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Thunderdome Karen, and other Terrible People

In keeping with last week’s descriptions of persons we despise, let us discover a new label for those affecting us most in our present circumstances. In other words: I’m going to make fun of terrible people during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The first is an individual I will call Thunderdome Karen. I’m sure you all know the meme about Karens, the middle-aged white woman with highlights in her short hair, Gucci sunglasses, and an SUV with the water displacement of a World War 2 aircraft carrier. Karen will normally complain to the manager of any establishment that upsets her in the mildest way. Ten minute wait at the store? Call the manager. Hourly employee didn’t say “good morning” to you at Starbucks? Manager. Chili’s refused to refill your fifth margarita? Manager and a free appetizer! But now Karen is surrounded by other Karens, all demanding that their special children, their castle of a house, their upper middle-class lifestyle is more important than anyone else. At this point a Karen must rise above all other Karens. Ten Karens go into the grocery store with one remaining jumbo packet of Charmin, only one Karen will leave. This tousle-haired, cracked nail-polished, blood-covered Forever 21 shirt-she-got-her-daughter-to-buy-for-her is not the queen of Karens. Leadership is pointless to Karen. This Karen knows only destruction of property. She has evolved beyond the needs of a manager’s attention. This is Thunderdome Karen.

The next is Lame Joker. Lame Joker enjoys the fact that you’re not supposed to interact with crowds and does it anyway. Lame Joker claims to be an agent of chaos, but actually works at the Chase Bank call center, and thinks that making a Karen yell at him is a way to oppose the system. Lame Joker hopes he is a carrier for the Corona Virus. He hopes that everyone is angry at him. The thing to do with Lame Joker is, ironically, the same thing you do with him under pandemic-free circumstances. Ignore him. Lame Joker is the kind of guy who licks people at random even if there isn’t an outbreak. Oh sure, you can punch him, but that would mean giving him the attention he craves. Instead, push him in the way of a Thunderdome Karen. Whatever happens between them will work itself out.

And the last person I want to discuss I’ll call Chihuahuas. Have you ever seen a Chihuahua? They’re tiny dogs who seem bred to do nothing but shiver. Some of them can be quite fierce and yippy, and there’s a story about a few of them cornering a mountain lion. I say this not to illustrate that Chihuahuas are universally weak or universally strong, just that they have the potential to be strong but are almost always wrapped up in blankets shivering while staring bug-eyed at anyone who comes close. These are the people who are so terrified of getting sick that they refuse to go outside. They’re terrified that a Lame Joker will lick them, or that Thunderdome Karen will crush them with a shopping cart. And so they eat whatever is in their house, making a casserole out of penne noodles and cat food, and whine about it online. They could figure out a way to improve their situation, and it’s most likely they’ll be fine. But rather than taking pragmatic, simple approaches to help their community, they curl into a ball and cry, shaking like a Chihuahua and yipping at anyone who tells them it’ll be alright.

Feel free to use these terms and add to them. Anyone I’ve forgotten? I want more! Let’s make this crisis easier by pointing out unhelpful behaviors and mock them into reform. Because laughing at terrible people is a little bit better than letting Thunderdome Karen crush us with a shopping cart.