After struggling for weeks to adjust to the new government mandated stay-at-home routine, Ray Harris can finally report he’s achieved a near perfect state of blissful inactivity. Accustomed to “hitting the ground running” everyday, Ray initially bristled at the idea of being “cooped up” 24/7. After all, his friends called him Free Bird, and everybody knows “this bird you cannot change.”
But Ray eventually did change, and, as he’d heard good things, decided to see what this Netflix business was all about. Soon, however, the act of scrolling and searching for new programs to watch seemed like a lot of unnecessary effort. Reading and turning the pages of books became a tedious exercise. Even following the superficial disputes between guests of daytime talk shows required way more brain power than Ray was willing to expend. At that moment, Ray made up his mind to embrace idleness in a manner never before thought humanly possible.
One day, Ray acquainted himself with an ant that had somehow, improbably, found its way to his upper story bathroom. The ant had been hanging out there for days, and often greeted Ray at the sink, standing on its hind legs whenever Ray popped in for a brisk hand-washing. The old Action Ray would have smashed the interloper with a kleenex and flushed him down the toilet. But Idle Ray had come to enjoy their brief exchanges, sometimes spending hours seated on the edge of the bathtub watching the ant explore its surroundings, wondering why the tiny adventurer had left his posse down at ground level to scale the plumbing up to the second floor.
Soon Ray began spending extended periods of his day sitting as still as possible. The combination of extreme social-distancing and intense inactivity allowed Ray to achieve what can only be described as a state of sedentary nirvana. He was able to slow the electrical activity in his muscles to a weak trickle, and his calorie-burn rate dropped to well under one per minute. His muscles started to atrophy at three times the normal rate, and the neural activity in his brain began to dim like a rolling blackout.
Just then, before he could commence the process of shedding years from the end of his life, Ray felt a light tickling on his nose. He wanted to scratch it, but remembered the prohibition against touching one’s face and stopped himself. Instead, he opened his eyes, and strained mightily to cross them and focus inward on the end of his nose. There he saw the ant standing on its hind legs, shaking four fists, and berating him for God knows what. Ants can be such sanctimonious bastards. Ants also work like hell. This little fella was probably giving him shit for his unfathomable laziness. Having stood at the edge and stared into the abyss, Ray withdrew and thanked his little buddy for saving him from couch potato oblivion.