If you’re a devoted reader you might recall 20-hour Bonanza flight over the North Pole, in which I discuss a plan to fly to Beaufort, North Carolina with some sea turtles.
The good news for those who #FollowScience, in which the latest edition is that the vaccinated need not wear masks, is that nobody down there was wearing a mask. Not at the airport (contrary to Uncle Joe’s orders?), not government workers at a state park, not museum workers, not restaurant workers, not retail store clerks, not shoppers in retail stores, etc.
The better news for those who like to relax is that, apparently, nobody in North Carolina feels compelled to toil at a soul-destroying job. Restaurants are closed on certain days and/or telling customers to keep in mind that they’re short-staffed. A sampling:
A few days before Pride Month officially began, but the Turner Street Market sandwich shop is already “Proud to Celebrate Diversity”:
How is a sign like this supposed to work at a counter-serve sandwich shop? How would an employee be able to tell what kind of sexual activity is of interest to a customer ordering a sandwich? Is it for situations where a customer says “I need an extra shot of espresso because I was in a four-way last night with three partners with three different gender IDs and all of the sex really wore me out”?
As long as we’re talking about nominally sexual relationships…. “Marriage is a Workshop where the husband works and the wife shops”:
(Thanks to North Carolina family law, this division of labor can be extended indefinitely even after one spouse decides to terminate the marriage.)
How about identity politics, which we are told is new? This sign about the “first Jewish member of N.C. legislature, 1808”, in front of a waterfront house, dates from 2012:
(Zillow says that his descendants won’t be able to live here unless each one has roughly $2 million to spend on a house.)
How about the turtles, you might reasonably ask… We picked them up from KGHG (Marshfield, MA) in a NOAA-supervised operation at 7 am. The fuel stop was at climate change activist Bill Gates’s Signature Flight Support in Atlantic City (amazing hospitality from Stacy Suazo, the general manager). The corporate overlords enforce a moderate degree of coronapanic here. In case the CDC is wrong about COVID-19 not being spread via surface contamination, a sign on the fridge that formerly held water bottles for customers to grab with their filthy virus-covered paws:
Once we arrived at Beaufort (KMRH), the turtles were rushed into a waiting van and we drove 20 minutes to Fort Macon State Park. In Florida, it is illegal for ordinary folks to touch sea turtles. In North Carolina, however, we were able to get some training from the experts and then carry our passengers from a ranger’s pickup truck into the surf.
(Note my passion for all things LGBTQIA+: the T-shirt is from Tony Packo’s, the stated favorite restaurant of M*A*S*H’s Corporal Maxwell Klinger, who was seeking to be discharged from the Army as a consequence of gender dysphoria (evidenced by Corporal Klinger’s wearing of dresses).)
Some more images from the beach: