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Smart Tony tells us how to be safe during the holidays


Thanksgiving was coming, and so were surges and misinformation, so Smart Tony gathered a bunch of loyal TV personalities and politicians and admirers to explain how to be safe during the holidays.


“I love them holidays,” Smart Tony told his handler before the big speech. “People cooking for me and telling me how great I am. But it puts a kibosh on the festivities when people start dropping dead right during the meal, if you know what I mean, and with this new Gobble variant, I ain’t saying that can’t happen. I mean, if Rand Paul bit the dust as he was biting into his turkey, that wouldn’t bother Smart Tony too much, and even if that happened to my sister-in-law, who always gives Smart Tony trouble during the holidays, and my uncle Lorenzo, he’s already dead, but if he weren’t, then Smart Tony wouldn’t mind….”


His handler stopped him and told him it was time to make the speech. Jake and Anderson and Rachel in the Meadow all would be there, and the science president was watching it from his bathtub, and even all the kids in the country tuned in because they no longer attended school.


“I love them kids and they love me,” Smart Tony said to his handler. “Last year I started signing my emails with him/her/they, and them kids, they just fawned over me when Smart Tony did that. I could kill half the world, and some people say I did just that, but them kids, they don’t care. Just sign your emails with them three words, tell them that you hate Trump and love abortion, and fret a lot about the environment, and you can even shoot one of them kids right in the face and he’d die smiling and thanking you. That’s what Smart Tony likes about them kiddos.”



The curtain opened and everyone stood and applauded for the hero of the nation and the world, Smart Tony, who was now going to tell them all how to be safe for the holidays.


“First of all,” Smart Tony said to the crowd. “I want to apologize for all the puppy misinformation that the right wing been spreading about me. I love puppies and I don’t want you kids to think I don’t. Here’s a picture of two new puppies I just bought that my maid is watching out in the country house; poor Smart Tony is too busy saving humanity to take cares of them, but as you can see, I’m keeping them safe, they’ve been vaccinated with the booster and all, and they is always masked, so let that be a lesson to all of you.”


The room burst into applause. Smart Tony continued.


“Now, let me tell you a lesson about the Thanksgiving holiday that my parents told me, because it ain’t enough to eat and fight with relatives and watch football, you’s gots to know what the holiday means. You see, when Columbus and the other Italians landed in Plymouth Rock to help them poor natives—who, if you can believe it, never even tasted a good pasta before then—the first thing he said to them was this. He said, Injuns, you’s guys better social distance from us by at least a few hundred miles and wear your masks and quarantine in your reservations because we’s don’t want you’s to get sick from whatever disease we may be bringing here. He said that, because Columbus and them Italian explorers, they were sciency like me and they care like me. And guess what, just like all the other Red state people…”


His handler whispered something in his ear, and Smart Tony nodded.


“I’m told to make it clear that I ain’t implying that because injuns are red that they are the same as people who live in red states, just that them injuns who Columbus met on Thanksgiving Day did the same thing as right wing anti-science people in the red states. Anyways, them injuns said to Columbus, No way bro, I ain’t doing that social distancing and masking. And you know what happened? They all died. That’s the lesson of Thanksgiving."


Rachel in the Meadow raised her hand. “Thank you for clarifying history, Smart Tony,” she said. “Some conservatives have a different take on the holiday based on misinformation. I do have a question. Many of us wonder how we will survive the holidays and whether it’s really safe. Maybe it’s best that we just have a virtual holiday and never see people again. A lot of people who I thought were going to invite me to their homes for the holidays said they prefer I join them virtually; I assume for my own and their safety. What should we do to stay safe?”


“That is a brilliant question, Rachel in the Meadow, and that’s just what Smart Tony is here to tell you’s,” he said. “The CDC and Pfizer and all of Pfizer’s most devoted academic doctors—they’re all meeting on a private island as we speak to craft a plan to save all your lives paid for by the science president who don’t know no end to the money he’s willing to spend on your safety—came up with a plan, and this is it. And by the way, these friends of mine on the island, they’re offering gift certificates you can give out under the tree for extra booster shots and for I Hate Rand Paul shirts. This is all good stuff, and the money goes mostly to them, but 1% goes to me, so it’s charity, people, and it’s smart and sciencey.”


“What did they say at the island,” Dr. Gupta asked. “I’m on the edge of my seat!!


“Good question, Sanjiv, you is so smart you even scares Smart Tony sometimes. This is what they said. First of all, during them holidays to stay safe, you gots to wear a mask outside at all times, and inside you wear two, except in the bathroom, when you wear three; lots of bad smells there is what I’m saying. We recommend that the old folks stay outside; my cousin Pete he’s got a porta-john business and if you mention my name, he’ll give you a deal on one so the old folks don’t got no excuse to come in. They like the cold weather, and if you play re-runs of Judge Judy and Wheel of Fortune out there, they’ll love it and won’t be so annoying anyways. And all them kids, keep them locked in a room, and so they don’t got to take off their masks, puree all the food and have them drink it fast. I recommend sewing masks on them since, you know kids, they may not follow the rules, kind of like Smart Tony was sometimes a rascal in his young days in the big city. I can tell you some stories, let me tell you that much!”


“What about distancing and handwashing during the holiday?” Anderson asked. “And by the way, Smart Tony, your sweater is gorgeous.”


“Thank you, Andy, I used my Pfizer stock profits and bought it from Oscar de la Renta himself who was very pleasant and complimentary. What was your question? Oh yea, safety; poor Smart Tony sometimes gets distracted when it comes to his vanity. Anyways, the CDC is putting out new guidelines to keep us safe, like they do every single day before changing their minds and putting out newer and more sciency guidelines. During the holiday it’s important you wash your hands for exactly twenty seconds each time between bites and when you talk to people who are sitting but not standing, and based on the newest science, you can wash for fifteen seconds during desert. Also, keep your six feet separation, but if you’s teaching kids stuff or being at all educational you can cut it back to three feet, since we know that’s all the separation you need in schools. Oh, and by the way, we got some information that sweet potatoes may be super spreaders, so keep those outside and only eat one spoonful at the time. Thems is lessons from science, people, and so you’s better listen. Any more questions for Smart Tony before he drinks his ensure?”


“Smart Tony,” asked Rachel in the Meadow. “There is a lot of misinformation about places like Sweden, that they’re having all their holidays without restrictions, that they have not closed anything down, that their kids don’t have to wear masks or get shots or distance, and that despite all of that they’re doing ok. In case the right-wing anti-science fanatics use that to try to change your very wise policy, what do you have to say to them about Sweden?”


“I’m glad you asked that very important question, Rachel in the Meadow, because them Swedes get under my shirt as much as Rand Paul. I mean, I thought Rand Paul was an eye doctor, but he can’t see the truth from lies. And who does his hair? I bet he is a secret Swede sent here to mess us up and hurt Smart Tony.”


“Smart Tony, I just want to say, the recipe you sent me for pumpkin casserole, it’s heavenly,” Anderson said. “Go on, tell us about Sweden, because who can like Sweden? They don’t even celebrate Thanksgiving. They don’t have baseball and football. And their fish are red and taste like candy. What kind of country is that?”


“You are right, Anderson,” smart Tony said. “And all the sudden people are getting all bent out of shape because in Sweden fewer people died last year than in almost any other country, and here in the good old USA more people died than in any other country, and the misinformed right wing Trump lovers—who by the way raided the Capital and tried to kill us all, if you need to be reminded—say all those statistical stuff is important. But you can’t count how many people died and say that means something. With science, sometimes we got to kills a dozen people to stop one case of COVID, and in that way, our plan is working perfectly. Sweden don’t care about its COVID, and they got so many cases of it that I stopped counting. So, they ain’t so good, they is the worst, we’re the best. USA, USA, USA,” he started chanting.


“And they don’t even wear masks in Sweden,” said Jake Taper, his fist on his chin. “That’s akin to murder. I felt compelled to mention that.”


“That is true, Jake,” said Smart Tony. “And let me tell you, our kids love the masks, they love wearing them day and night even if they can’t breathe or concentrate or nothing. You know why? Well, I got this letter from a really ugly boy, a boy whose face is so hideous….”


Smart Tony’s hander whispered something in his ear. He nodded.


“I’m told not to use the word ugly, since it’s a judgment call or something like that. What I meant to say is a boy whose face ain’t quite like what society thinks it should be and who don’t get a lot of hits on Tinder. Anyways, this boy tells me that since he has to wear masks everywhere he goes, he don’t feel ugly no more, that’s his words, not mine. And also, some kid told me that when he used to pick his nose people laughed at him, but now that he wears a mask, he can pick his nose day and night, and no one cares. They can’t do that in Sweden, which is why that country is so backwards and prejudicial against nose pickers and people whose faces ain’t quite like what society thinks they should be, and why we are so advanced and liberal and sciency here in the USA under our science president, just like the kids tell me every day.”


“Smart Tony,” said Dr. Gupta. “Europe is shutting down again and quarantining everyone. Given that during the holidays lots of people are gathering here, don’t you think we should follow their example?”


“I’m from Europe, Sanjiv, and it ain’t like where you’re from, so I know a lot about that country. And I’ll say this: that Merkel, she’s one hot little leader who…”


The handler whispered again.


“I’m sorry, my words slipped through my mask so fast that I sounded like Trump there for a sec. I don’t mean hot, I mean smart. And them Germans, when have they ever been wrong? I mean, Europe is always so far ahead of us in every way. Back in the day when I was just a sperm in my daddy’s balls, Europe was electing leaders who were strong and brave and it was because of those leaders that we were able to have World War tTwo and save the whole planet, just like I’m trying to do today. So, we need to do what Europe does cause they is older and smarter than us, and I like old and smart. More questions? Smart Tony got to pee soon.”


“Smart Tony,” said Rachel in the Meadow. “You know as much about history as you do about science, so tell us, just so the right-wing people can understand, isn’t this plague the worst one that humans have ever faced, and because of that, shouldn’t we stop being so selfish about holidays and families and even freedom, because what’s freedom and holidays if we’re too dead to enjoy them, and isn’t Trump a bigger threat to freedom than all these shut downs, which is why we should censor anyone who dares to question you or the science president, or anyone who likes Trump, so we can preserve our freedom?”


“Yes, Rachel in the Meadow, that’s speaking the truth. To me, freedom is to be free to stay alive, and that’s a damned good freedom if you ask me, and Jefferson put that right into his Declaration, the right to life and some other stuff, but life was first, and that other stuff he just put in for show, I think to shut up Hamilton, or at least in the musical that’s what happened, although I was asleep a lot during it, so I’m not too sure. Anyways we know that the only freedom we should care about is the freedom to stay alive by being forced to wear masks and not gather or travel and get lots of Pfizer shots. That’s freedom in my book, and you can toss all them other false freedoms in the can.”


“I have a question, Smart Tony, about what it means to be pro-choice?” some anonymous reporter asked from the back. “How do mask and vaccine mandates fit into a pro-choice agenda, and is it right to force people to be vaccinated when they have antibodies from previously being infected by COVID?”


That reporter was booed and then quickly escorted out by some masked thugs in brown shirts.



“Let me say this about that,” said Smart Tony. “We is pro-choice, but only if that choice is one we think is best for you. And we ain’t pro-life in the abortion way, just in the way of everything else, because life, that’s what it’s all about, and just because more people are dying in this country than anywhere else in the world don’t mean we ain’t about life, or about choice, or about freedom, it’s all about science, and I am the most sciency man in all the world, just like all the kids tell me every day. And there ain’t nowhere else in the world that got Thanksgiving or football or the science president or Smart Tony. So, if you want to make a good choice to stay alive on Thanksgiving, you’ll make the choice to listen to Smart Tony, buy his new shirt that I am holding up here and some of them Pfizer gift certificates for your loved ones, keep away from the sweet potatoes, wear your mask, wash your hands for the exact amount of time I tell you, and stop listening to misinformation about antibodies and freedom and such nonsense. That’s a happy holiday to Smart Tony, and so I says to all of you, be safe, watch CNN, and just know that you don’t got to think for yourself since Smart Tony is doing all the thinking for you. That’s all you’s gots to know. Now, Smart Tony got to go and pee!”


And to a standing ovation, this man who saved the world by leading his nation to the highest rate of overall death and suffering and locking up kids and old folks and taking away everyone’s freedoms, all in the name of science and humanity that was best elucidated by the very sciency Columbus on that first Thanksgiving Day when he landed on Plymouth Rock and scared all the natives away for their own good and said to them, “Happy Thanksgiving, we own this land now, so scram,” and we see how that all turned out, which is why Smart Tony was so happy to be able to talk to the country and teach them the truth against all the misinformation that was being spread by anti-Thanksgiving types who didn’t understand what the holiday was all about and how to do it safely.


“I’m pretty damned smart,” Smart Tony said to himself on his way to the bathroom, as he vigorously picked his nose under the mask and smiled.

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