Did you know the coronavirus can cause madness? That’s what the expert said on TV last week. The stay at home” 11th Commandment is the reason and especially true if you live alone without any source of human contact.

One day you look around and find you are no longer alone with your paranoia and conspiracy theories. There in the guest bedroom is a mountain of toilet paper, the result of serial purchases at Costco. I have named it “Mount TP.”

Most of it was purchased during the early days of this pandemic before the “one per customer” 12th Commandment handed down by retailers when panic buying out-paced supply.

Maybe this resonates with you too. How does this happened to ordinarily reasonable people like us?

Could we be hoarders or, worse. Could we be selfish and greedy?

This is not a good look for us, so we race to the nearest mirror and are relieved Ebenezer Scrooge is not looking back.

I can’t speak for you but I wanted to see a hero in my mirror and so I donned my cute homemade bandana mask with the coffeemaker filter along with our no-latex and no powder gloves and headed for the streets of Chagrin Falls throwing rolls of toilet paper to random pedestrians, of which there were few because of the “stay at home” order.

Back home you unload your car and wonder what to do to rid yourself of self-hate and make a promise to call your broker and ask if toilet paper become the pork bellies of the future.

Then the answer came in a flash and I set to work wrapping each roll in bows and colorful wrapping paper. “My Christmas shopping is done!” I announced on Facebook, tweeted on Twitter and videoed for YouTube.

Not done yet, I wrote a one-act play including themes of Blossom Time, the film “Casablanca” and passages from the “Yes, Virginia There is a Santa Claus.”

I titled it “Yes, Rick, there is a Chagrin Falls but No Blossom Time for You This Year.”

Setting: Rick’s Place night spot in Casablanca. With soft jazz piano playing in the background, American expatriate Rick Blaine – a native of a place called Chagrin Falls in the American Midwest -- enters and takes his place behind the bar. Santa Claus is seated across from him. Rick speaks first.

RICK: “Of all the mill towns in the world COVID-19 had to close up everything back in the states including Blossom Time.

SANTA: Isn’t that the festival held in Chagrin Falls every year? The one that gladdens the hearts of young and old alike for four days Memorial Day weekend?

RICK: Yeah, that one, Santa. I had a night flight outta here and was going back to experience that joy again before World War II or the pandemic, whichever comes first. (Rick sighs deeply) With social distancing and stay at home the rules, I wonder if there will ever be a Blossom Time again.

Some folks back home say it will never return (Rick sobs and rests his head on the bar).

SANTA CLAUS: Rick, those folks are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They are Debby Downers who believe only in the chatter on Facebook.

RICK: You can play that again, Santa.

SANTA CLAUS: Rick, those folks are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They are Debby Downers who believe only in the chatter on Facebook.

RICK: (sighs) I didn’t mean that literally.

SANTA CLAUS: Without the Twister, cotton candy and hand-shaken lemonade it would be a dreary world indeed. Is Blossom Time lost forever? No carnival, balloon races, parade and 5K run! No sausage sandwiches or cotton candy and hand shaken lemonade?

Why, Rick, you might as well ring a death knell for Art by the Falls or Concerts in the Park on Thursday nights and the North Union Farmers Market.

No Blossom Time? Thank God it lives and will live forever and make glad the hearts of children and the generosity of the Chagrin Valley Jaycees.

RICK: We’ll always have Blossom Time, Santa?

SANTA: You betcha Rick and Ingrid Bergman too. Go Rick! Now. If that plane leaves the ground and you’re not on it, you’ll regret it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon.

RICK: Thanks, Santa, I needed that. Here’s lookin’ at you.

SANTA: Right back atcha, Rick. And oh, by the way, if you happen to see any toilet paper, could you bring me a couple of rolls?

A veteran reporter and columnist, Barbara Christian has been covering Chagrin Falls since 1967 and is currently responsible for Chagrin Falls village events, government and school board news along with her weekly column "Window on Main Street."

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