Turn on today's news, and you're guaranteed to be bombarded by a variety of COVID related stories: Where's the curve at, how to drink bleach safely, essential workers, etc. There's one story that you'll be hard-pressed to find. The alarming trend is being blatantly ignored by mainstream media, though. What I speak about is the spike in puzzle purchases.
If you've scrolled through social media during this pandemic as I have, then you're guaranteed to have noticed an influx of puzzle related posts. People who I once held in high regards, some of which I even considered friends, were now posting their nearly completed, 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle of wild horses. Their infatuation with puzzles puzzled me. Why - with all the advancements human civilization has made and the knowledge at hand - were people still deciding to buy one, two, even three puzzles?
Don’t get me wrong, my grandpa loved puzzles, and I loved my grandpa. But he also grew up during a time when playing marbles was considered riveting. At some point during his life, he literally shared the earth with Thomas Edison; You know, the guy who invented the light bulb. I thought the human race had advanced out of this stage, but the people proved me wrong. Simply lock us in our homes for a month, and a flood of mental midgets will be exposed.
In times of stress, these people crumble. They crack under pressure and turn into irrational and emotionally unstable apes.
Here's a puzzle: A man is murdered. The police pick up 3 potential suspects, each of whom were an ex-girlfriend of the man. The first is a nurse. She's immediately released because of the tweets she inevitably sent out every time she had work, confirming her alibi. Two women remain: (1) a woman who works a mid-level marketing position and (2) a woman who recently completed 15 puzzles. Did you guess puzzle bitch?
Back to the article...
Just because we're in a crisis doesn't mean we should let these unstable sub-humans off scot-free. To make sure we sharpen the emotional intelligence of these neanderthals, I've come up with two focus points for how we should go about treating these people. I'd like to submit this as an official proposal to our US Government. We're only as strong as our weakest citizens, and just because they were dealt a hand of inferior genetics doesn't mean we shouldn't address the issue.
1…Pay Back The Money They Received From The Stimulus Package
You expect me to trust someone who was born with the freedom of choice, and still bought a fucking puzzle? These aren't our fiscally responsible grandparents I'm speaking of. These "people" literally paid someone $20 to get pissed off. That would be like me paying to hate-watch preteen TikTok's on my explore page. The costs would become insurmountable...
Do you feel dirty? Because you should.
There are levels to money management. At the top: those who understand how to control their finances. They're followed by the people who tuck in their jackets to show off a Ferragamo/Gucci/Louis belt. Then, finally, ALL the way at the bottom of the pyramid are the people who buy puzzles.
2…Make Them Quarantine in an Escape Room
Now that American citizens will likely agree to give up more and more freedom for the sake of perceived safety, I say we grant the government the power to track everyone's purchasing history during the quarantine. If you were an individual who bought a puzzle and an excess of toilet paper, it's an automatic bid to be shipped to concentrated camps - NOT to be confused with concentration camps.
We'll have to roll it out slowly, like the last roll of toilet paper. As we know, these people are fragile and nervous creatures. We don't want to scare them off.
Step 1: We identify those who are guilty and require them to wear a puzzle piece pin on their shirts, similar this random picture I found online:
Step 2: Similar to some states who offer rewards for snitching on those breaking social distancing rules, we can offer a monetary award for ratting out puzzlers refusing to wear or hiding their pin in public.
Step 3: Once they begin to feel comfortable, an announcement will go out geared to the puzzleish community. We will offer a free opportunity to all puzzle lovers, even the closeted ones, to participate in an escape room. They won't be able to resist - Puzzle people are escape room people.
Step 4: They'll then be shipped out in packed train cars. When they arrive at the concentrated areas, they'll immediately be split into two groups: the physically capable and physically incapable. The incapable will be shipped back home because we're not monsters.
As for the capable, we'll tattoo them with their own unique number and barcode, provide free haircuts in the form of shaved heads, and lock them into escape rooms. Since these psychopaths enjoy puzzles so much, we'll give them one that their life depends on.
Upon entering the room, one hour will be granted to solve a series of puzzles and riddles, leading to an escape. If the hour ends, a misty gas will begin to fill the room. A voice will then boom over the loudspeaker, "YOU HAVE FAILED TO ESCAPE IN THE GIVEN AMOUNT OF TIME. FOR THAT REASON, WE ARE RELEASING A GAS CONTAINING LIQUID COVID."
Panic ensues. They try anything to get out, including digging at the door with their bare fingernails. People begin to violently vomit. The stream of gas then stops, and the voice returns, "Just kidding. We hope you've learned your lesson about buying puzzles."
We'll then release and ship them back home. On the way out, they'll be handed pamphlet's containing information on how to go about removing those very real tattoos.
BOOM: Just like that, they learn their lesson while simultaneously pumping money back into the economy through tattoo removal services. To avoid any bad press, we'll hire high power individuals like Mel Gibson and his father to deny that it ever happened. Besides, most of these people have lost their credibility anyhow. They do puzzles for fun...
That's all I have thus far. I've been brainstorming the use of a cruise ship's because, let's be honest, if you enjoy a puzzle than cruise ships are right up your alley.
Of course, I'll admit it: both these ideas will need some fine-tuning if we want to pull it off. I just want to make sure that the quarantine doesn't become an excuse for this kind of demented behavior.
**Special thanks to our sponsor, Royal Caribbean Cruises. Do you dream of traveling the world, but don't want to deal with dirty foreigners? If you said yes, then you'll love the experience we have to offer. Don't settle with adjusting to other's cultures in a polite and respectful way. Instead, visit one of the multiple islands we own. They're just like America but in the Caribbean! YAH MUN! Fun!!!**