Magazine April 20, 2020, Issue

Join Zoom Meeting

A student uses Zoom during the coronavirus outbreak in El Masnou, north of Barcelona, Spain, April 2, 2020. (Albert Gea/Reuters)

https://us04web.zoom.us/j/8043111983

Meeting ID: 804 311 1983

You have been invited to a ZOOM video conference by DAD

Please click on the link to join the conference

“Dad?”

“Hey! Can you hear me?”

“Yes, and I can see you too. Where’s Mom?”

“Right here, sweetie, your father made me get my own log-in thing.”

“Dad, why are we doing this?”

“Wait a minute. Let your sister get on.”

“Katie! Get on the Zoom whatever! Dad’s making it into a whole big thing!”

“Sweetie, please do not yell through the walls.”

“I don’t understand why we’re doing this. We, like, live in the same house.”

“Hello? Can you hear me?”

“Hey! Katie Bear! Okay now, the family is all together.”

“Daddy, why are we doing this? We can just talk together, I can come downstairs.”

“That’s what I told your father.”

“Okay, now. We’re all here. Let’s get started. First off, thank you all for joining the webinar.”

“Oh gimme a break!”

“Tyler! Listen to your father. Doug, we’re all feeling a bit weird here.”

“I understand that, Jen. But here’s what I’m thinking. You know, all day I was on a Zoom call with the gang at work, and what I discovered was this. Bruce in product management wasn’t such a pain in the butt. Karen and LouEllen from HR were actually tolerable. I didn’t yell at my assistant and I interacted with the design and marketing groups without resorting to salty language of any kind — ”

“Dad, can you get to the point? I’ve been on Zoom all day with school and — ”

“I have a lecture to watch and — ”

“Can you not interrupt me?”

“GOD!”

“Katie, Tyler, stop it! Listen to your father!”

“No, see, this is my point — Katie, you’re home from college and Tyler’s school is closed and Jen’s office and my office are both closed, so we’re all kind of back to the old days when we, you know, lived together all under one roof.”

“I miss those days, love.”

“When we were kids. Right. Dad, where is this going?”

“Well, for the past three weeks we’ve been rattling around this house together, getting in each other’s way and stuff, and today I realized that Zoom calls are really making it easier to get along with the people at my office, so maybe they’ll help us all get along at home.”

“Honey?”

“So what I’m thinking is, we just, you know, keep our distance from now on.”

“Dad?”

“You guys just sort of stick to certain areas and we’ll sort out kitchen and bathroom times and — ”

“Doug? What are you saying? You want the children to, what? Stay in their rooms?”

“Not just the children, Jen.”

“DOUG?”

“Look, let’s face it, fam. We worked best when you, Katie, were off at college, and Jen, when you were super busy at work, and Tyler, honestly, I think we were all happier when we had no idea where you were or what you were doing and now we’re all packed back into this house all day every day with nowhere to go and are you really telling me that I’m the only one here who is ready to just EXPLODE?”

“Daddy, you’re scaring me.”

“I’m not trying to scare you. But, you know, keep your distance.”

“Doug, this is not funny.”

“Not trying to be, Jen. I’m deadly serious. I’m going to screen-share with you guys one possible schedule we can adopt and of course really looking for your feedback on this, it’s just a spitball first shot at it, maybe there’s better times for the bathroom and — ”

“I’m relegated to our bedroom for ten hours?”

“Yeah, Jen, see, you’ll be there and I’ll be working out of the car in the garage and — ”

“Daddy, you’re getting unglued.”

“No, no, see, I’m not. I just don’t want to be stuck in this house with you people anymore. I just — I just — Katie, I love you, but I loved you a lot more when I didn’t have to overhear your stupid conversations with stupid friends about stupid Bernie Sanders and — ”

“GOD! You are a dictator! This is fascism! This is Nazi Germany.”

“See? I just . . . It’s just better on Zoom, okay, Katie Bear?”

“You don’t want to see your children? Or your wife? Doug?”

“I do want to see you! I want to see all of you! I love you guys! I want to have meals with you and talk and do everything we used to do, just on Zoom. From different parts of the house. Remotely.”

“Doug? Doug? Tyler, your father’s mouth is moving but we can’t hear him.”

“I know.”

“Why is that, sweetie?”

“Because I took over the admin for this Zoom and I put him on mute.”

“Tyler, take your father off mute this instant.”

“Okay.”

“Well, not this instant. First, show me how to get the Eiffel Tower in my background.”

Something to Consider

If you enjoyed this article, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS. Members get all of our content (including the magazine), no paywalls or content meters, an advertising-minimal experience, and unique access to our writers and editors (conference calls, social-media groups, etc.). And importantly, NRPLUS members help keep NR going. Consider it?

If you enjoyed this article, and were stimulated by its contents, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS.

LEARN MORE

In This Issue

Coronavirus Issue

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

The Week

The Week

Trump has every right to boast about his TV ratings, but he really ought to give the virus some of the credit.

Most Popular

Elections

No, Trump Isn’t Going to Drop Out

After he’s repeatedly survived the unsurvivable, we are supposed to believe that President Donald Trump might quit the presidential race before it truly begins because of a spate of negative polling. This is the latest chatter among (unnamed) Republicans, according to a widely circulated Fox News report and ... Read More
Elections

No, Trump Isn’t Going to Drop Out

After he’s repeatedly survived the unsurvivable, we are supposed to believe that President Donald Trump might quit the presidential race before it truly begins because of a spate of negative polling. This is the latest chatter among (unnamed) Republicans, according to a widely circulated Fox News report and ... Read More
Elections

‘Slipping and Sliding down the Polls’

This is an excerpt from episode 233 of The Editors. Rich: So Jim Geraghty, I have the RealClearPolitics Biden versus Trump polling page up right here. I’m just going to read you some numbers going back to . . . This is a CNBC poll from the 10th and 12th of June. And I’m just going to run through to the ... Read More
Elections

‘Slipping and Sliding down the Polls’

This is an excerpt from episode 233 of The Editors. Rich: So Jim Geraghty, I have the RealClearPolitics Biden versus Trump polling page up right here. I’m just going to read you some numbers going back to . . . This is a CNBC poll from the 10th and 12th of June. And I’m just going to run through to the ... Read More

The Year of Stupid

It turned out that the novel coronavirus was only the second-most-infectious disease to spread through the U.S. this year. Satan’s Cupcake has, after all, been diagnosed in less than 1 percent of Americans. The not-so-novel imbecility virus is, on the other hand, ravaging the minds of everyone from news ... Read More

The Year of Stupid

It turned out that the novel coronavirus was only the second-most-infectious disease to spread through the U.S. this year. Satan’s Cupcake has, after all, been diagnosed in less than 1 percent of Americans. The not-so-novel imbecility virus is, on the other hand, ravaging the minds of everyone from news ... Read More

Could Hamilton Be Made Today?

Say, kids, have you heard of this fun Broadway musical called Hamilton? It retells the story of the Revolution and the Founding in a delightful, contemporary idiom enriched by hip-hop and R&B. And all of the major American characters are played by minorities! It’s such a vibrant example of [gigantic Monty ... Read More

Could Hamilton Be Made Today?

Say, kids, have you heard of this fun Broadway musical called Hamilton? It retells the story of the Revolution and the Founding in a delightful, contemporary idiom enriched by hip-hop and R&B. And all of the major American characters are played by minorities! It’s such a vibrant example of [gigantic Monty ... Read More
Elections

The Strategies of Dementia Politics

Joe Biden is tragically suffering a mental eclipse and sliding away at a geometric rate. Understandably, his handlers have kept him out of sight. He stays off the campaign trail on the pretext of the virus and his age-related susceptibility to COVID-19 morbidity. I say “pretext” without apology. Quarantine ... Read More
Elections

The Strategies of Dementia Politics

Joe Biden is tragically suffering a mental eclipse and sliding away at a geometric rate. Understandably, his handlers have kept him out of sight. He stays off the campaign trail on the pretext of the virus and his age-related susceptibility to COVID-19 morbidity. I say “pretext” without apology. Quarantine ... Read More