Alan shows off his stapler repair.
Alan shows off his stapler repair.

When cleaning products were in short supply, YouTube taught us how to create homemade solutions.

Have you taken advantage of Michigan’s updated limited capacity dine-in rules in restaurants? Not me. I remain steadfast in my skittishness to venture too close to anyone. I won’t even get within 6 feet of my reflection in a mirror. On the plus side, I’ve finally gotten used to using a 6-foot long toothbrush. I almost convinced someone the other day that my gastroenterologist was social distancing by using 6-foot poles to perform colonoscopies.

I did, however, after a four-month hiatus, finally cave to pick up my first carryout — but not without a trial run. My first attempt at ordering curbside from Jersey Bagel at 14 Mile and Farmington Road earlier in the pandemic ended like a delayed rocket launch at Cape Canaveral.

It was no fault of Jersey Bagel. I knew they were following all the health guidelines. But after spending 20 minutes staring at their front door and just within seconds from lift off, I aborted my carryout phone call from the parking lot and held off ordering. I… just … couldn’t … do… it.

A few days ago, with my appetite thrusters on full throttle, I called Jersey Bagel and picked up at curbside their “Morning Stimulus” breakfast sandwich. Pre-pandemic, I would’ve taken a bite at the first traffic light I came to. But, oh no, I had to wait until I arrived home and removed the bagel out of its carryout box with the precision of a neurosurgeon on the table in our garage reserved for cleaning incoming products.

It had been four months since I had a breakfast sandwich. When my teeth landed on the multi-grain surface, I audibly moaned: “The bagel has landed.” Yep, one small bite for me, one giant appetite for this man-child.

I invited our first repairman into our home a few days ago. He wore a mask and gloves. And he was very patient trying to hear me through my hazmat suit encased in bubble wrap.

I’ve been turning to tutorials on YouTube for less urgent repairs. I am sooooo proud of myself. The spring on my ageless 747 Swingline Stapler had become unhooked and, yes, to those of you whose moron alerts just went off, it’s a more complicated repair than you think. Just ask the 26,000 plus people, yes, 26,000 people who watched the same video as me looking for stapler spring reattachment help.

Thank goodness I didn’t have to fix the spring on a Swingline 545 stapler. Apparently, that’s a more widespread problem as evidenced by the 421,000 views on YouTube! Don’t believe me? Go to YouTube and watch it yourself. Yep, I found myself binge watching stapler repair videos. Who needs Netflix?!

When cleaning products were in short supply, YouTube taught us how to create homemade solutions. And as pathetic as it is for me to admit, when I was tasked with a simple cooking chore, I searched out a how-to-boil-eggs tutorial. Make fun of me if you will, but I was one of 1.2 million other views! By admitting this I may have egg on my face, but at least I know how to boil them now.

You’re lucky I’m at my word limit. I don’t have enough space left to tell you about the YouTube video I recently watched on how to clean my CPAP machine equipment. Unfortunately, I fell asleep before it was over.

Alan Muskovitz is a writer, voice-over/acting talent, speaker, and emcee. Visit his website at, “Like” Al on Facebook and reach him at

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