by John Walters

Sick’s Figures*

*The judges will also accept “The We’s Dumb of Crowds”

In the past two days U.S. coronavirus deaths have slowed (hmm), failing to top 1,000 each day. And so as I type this we’re still not at 100,000, not officially, but we will be by day’s end. And the Trump White House gets to disconnect their handling of the pandemic from Memorial Day, at least officially.

Going forward, it’s going to be difficult to trust the numbers. As this Op-Ed, written by a New York physician who recently lost her mother shows, the president will do anything in his power to stymie the death toll. And we’ve all learned what that means. Here’s another example.

Area Man Who Wrote ‘Sheer Heart Attack’ Has One

Suffered a cardiac event, but did not have blood on his face, was not a big disgrace

Queen guitarist Brian May, who penned the song that would also be the title track of the band’s 1974 album, had a decent sense of humor about it all after a full recovery that included the installation of three stents. “Hmm,” May wrote on the ‘gram, “‘Sheer heart attack, eh? I think I always worried a little bit about that album title.”

Ironically, much of that album was written by May in a hospital, as he’d been struck down with an illness in the midst of a tour opening in Europe for Mott The Hoople. Apparently, all the young dudes could not carry the news.

Oddly, that song was written for MTH by… David Bowie (totally sounds like him, no?). Which gets us back to May and his pulse feeling under pressure.

When To Reopen The Golden Dome

Fr. John Jenkins, the president of Notre Dame, wrote a coronavirus-related Op-Ed in this morning’s New York Times that is (surprise!) far more insightful and intelligent than anything that has spewed from the president’s mouth (related to this disease or, well, ever). You should read it.

One thing with which I strongly agree with the good reverend: Online classes are fine and all, but the experience of being on campus, of interacting with fellow students in class and more importantly, in the dorms, is invaluable. This past weekend six of us college buddies were texting back and forth and I was laughing out loud at the messages. Thirty years later, our sophomoric senses of humor still titillates me.

Also, burying the lede somewhat, Notre Dame is going to have students return two weeks earlier in August and send them home at Thanksgiving through the Christmas break. I could potentially see this becoming a thing even after the pandemic. We shall see.

As for the football team, Jenkins sounds rarin’ to go. Not to have anywhere near a full stadium, but rarin’ to play a schedule. Remember, Clemson is slated to visit the first week of November.

Murder In Broad Daylight

The black man below, who continually told the white police officer above, “I can’t breathe,” died minutes after this video was shot. Apparently of asphyxiation. The police officer ignored bystanders requests to get off the man’s neck.

It should be noted that the police officers were responding to a call of “a forgery in progress.” The man did resist arrest, but if I were a black man I probably would, too. Look at what happens once they get the cuffs on you.

Just insane. This is what they teach at the academy?

Sports Year 1897

On April 19, the first Boston Marathon is staged. The event is the brainchild of John Graham, who had been the Olympic team manager in Athens the year before and been inspired by the marathon staged there (from Marathon to Athens). Graham is a member of the Boston Athletic Association.

The distance is 24 1/2 miles and of the 15 entrants, only 10 will finish. The winner, John McDermott, crosses the finish line in 2:55:10. He walked much of the final 5 miles but still was the only man to break 3 hours. McDermott had won the only previous marathon run on U.S. soil, the year before (from Stamford, Conn., to the Bronx, New York), which we didn’t know about or we would have noted yesterday. You can read about it here.


On St. Patrick’s Day, Bob Fitzsimmons scores a 14th-round knockout of James Corbett in the first heavyweight title bout captured on film.


The first French Open women’s singles event takes place and is won by Francoise Masson.


Not a sports moment, but in West Virginia the case of a man charged with the murder of his wife results in his conviction with the help of “spectral evidence.”

Also this year: the electron is discovered, aspirin is first synthesized and Bram Stoker’s book about a weird count from Transylvania is released.

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