ weekend, baby! That means I finally get to watch TV and pace from my living room to my kitchen like I have done every other day for the last seven weeks. 

I may be quarantined right now, but you know where I am not quarantined? In my dreams! So I’ll also take myself a nap or two in between Korean soap operas and hopefully dream of a happier time, not too long ago, when I was allowed out of the house to attend a Kobe Bryant memorial or protest the President’s racist and anti-feminist agenda. Those were the days. 

But I’m one of the lucky ones since I still have a job and it lets me work remotely. I haven’t been able to get much work done because I have been watching so many of those Korean soap operas and fully expect to be fired in the next couple of weeks, but it won’t matter because I’m getting a stimulus check from the government! $1,200 baby! My rent is $2,400, but I’m not too concerned because this pandemic is about self-reflection and working on yourself and I refuse to let myself become a victim of negative energy.

Saturday 9:04 AM

I just found out my mom tested positive. My dad called to tell me and like, I wanted to know, but also didn’t need to know this early in the morning. I was having a nice dream about sitting in traffic on my way to the job I hate. I’ll never get back to sleep. 

Saturday 11:45 AM

Okay, if it weren’t bad enough that my mom is being intubated and I can’t go visit her, Yop Sung-Soo just called off her engagement to Nang Ji-Hoon which will bring great shame to his family. I know I was trying to remain positive, but Sung-Soo’s betrayal has got me feeling low so I ordered some comfort food from my favorite restaurant to make me feel better. I ended up spending $40 on an $11 bowl of pasta, but at least I got to eat something I love and was able to mostly ignore my persistent concern that it was prepared by someone who has been infected. I wonder how my mom is doing? 

Saturday 4:30 PM

She didn’t answer, but I’m sure it’s fine. I’ll just smoke a little weed and watch some more TV. Hopefully, Ji-Hoon can prove to his father that he is honorable enough to take over the family’s business. Of course, if 젊은이의 양지 were real then surely Ji-Hoon’s family’s tea shop would be out of business at this point and Ji-Hoon’s prospects of a bride from a family as well-respected as Sung-Soo’s is unlikely. I wonder if smoking weed is a good idea during a world-wide respiratory virus outbreak? No need to worry about that, I can’t catch Coronavirus if I just stay in my apartment all day…But what if I did catch something from that $40 pasta? 

Saturday 7:00 PM

I took a little nap and boy do I feel better. I had 15 missed calls from my dad and siblings, but I’m sure everything is okay. They are probably just bored too. Before I call him back I want to finish the season and find out whether Ji-Hoon was able to find love after all.

Saturday 11:12 PM

He was! That’s great, but I wish his grandmother was able to meet his new bride before she passed away. At least his fiance was able to honor his late grandmother’s memory by attending her funeral. Family is so important. I wonder if we’ll even be able to have a funeral if my mom dies? I’ll call my family back in the morning, I’m sure everything is fine…

Sunday 11:45 AM

I just spoke to my dad and he says my mom is stable. He and my siblings are bored and had nothing to do but call me. I have been talking to them an awful lot since this quarantine, a lot more than I had in years, which is sort of nice, but they call so much that I just can’t get anything done around the house. I mean, this was supposed to be a relaxing weekend and all they want to do is talk to me about their anxieties about the life-threatening virus or mom’s condition. Sort of inconsiderate, if you ask me. 

Sunday 6:45 PM

Well, I’ve finished Netflix’s entire catalog of Korean dramas so I guess I’ll try the Scandinavian shows next? The weekend went by quite quickly and I’m excited tomorrow begins a brand new week. That means I finally get to watch TV and pace from my living room to my kitchen like I have done every other day for the last two months. 

Balancing kids, household distractions, TV, and the ever-present anxiety that fills us all with despair every morning has made it very difficult for many to productively work from home. Well, life for telecommuters has gotten a little bit harder this week now that Grammy winner John Legend has downloaded Zoom and begun crashing conference calls with home concert performances.

“It was so strange,” said Vanessa Reyler, head of human relations for Pipestart Inc., an auto parts distributor based in Elkhart, Indiana. “There were about 6 of us on Zoom discussing the need to immediately lay off about half of our salesforce and all of a sudden John Legend is on our screens singing All of Me. He sounded great, but it was a little much.”

“‘Zoombombing‘, the act of crashing a video conference, has become rampant over the last few weeks,” explained UCLA media professor Heinrich Jabory over a Zoom interview with the Avocado. “Conference crashers tend to be trolls and perverts, but since the quarantine, we’re seeing more and more Grammy-nominated singer-songwriters take over work calls with impromptu performances.” I asked Professor Jabory if there were ways a business could protect against unwanted intruders, but was interrupted when Dave Matthews crashed the interview to begin a 16-minute acoustic version of Dancing Nancies. “I’m sorry, I can’t listen to this guy again,” apologized Professor Jabory as he left the conference, leaving just me to awkwardly listen to Dave Matthews until he finally finished the song.

The Avocado attempted to reach out to John Legend through Twitter, but our messages went unanswered. Being quite clever, I decided to start a Zoom conference with members of our staff under the auspices of having to let them go and, sure enough, John Legend showed up.

“It’s such an honor to be able to sing for you all,” he said unprompted over the cries of Janice, our copyeditor who believed she was being let go, before beginning an understated cover of John Lennon’s Imagine.

“I love John Lennon,” said Janice, to which John Legend misheard and thanked the still crying septuagenarian.

“Um, excuse me, excuse me! John!” I called out. “Can you stop singing for a minute?”

John Legend looked confused. He had never been stopped in the middle of a performance before. “What’s wrong? Do you not like this song? Do you want me to play an original instead?” he asked before starting into Ordinary People.

“No! I’m just wondering what are you doing in here? This is a work conference about firing Janice,” I said, to which Janice started to wail again. “Why are you singing in here?”

John’s brows furrowed in deep thought. “I guess I just felt that this was a way I could spread a little joy throughout the world,” he said. “I’m sorry if you don’t like it. I’ll go.”

I watched a single tear fall from John Legend’s eyes, and lots more from Janice who was streaming herself from her grandson’s iPad. At that moment I felt a great sadness for John Legend whom I made feel bad for trying to share his art for the world during this difficult time.

“John,” I called out. “I’m sorry. I think you’re great, are you going to be okay?” I asked.

“Yeah, I hope so,” he said as he left his piano to rejoined Chrissy Tiegen and his children in the east wing’s home theater.

“So, what about my severance?” sniffled Janice.

“What, oh, you’re not fired,” I said and explained that the meeting was just a ruse to lure John Legend on cam.

“But why did you have to make me think I was getting fired? I have a heart condition, you know!” Janice said, angrily. I thought about it for a moment and didn’t have a great answer, but luckily Dave Matthews crashed the video conference causing Janice to flee.

“Why, hello again!” Dave Matthews greeted before going into a 35-minute version of Don’t Drink The Water.

Researchers at the University of Southernmost Florida’s School of Medicine and Pool Repair announced this morning that all of the participants in a clinical trial testing the efficacy of injecting bleach to cure Coronavirus have died. “This is a setback, for sure, but overall we think the results are inconclusive,” said Dr. Samuel Gnash of the 36 dead participants. 

The results came as an unexpected shock to Dr. Gnash, who has a degree from Harvard Medical School he received through a Don Draper stole-a-dead-man’s-identity incident. “Who would have thought drinking bleach would kill so many people?” Dr. Gnash asked, to which I pointed to the large warning label on bottles of bleach warning users that drinking it will kill them. “Oh…shit,” said Dr. Gnash before asking me whether I had any professional degrees or anyone that would go looking for me in the event I was murdered and my identity was stolen. 

The study was initiated following comments made by President Trump that the government would look into whether injecting disinfectants could be used to cure Coronavirus. Of the 36 dead participants, all of whom had previously tested positive for Coronavirus, 18 were injected with bleach while the remaining control group was given a placebo injection of sugar-water and Lysol. When asked about the ethical and legal implications of having killed so many people through bad fucking science Dr. Gnash explained that the participants knew and signed waivers about the risks of the trial beforehand and were also all very poor so it’s not that big a deal. 

When asked to comment on the results of the clinical trial, President Trump noted he was “just joking” when he said people should inject themselves with bleach before adding “although it also, to be honest, shows that if you drink bleach you can’t die of the Coronavirus so technically I was also right all along although the fake news media would never admit that grab them by the pussy.”

Editor’s Real Note That Is Not Satire Or Fake And Is The Only Part Of This Article That Should Be Taken Seriously: Don’t drink bleach.

Nick Offerman does not “believe” in refunds, a fact I learned shortly after handing him an $8,000 check for what was advertised as a “practical acting class” that turned out to be a course on canoe building. Known primarily for his role as Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation, what most people don’t realize is that Nick is also an accomplished woodworker and once showed his penis in an episode of Dead Wood. “This is my shop,” he said proudly as he walked me around the space and described its tools and the mechanics of its complex dust collection system that he designed himself. “We’re going to be thinking a lot about dust as we build this canoe together.” I was confused.

“I’m sorry, did you say we are going to be building a canoe? I thought this was an acting class.”

“Son, there isn’t much you can’t learn about life by building a canoe,” he told me before getting back to a surprisingly long conversation about dust and letting me know about his strict no refund philosophy. “A transaction shouldn’t linger. It’s effete,” he said before getting back to dust management which he believes is essential.

“How will building a canoe help me develop practical acting skills?” I asked, to which the Dead Wood penis actor told me that finding success in Hollywood was unlikely given my height and face and that learning a craft such as canoe building would allow me to earn an honest living while my more grandiose dreams fail. “What could be more practical advice for an actor with your build and hairline than that?”

I wasn’t convinced and had no use for a canoe, but I had already paid and didn’t have much else going on in my life, so for the next 8-weeks I spent every evening in Nick’s workshop honing the skills I would need to become a great thespian and intermediate wood craftsmen.

“The first question one must ask when building a canoe is what type of wood to use,” Nick told me during our first lesson. In thinking about the question, I felt I understood how acting and woodworking complimented each other and figured Nick was laying the framework for an eventual Karate Kid style revelation where the incremental skills I develop through woodworking come together into a full repertoire of the talents necessary to make it in Hollywood.

“So, picking out the right wood is sort of like deciding on the right part to take as an actor?” I asked, but was told not to read too much into what he was saying.

“No. The best wood to use for a canoe is red cedar. And the best part for you to take at this point in your acting career is anything you are offered, even if they ask you to show your penis. It’s only after you have developed your craft that you can experiment with mahogany and other hardwoods or can turn down roles that require an uncomfortable amount of nudity. Remember, you’re desperate, and red cedar is a desperate wood for desperate people.”

During our first week together I learned the basics of canoe building and that I shouldn’t ask Nick Offerman about his personal or professional life while in his shop. “A woodshop is not a place for casual conversation,” he told me before pivoting into an explanation on the differences between a jointer and a planer. “A jointer is used to flatten the face of a piece of wood and square up one edge and a planer is used to make the second face flat and parallel to the first,” he’d tell me over and over but I still didn’t understand the difference.

“What’s not to understand?” Nick would yell, letting me know that he was disappointed in my progress and that normally such incompetence in a woodshop would be punished by requiring me to sweep the dust from the floor, but that since his dust collection system was so efficient and there was nothing to sweep I should just stand in the corner as he demonstrates the proper way to shape the canoe’s inner stem. “Just go hand me my spokeshave,” he told me but I didn’t know what that was. “And you expect to make it as an actor?” he scoffed. 

Over the next several weeks I tried to make myself useful and for the most part, stayed out of Nick’s way as he silently measured out and cut the planks for the canoe. The only bright spot during this period was when Nick’s wife, Megan Mullally would come into the shop on occasion. I had read that Megan had discovered Bill Hader and, being impressed by his impressions, recommended him to Lorne Michaels for Saturday Night Live. Since I didn’t feel like Nick’s lessons would lead me to succeed as an actor, I decided to greet Megan in a variety of accents (cockney, racist Indian, John Malkovich) to demonstrate that I was also ready for Saturday Night Live and an introduction to Lorne. But she would just politely smiled at me before leaving. “I know what you’re doing and it won’t work,” Nick finally told me after I told Megan to “Kiss My Grits” in my best southern accent. I fucking hate woodworking.

Nick was on edge during our last week together and feeling stressed by what would be an intensive two-days of laminating the wood for the boat’s hull. I was in charge of managing and attaching the staples and clamps. As I worked through the evening securing the glued wood into its frame Nick finally paid me a compliment. 

“That’s a nice amount of pressure you got there,” he said of my clamp work. “When you’re in a woodshop you’re going to sometimes want to tighten the clamp as much as possible, but you shouldn’t because it could damage the face of the wood. Just let the glue do the work and be patient,” he said.

“Thanks.” It was the first nice thing he said to me in weeks.

“The same is true when going out on an audition. You’re going to want to give the reading your all, but sometimes the best reading requires a little less. It’s more important to give an even performance and let the words do the work,” he said as he scraped away the glue squeeze.

“Holy shit, it’s happening. He’s relating acting to canoe building. He’s Miyagi and I’m LaRusso,” I thought to myself, fully prepared to discover all of the fine acting skills I had subconsciously learned over the last six weeks, but it never came. Our last week together mostly involved the two of us silently planing and sanding the canoe and applying several coats of varnish to the piece. On our last day together we installed the canoe’s seat and yoke and built a pair of paddles.

“Well, I think this is a fine canoe. You should be proud,” Nick told me as we admired the boat we built.

“Thanks, Dad,” I said, horrified that I called him Dad, but to be honest a bit surprised I hadn’t done so sooner. “I’m sorry–” I said, but he told me not to worry about it. “It happens in a woodshop.”

As I packed up my things and prepared to leave Nick’s shop for the last time I felt a level of self-satisfaction that I had never experienced before. I know I wouldn’t be able to build a canoe of this quality on my own, but was happy I could now appreciate the energy and skill that goes into building something from the ground up. I thanked Nick for the experience and shook his hand.

“I hope you feel like you learned something,” he said. I told him that I did and that while the exact relationship between canoe building and comedic acting felt somewhat attenuated and that I believed his advertisement could have been less misleading, that I felt I had gotten my money’s worth.

“I’m glad to hear it,” Nick said. “You know, acting is just like any skill. You need to take it seriously if you want to do it professionally. Are you sure you’re ready to dedicate yourself to it?” he asked. I told him I was.

“Good. Well, I think I know of a part for you, if you want it.” It was happening, I couldn’t believe it. “Yeah, of course, I’ll take anything,” I told him, eager to hear about the role. “I’m red cedar.”

“I’m glad to hear that, son,” said Nick. “Because the part does require you to show an awful lot of your penis.”  

Nick Offerman’s Woodshop is located in Los Angeles. Acting classes are available to aspiring woodworkers who are comfortable with gratuitous on-camera nudity.

Come and listen to my story about a man named Jed
A middle-class guy, who always kept his family fed,
And then one day he was putting in a pool
to add value to him home, but then he struck crude…

Oil that is, black gold, Texas tea. Which trades at NEGATIVE 35 a gallon.

Shit.

Well the next thing you know ol’ Jed has lost his home,
Because his land was making oil and its value couldn’t hold
And as every gallon bubbled it’s way up from under ground
Ol Jed became scared debt collectors would becomin round…

His home, that is. Which was upside down on its mortgage. He was overly leveraged. He would never financially recover from this.

So Jed freaked out and left town in a jiff,
He left his neighbors and their friends, left his wife and his kids,
They all went a-lookin for ol Jed but before too long,
They stopped looking and went on as if he was never born.

Fuck that guy. His wife remarried. A black guy, not that that’s relevant.

So Jed changed his name to Tim and moved to ol’ Key West.
And lives with an alcoholic that has tattoos on her chest,
And when he thinks of his life and how it became so foiled,
He knows he’d still be happy if he hadn’t struck oil.

He’s thinking about killin’ himself. Things have gotten real dark. He sees no hope.

Y’all come back now, y’hear?

In Rona’s wake, the Arnez family of Orange County is struggling just like the rest of the world. In just a month, Zachary and Abby Arnez’s 401(k) portfolio is down 30% and the mostly working class tenents in their Van Nuys investment property have lost their jobs and likely won’t be able to pay rent on April 1.

“This is all really inconvenient,” said Zachary Arnez, an insurance litigator  who has been working from home.  “On top of everything, because I make several hundred thousand dollars a year I don’t even qualify for stimulus money.”  

“Once again, the Federal Governemnt leaves the upper-middle-upper class people like myself out to dry,” complained Mr. Arnez. “But instead of complaining about things like those liberals in Congress, I decided to pull myself up by my bootstraps and call my colleague Brett  who is a corporate tax lawyer and had him incorporate my family as a regional airline. Now we’re getting $4.6 million in government subsidies which we will use for food, shelter, and to pick up several more distressed properties when the housing market finishes collapsing.” 

We asked Mr. Arnez how he could just call himself an airline all of a sudden. “I’m an airline, you can check the records,” he told us shortly after applying for the million in government funds. We asked him if he were really an airline then where did he fly and where are his planes. “We have no planes or flights scheduled,” he said, reasoning “that’s why this bailout is so important for us.”

The Avocado tried to speak with Zachary’s coleague, Brett Wilkinson, himself a recently Panamanian chartered cruise vessel receiving over 2.5 million in government bailout money, but he refused to sit down with us without a retainer. He did tell us, however, that because he is now technically flagged in Panama, he was in the process of applying for several grants set up for small Hispanic businesses.   

Author’s Note: Shortly after turning in this article I was fired from this job without severance. Thankfully, I make less than $75,000 a year and am eligible for a one-time payment of $1,200. My rent is $2,400 a month.

Author’s Second Note: On advice of counsel I have incorporated as the Kennedy Center for The Arts in order to recive $25,000 in federal funds earmarked for it in the stimulus package.