A case of Corona in America
Frank sat in his favorite armchair, smoking his forty-third Marlboro Red of the day and coughing violently. Though he hadn’t checked his temperature since snapping apart his sole thermometer after snorting a particularly prodigious line of methamphetamine, he was convinced that he was running a fever. “You know what?”, Frank said to himself as he obsessively looked over a hastily scrawled list of symptoms he’d found on the internet. “I’m also feeling lethargic. Is that the fucking hangover or something else?” However, his mind wandered to the contents of his heavily fortified and booby-trapped garage, which immediately eliminated his concerns.
Illuminated by the flickering television in an otherwise darkened living room, Frank repeatedly watched the film Outbreak while stroking the .44 Magnum revolver in his lap and scoffing at the idea of virus-spitting monkeys. “Bullcrap! This goddamn shit is man-made!!” You see, Frank found himself increasingly irritated in the absence of Fox News, but the networks hadn’t broadcast anything in several days; or perhaps he’d merely neglected to pay his cable bill one too many times. Either way, as far as Frank was concerned, everyone else was dead or dying. For a fleeting moment he considered his wife, Kandi, whom he’d very recently buried in the earthen floor of the cellar. She’d suddenly become ill and passed away shortly thereafter, so Frank simply assumed she’d contracted the infection before they barricaded themselves in their home. On the other hand, in life she’d been a morbidly obese diabetic and alcoholic pill-popper whose gaping maw was practically always chock-full of sugar and grease. So who really knew what killed her? That thought made him laugh, which gave way to an especially intense coughing fit. Once again, he remembered his garage and almost instantly calmed down as a result. A quart of Wild Turkey later, Frank emptied his sidearm into the stuffed deer head above the TV prior to drifting off into a semi-comatose slumber.
The next morning, Frank awoke to find himself soaked with urine and splattered with vomit. At that point it occurred to him that he was desperately in need of sustenance. Battling dizziness and a crushing headache, he called upon every last vestige of his strength, did a fat rail of meth, and then trudged to the kitchen — where he grabbed a case of Corona, an armful of Twix, and multiple Party Size bags of Doritos. “We probably should have stocked up on Pringles too,” Frank concernedly said aloud before stopping to peer into the garage. What he saw buoyed his spirits and instilled him with sufficient motivation to return to the living room. “Outbreak it is.”
A week later, Frank’s favorite armchair was empty. Cigarette butts, crumpled beer cans, bright orange crumbs, and candy bar wrappers littered the carpet. If one were to have peered through his thickly barred garage window, one would’ve been greeted with a strikingly peculiar sight: a smiling corpse wearing a tattered, formerly white tank top and soiled NASCAR boxers, sitting atop a carefully constructed toilet paper throne flanked by eight pallets of hand sanitizer.