A Conservative Estimate                 

by Dereama Sherrill

Long considered Nashville's "Left Brained Accountant To Right Brained People," conservative humorist Dereama Sherrill considers Tennessee whiskey, Georgia pecans and Kroger Honeycrisp Apple Pie to be among the finer things in life. Dereama lives for writers-in-the-round, David Baldacci novels and long road trips in her beautifully appointed Mercedes S550, originally owned by the artist formerly known as Alan Jackson. She has requested that her ashes be surreptitiously spread across the Biltmore Estate Rose Garden - but not anytime soon - there are too many scoops of Original Vanilla ice cream left to share and enjoy.

Most conservatives I know, myself included, tend to be optimists. We dry clean that cloud’s silver lining and find positive nuggets in otherwise annoying situations. Case in point: since undergoing a mastectomy, a mammogram now takes half the time (although I was shot a menacing glare for asking, in jest, if it would be half price). Along with massive chest reconstruction, the plastic surgeon threw in a tummy tuck. It’s the little things…

 

Anyway, as we enter the third month of this lock-down fiesta, along with a weapons grade case of boredom and hair that looks like an unkempt English Sheepdog, I’ve discovered some delightful benefits. To wit:

 

Gas is cheaper than brain surgery. As a paid up charter member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, conservatives are required to drive gas guzzlers; therefore, this has saved me a good 25% on fuel. An unexpected perk has been fewer Green Hills traffic jams. Whereas it used to take an hour to go from Hobbs to Woodmont, it now only takes 45 minutes. Bliss. I haven’t been on an interstate highway since February.

 

Along with lower gas prices, I received a 20% reduction in car insurance, which is the least they can do for having to endure their asinine TV ads. In addition, my accumulated Kroger fuel points won’t expire, I was able to renew my car registration online without that silly emissions test, and I can drive through the car wash myself and not have to get out…in my sweatpants.

 

Now that I’ve brought up sweatpants, let’s just say that my pandemic wardrobe gives new meaning to ‘business casual.’ Thankfully, my company has never had much of a dress code, and even less of one these days. Hey, I work better when I’m comfortable.

 

I’ve developed a new parlour game when I go to Kroger – what will the hoarders vacuum up this week? First, of course, it was toilet paper, paper towels, wipes, Kleenex, hand soap and sanitizer. Another week, it was ketchup. All other condiments were readily available, but ketchup – even the cheap knock-off brands -- was gone. Then it was flour, sugar, lunch-meat and bacon. But the vegan, organic, natural, hippie aisles were and remain fully stocked. I report, you decide.

 

Since we’re discussing supermarkets, I’ve always giggled a bit watching shoppers, with their stash of reusable grocery bags, look upon me with scorn for always choosing plastic. Imagine my dismay when the utilitarian plastic grocery bag was banned in some areas, and even Kroger declared they would discontinue them in another year or so. Well, bring on a pandemic, and suddenly plastic bags are de riguer, as they’re more sanitary than those politically correct germ infested cloth ones. Plastic straws have likewise made a comeback. I’m grinning like a Cheshire cat as I type.

 

We’ve expanded our collective vocabularies – social distancing, flatten the curve, safer at home, self-quarantine, herd immunity, and I’m not about to get into the mask/no mask controversy, which is more combative than the War Between the States. Minnie Pearl once told me that her daddy would never refer to the great unpleasantness as the Civil War, because as he put it, there was nothing civil about it. I think the same applies to pro- and anti-maskers. Second amendment rallies have been more cordial.

 

Finally, I’m saving a bunch of money on massages, reflexology, flotation therapy, and dining out. I suspect, however, I will erase that monetary deficit fairly soon, when the veil is lifted on my self-care regimens and I can pamper myself again in the style to which I have become accustomed.

 

So, look on the bright side, y’all. This too shall pass. It might pass like a kidney stone, but it’ll pass. In the meantime, enjoy the forced solitude. In the immortal words of Mac Davis: “I never get lonesome ‘cause I treasure my own company.”

Locked Down And Lovin' It
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June 4, 2020

A Conservative Estimate                 

by Dereama Sherrill
A Polite Introduction

Well howdy, y'all!

 

Allow me to express how pleased I am to join this nascent enterprise.  I look forward to watching it grow like the line waiting for hair color when we're finally released from our pandemic purgatory.  So let's get the unpleasantness out of the way:

 

I'm a conservative. That's right, I said it. But before the death threats start coming in, I hasten to add the following:  I'm a very nice person.  I'm pleasant and friendly.  I have friends, even liberal friends.  People like me.

 

Contrary to popular belief, I am not the spawn of Satan; a deplorable; or a racist/sexist/bigot/homophobe.  I do not own a Nazi flag, a Confederate flag, a copy of Mein Kampf, a Klan hood or a gun - and I do not live in a trailer park, unless that's what you like to call Green Hills.

 

I like Starbucks coffee (French Roast, if you please;) Quentin Tarantino, Mel Brooks and Monty Python movies;  Jeni's ice cream, old-school country music and Downton Abbey.  I'm not a NASCAR fan, and not even that big on SEC football. But yes, I DO believe Carole Baskin murdered her husband and fed his lying carcass to the tigers.

 

I also like the Constitution, low taxes, a strong economy with plentiful jobs, a strong military, and freedom.  I respect those who disagree with me, and do not care to get into a fist-fight over a difference of opinion - although I don't mind the occasional squirt-gun altercation or pie-fight. (If y'all haven't tried the  Honeycrisp Apple lattice-crust pie at Kroger, go on - treat yourself.) Believe it or not, there are more than a few other Nashvillians who are just like me, although not nearly as cool and trendy.

 

Alrighty then - now that we've got that settled - how about this quarantine, huh?

 

Thankfully, my way of life has hardly been affected.  I have a home office, so I've been able to continue working, which has kept me from wishing I had a third-floor window and a parachute. However, I'm very concerned for all those who need - but are unable - to work, and the small businesses that may never recover.  I mourn the loss of life, especially after witnessing a good friend who contracted Covid-19 have a pretty rough time (and is thankfully now recovering.)  I empathize with both sides of the "open/don't open" debate;  while my livelihood hasn't been impacted, I'm an at-risk senior citizen who has gone two rounds with the Big C and come out the other side. I've got skin in the game.

 

I worry for the health of the country's economy, especially all the job losses, yet I get why so many are fearful to venture out, with an evil force lurking that attacks victims with no consistent rhyme or reason. However, I am in favor of the gradual easing of restrictions, as long as adequate precautions are implemented.  Maybe it's just me, but I don't think someone should be arrested for walking outside alone with nobody else around;  be prohibited from buying seeds and garden supplies; or banned from traveling to their vacation home, via government fiat. That sort of thing dings my freedom score-card.  And unless I've missed something, no one or no business is going to be forced to open or emerge from hiding unless and until they're ready to do so.

 

The most frustrating thing for me is that there's no manual or handbook for something like this.  I don't believe anyone is to blame, other than whatever happened in The Far East that set off this medical firecracker.  Our leaders - national, state and local - are having to play this by ear, and we have no choice but to comply.  The models have been all over the place. The more data that's generated, the more the graph lines look like a two-year-old playing with a Sharpie.

 

I'm often asked what I miss most about our previous existence.  I feel like the old woman in Titanic who says, "It's been 84 years ..."  I miss going to the gym in the afternoons. Right now, my muscle tone is the consistency of pudding. And due to my age -  according to the re-opening guidelines - I'm going to be quarantined for the rest of my life. I'm hoping the Green Hills YMCA will set up some kind of quarantine ward for us old farts, with a couple of treadmills, a weight machine, and a timed spray of Lysol wafting from the ceiling. 

 

Well, I've droned on and inflicted more than enough drivel on you, gentle readers.  (I've always liked the phrase "gentle readers." But not to worry, I won't go all Charlotte Bronte on you.) Y'all hang tough, be of exceptional cheer, and we'll come out the other side.

 

Oh, and Jeffrey Epstein didn't kill himself.

Long considered Nashville's "Left Brained Accountant To Right Brained People," conservative humorist Dereama Sherrill considers Tennessee whiskey, Georgia pecans and Kroger Honeycrisp Apple Pie to be among the finer things in life. Dereama lives for writers-in-the-round, David Baldacci novels and long road trips in her beautifully appointed Mercedes S550, originally owned by the artist formerly known as Alan Jackson. She has requested that her ashes be surreptitiously spread across the Biltmore Estate Rose Garden - but not anytime soon - there are too many scoops of Original Vanilla ice cream left to share and enjoy.