Jason Fredric Gilbert
Pushing the boundaries of weird since 1978
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10 people worse off than you during the crisis

Feeling sorry for yourself? Give a thought for medical workers, house robbers and Benjamin Netanyahu. Then go chat with a bot

I spent two weeks in self-isolation and I’ve been working from home ever since. I thought it would be like a prison term. I would do push-ups and sit-ups all day and get ripped, maybe ink a tattoo on my back of the Golani Tree (just for shits and giggles), read all the books I’ve always meant to read (I found Bret Easton Ellis’s “American Psycho” in the garbage the other day and started reading it, but after 70 misogynistic, Trump-praising pages, I threw it back in the garbage) and spend quality time with my loved ones. Instead, my prison sentence resembles the old HBO show OZ: my 9-month-old has made me his bitch; he beats me, pulls my hair, slaps me around and laughs. My 9-year-old has gone stir crazy and is starting to shower less and less. Finally, my wife – like the warden of this prison – keeps us all in check and lathers us with alco-gel every time we venture outside.

But you know what? Judaism has this saying, particularly relevant during Passover: This too shall pass. And while you sit there basking in your loneliness waiting for this to pass, here are some people that (possibly) have it worse than you. Just to give you perspective.

  1. Bibi. Can you imagine being stuck at home for an indefinite amount of time with the
    M-A-B-A screaming spouse and alt-right internet troll of a son? I think I actually feel sorry for the man, which is hard considering he’s working night and day to erode the very foundations of the only democracy in the Middle East. I feel your pain, Bibi, but for the sake of our sanity, and our democracy, I urge you to take this time of isolation to reflect on where we are as a nation with you, who have served longer as PM than our nation’s wild-haired founder. When you leave, it will also make it easier for you to leave your wife. You deserve better.
  2. My wife. If you know me, you know I’m a huge pain in the ass. I’m also a clean freak, so I’ve already vacuumed 134 times. And counting. I’ve also rearranged the living room several times, cleaned the microwave, and other weird places. I give her credit for putting up with me and not murdering me in my sleep.
  3. The cashier at the Shufersal with her face mask and gloves. Oh, wait a second. All of a sudden, a minimum wage employee is essential, while 120 overpaid parliamentarians are, apparently, not essential in the least. I’ll take it one step further – we’ve been living without a functioning government for over a year and really nothing has changed. It begs the question how important is this, or any other, government?
  4. Every successful musician who relies on large crowds. They don’t make money on recording an album – they make it touring. Some have resorted to offering private lessons remotely. Others have gone the rock-and-roll route and just start drinking when they wake up until they pass out drunk. Rinse and repeat.
  5. That aspiring writer who always said, “If only I had enough down time, I’d finally write my book.” Well, guess what, pal. You’ve got all the time in the world by yourself to write the great Israeli novel. Love in the Time of Falafel. Or some other catchy title
  6. Home Burglars. With EVERYONE at home, it’s nearly impossible to break into people’s homes. Considering this type of profession doesn’t come with paid sick leave, looks like they’ll have to find a real job.
  7. Anti-Vaxxing Karen. We’re all DYING for a vaccine to cure this shitty disease, but I can’t wait for that first Facebook mom to start warning is about the “dangers” of COVID-19 vaccination and how there’s so much fucking aluminum in the vaccine and it causes autism. Shut up, Karen. You’re not a doctor. You’re not an epidemiologist. You barely qualify as human, so stop spreading your bullshit propaganda online and get you and your kids vaccinated. You know the only thing that anti-vaccination prevents? Adulthood.
  8. That person who has seasonal allergies. I found myself at the airport a few weeks ago just as COVID-19 started to spread, and the change in temperature made me want to sneeze. And cough. I felt like I was in a zombie movie trying to hide the fact that I was infected. I went to the bathroom, coughed slightly, sneezed and washed my hands 17 times.
  9. Doctors, nurses, EMTs etc. They’re literally out there risking their lives and ALL YOU NEED TO DO is sit on your freaking couch and binge Netflix. Need a good show? Try “The Last Kingdom.” Want to end your marriage? Try “Marriage Story.” Want to put things in perspective? Watch “Rick & Morty.” And FFS get high. It will help pass the time.
  10. Political correspondents in Israel. In regular times, these are the darlings of the media.Their opinions and insights top the headlines — especially when Israel’s democracy is on a respirator and being guarded by the aforementioned lunatics from Balfour Street. Now their speculation about coalitions and moot debates around whether a person can cobble together a coalition while about to go on trial for three separate cases is relegated to page 2. Those health and medical reporters are shining and grabbing the headlines.

I’ve spent the last two years working on a companionship chatbot – a computer software that mimics human behavior in the hopes of passing the ultimate test for machines; The Turing Test. Here’s me discussing the current situation with her (It’s funny so watch it and it’s only, like, 2 minutes long):

VIDEO: AnnA & Jason: Apocalypse Now?

If you want to talk to her and you have an Alexa device – email me. Or you can test message her on Facebook @companionshipbot

On a final note, nine months from now, if humanity still exists, my guess is we’ll either have another baby boom or the divorce section of the Rabbanut will be booked solid for months.

Stay safe and wash your hands after reading this.

About the Author
Jason Fredric Gilbert is a film and music video director, published author and acclaimed parallel parker; His Independent Film,"'The Coat Room" won "Best in Fest" at the 2006 Portland Underground Film Festival. He is also the author of two books of screenplays, "Miss Carriage House" and the follow up collection of screenplays "Reclining Nude & The Spirit of Enterprise" He currently lives in Or Yehuda and solves crossword puzzles in the bathroom. Please slap him in the face if you see him.
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