Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.
Those lyrics by Stealers Wheel in “Stuck in the Middle with You” from 1972 are pretty apt for this time in our nation’s history.
Overall 2020 – not a great year and we’re only three months in; wildfires, Kobe Bryant died and now a global pandemic that could kill millions of people – COVID-19.
Like I said last week, I am not a doctor, I am just observing what’s going on around me.
And I have been noticing that about half of the people I interact with are freaking out about the virus spreading then killing us all. Then the other half of the people are saying that it’s nothing to worry about and a conspiracy perpetrated by (insert evildoer’s name here).
This was demonstrated perfectly when I was out doing some shopping on Sunday.
A salesman was telling me how the virus is just BS and that more people are killed by car crashes and the flu than this virus. Then another salesperson walked up to the desk as I was checking out and used about three squirts of hand sanitizer.
The pair of salespeople bickered about it for a while and then went back to work.
It seems to be more and more common in our lives. People see the same set of facts differently.
What does it mean?
I have no idea. But if this becomes a full-blown plague and kills a quarter of the world’s population, I think that will be enough for us to start to get along.
And finally, I once had a ferocious argument about Stealers Wheel and this particular song in college. I was working for the UW-Green Bay Fourth Estate, the school newspaper, and in the editing room this song came on.
One of the sportswriters looks at me and says, “Y’know the guy who wrote this is from Wisconsin?”
No. He is not.
Steve Miller was not in Stealers Wheel. Stealers Wheel is a bunch of guys from the United Kingdom. I will admit that “Stuck in the Middle with You” does sound like a Steve Miller Band.
Miller was born in Milwaukee.
I don’t often get frothing at the mouth with anger, but this conversation back in 2010 was one of those moments. We almost went to blows over the issue and this was before smartphones. So, the ability to Google was not always within reach. An editor in the room did google it and I was proven right, as it should be.
In the end, I won an argument and that was all that mattered to me. I don’t mind being wrong, but it rarely happens when the topic is rock ‘n’ roll.
Stay safe and wash your hands, for at least 20 seconds.