Excerpts from a boomer’s lockdown diary

We don’t know if you have kept a diary during the lockdown, but in La Canada, California, professional comedian Forrest Brakeman has. And from what we can see, he’s losing it. And we don’t mean the diary.

Lockdown diary, Day “Who-the-hell-knows”:
My lovely wife Kristen cleaned out the arts & crafts cabinet yesterday, the junk drawer and the miscellaneous crap drawer today. So I know what that means: the garage is coming. And there is nowhere for me to hide.

The garage… before.

Lockdown diary addendum:
Reprieve! It was determined that the old dog needed a bath before anything else. No, not me. Buddy, the actual dog.

Lockdown diary, Day “Yes it is”:
So far there has been no mention of the garage. I’m on my third cup of coffee. The tension is unbearable.

Lockdown diary, Day “Time has no meaning”:
Another reprieve from cleaning the garage. The dumb old dog did me a favor this morning by falling into the pool, then crapping everywhere. He hates water. He apparently loves pooping. I anticipate the day will be spent treating his new case of doggy PTSD and swaddling him to stop him from shaking. Probably a call to a dog shrink. Are they essential services? The garage, it appears, will have to wait another day.

The dog.


Lockdown diary, Day “I mean really, what is a day?”:
I fear that I have run out of time. Kristen announced, “Today we clean the garage.” Just like that. No more waffling. No more subterfuge. I’ve run out of distractions. I feel like I’m Marty Byrde in Ozark and this time they are actually going to kill me. She knows all my tricks. We’ve been married over 30 years. The garage frightens me. It is a jumbled mass of history, laundry, and things that have lost their meaning and long since been forgotten. It is overwhelming. It’s monolithic. I would say, “Send help!” but what can you do from six feet away? The Coyote has finally caught the Road Runner.

Forrest… looking to escape.

Lockdown diary, Day “I used to know what those were”:
The garage seems like so long ago now. Almost a dream. Did we clean it? I think so. All I know is there was a lot of drinking involved. We did discover that if you do it a little bit at a time, over a long period, it still gets done. Like when you just eat one little piece of the donut because you have strong willpower, but by the end of the day it… and the others… are gone.

A clean garage… but this could be “fake news.”

Lockdown diary, Day “You tell me”:
Now I hear that we should not go out of the house this week and maybe next, and especially do not go grocery shopping. That is unfortunate, since this day, WhateverItsNameIs, is my usual day to stand in line just to spend an hour of sheer terror inside the grocery store. I tried Instacart. Spent an hour making a list of the things we needed. Then it said it could deliver it to us a week from Sunday. I don’t even know when that is anymore. So now we must live on what is in the freezer. There is stuff in there I don’t remember even buying. Maybe it came with the house. Is there a shelf life on Trader Joe’s mutton tamales? Can you still eat frozen vegetable medley if it is old enough to have no expiration date? “I’m sorry honey, but we have to eat this withered frozen taquito and a frozen Lima bean casserole. It’s all we have this week. And we gotta make that one taquito last.”

Lockdown diary, Day “Night, or whatever, dude.” Is it too early for Scotch?


  1. Facing the same fate – cleaning the garage!!!! Or are we just moving the deck chairs (aka the Titanic!). Thanks for the needed humor!

  2. Love your piece. It’s not too early for scotch but I don’t want to go back to the days of being thrown out of bars for my singing. Then again, at home, who cares?

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