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New Words from a Virus

To The Desert Independent

February 3, 2021

“You know,” said Herb, “when this danged virus thingie is over and we all have our shots and are guaranteed to live longer than anyone else wants us to, there is only one thing I’ll miss.”

Doc, our morning coffee medical expert, put down his cup and looked at Herb, who was not our medical expert but a retired pawn shop owner.

“You mean you’re going to miss this pandemic, Herb? It’s terrible. What on earth will you miss about it?”

Herb glanced around the philosophy counter here at the Mule Barn truck stop and smiled.

“I will slightly miss its contributions to our more colorful swearing.”

“Oh … “ said the cowboy, Steve. “because we cussed it so much?”

“Not a bit, Steve. No, it was in the use of new words and phrases. For example, as a cussing epithet, who could outdo someone who says, “I want that virus vaccination now, PANDEMIC!”

We nodded.

“Or … why don’t you just go COVID yourself …. 19 times!”

Doc nodded. “Good one, Herb.”

“I know,” said Windy, “how about let’s VIRUSTICATE ourselves over to the bar and have a CORONA?”

“That sounds like fun, Windy,” said Doc, “but at my age it’d be just my luck to virusticate myself over to the bar and have a coronary, instead!”

Windy had a quizzical look on his old bearded face. “Well … how about a Budweiser then?”

“That does sound wiser,” Doc said.

Sometimes, there is a danger that expanding the language can create its own problems. That’s why we drink coffee here.

Brought to you by Desperate Season, from award-winning author Maryann Miller, a mystery found at

"Home Country" columnist Slim Randles won three regional book awards for the two books he wrote in 2014. "Saddle Up: A Cowboy Guide to Writing" won for best how-to book and best cover design at the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards in Albuquerque. Randles lives in Albuquerque and has a dozen books currently in print.

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