Morris Applebaum’s Covid-19 Weighty Problem

Morris Applebaum enjoyed his job, he loved working at Morrow Furniture. He was the top salesman (Wayne Morrow, and Daniel Easter were the only other guys on the floor selling couches and easy chairs) for four years running. He made a cool thirty five thousand every year and he had great hours. Besides convincing customers who walked in the door to buy furniture, he had no real responsibilities.

When Covid-19 showed up, Morris’s life changed dramatically. Frank Morrow, the owner of the Furniture store announced that after thirty five years of business he was going to sell the business. He offered it to his son Wayne who wasn’t interested, and then to Daniel Easter who wasn’t interested and finally to Morris. There was no way Morris wanted the responsibility so he declined and within days, he was unemployed and sitting at home watching television.

Looking at the classified ads was depressing as there was no interesting jobs because of the Corona virus, so Morris figured the only thing he could do was eat.

He didn’t work out except for hoisting a can of coke and eating a bag of Doritos. His routine was the same everyday, he stayed in Home Isolation and tried to figure out the top answers on Family Feud. He sometimes got depressed because people gave the wrong answers when it came to the surveys being conducted for the game show.

Day after day, Morris walked from the bedroom to the dining room, to the living room where he watched reruns of Hogan’s Heroes, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Mash and finally to the washroom. After the washroom it was Let’s Make A Deal, The Price is Right, and finally Family Feud. At night he binged on Netflix shows and watched stupid documentaries like The Tiger King.

Life was boring but Morris was enjoying his solitude. He was extremely pleased one day when Frank Morrow called and told him he had changed his mind and wasn’t selling the business. He would be able to rehire Morris. He also mentioned that he had received some money from the Government and Morris would be receiving back pay.

Life was not as fun with Covid-19 but Morris was enjoying the perks. He had his groceries delivered and the Uber Eats, and Door Dash drivers knew his name.

Morris started to cook and bake and before long he was proficient at making pasta, and baking brownies. He ate those two staples three days a week, sometimes for breakfast.

After ninety days of home isolation, Morris stepped on the scale in his bathroom and was surprised to find out that he had gained thirty one pounds. Morris didn’t think that was a lot of weight considering the number of carbs he had consumed.

Morris tried to diet one morning, but he broke it by ordering McDonald’s for lunch. He loved their poutine.

Morris Applebaum had no idea how long Home Isolation would last. The important thing was he had proven to himself that he could survive. He was a winner, he knew how to handle being in quarantine.

When Frank Morrow called to tell Morris it was finally time to come back to work, the store was reopening with safety measures in place, the idea didn’t sit well, but being a professional Morris knew he had to do what he had to do.

At the store, Morris put on a mask and gloves and waited for customers. Frank Morrow told him that Daniel Easter had quit so he could spend his time finishing off courses online to get his PHD in Rocket Science and his son had taken a job driving delivery for Pizza Hut, so Morris was now officially the main man.

Nobody came into the store for two days, and when a customer finally showed up, Morris sold him a throw rug, and a dining room table and chairs. The problem was the delivery guys had not returned to work. When the purchaser said he would go somewhere else, Morris took ten percent off the price, guaranteed everything would be delivered by the end of the week and completed the sale.

On Thursday the delivery guys were still AWOL, so Morris decided to deliver the furniture himself. Morris had never driven the 22 foot delivery truck, so the ride was far from smooth, but he eventually made it to the house at Eight Dell Bank Road. He found it fairly easy unloading the throw run and dining room chairs, but the table was another story. It was a monster. He had to carry it up stairs, flip it on its side (to get through the front door) and set it up in the dining room. Getting through the front door was extremely hard as the opening was narrow and his stomach kept getting in the way. It was the first time in his life that Morris cursed Doritos.

It took about two hours to set up the table and Morris was sure he was having a heart attack the entire time. Finally when he was finished (he couldn’t figure out why he had seven screws left over) the customer tipped him ten dollars and suggested he go grab a coffee and a donut as he looked kind of pale.

When he got back into the truck to head back to the store, Morris couldn’t think about donuts. He was still having trouble catching his breath from all the junk food he had eaten at home during the quarantine. He hated the fact that his stomach was resting on the steering wheel.

When Morris Applebaum got up the next morning he decided to go on a serious diet. He wanted to live and make big money as the only furniture salesman in the store.His new deal paid him his base salary plus fifteen percent commission on any item that he sold.

Over a two week period he lost an incredible pound. The way Morris looked at it, over fifty two weeks he would lose twenty six pounds, which wasn’t bad at all. Just as customers started returning to the store, another horrible outbreak of Covid-19 happened. All non-essential businesses were shut down for the second time in the year. Nobody including the Government had a clue when small business would be able to reopen.

As Morris was on his way home from his last day at Murrow’s Furniture store, he stopped at the supermarket and loaded up on Coke, Root beer, and Grape pop. He bought Chips, Popcorn and cookies. Diet shmiet, if he was going to be in home isolation again, there was only one way to do it and that was to do it right.

After unloading his supplies and cracking open a Coke and a bag of chip, Morris turned on Family Feud. He really wasn’t upset about being home. He could now reclaim his title as the The Best Family Feud player in the country who never appeared on the show. It was almost as good as being the top salesman at Morrow Furniture.

Alan Schwarz loves life. He is the founder of JAMS Productions, a television production company based in Toronto . His passion is writing.

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