The arrogant are all about these days.
How disrespectful are their callous ways!
They go about as freely as you please—
No mask, no vaccine, carrying disease
And likely death wherever they may go
(Which is all places, if you want to know!).
But why do I speak of such types as “they”?
What do I know of you? What can you say
On your behalf? I’m not sure I can be
Safe when I’m near you. Oh, yes, I can see,
You have a mask, and you’ve received a shot;
But what about your booster? Is it not
Time you took care of that? You’ve done that, too?
You think, then, I should be impressed with you?
Are you out doing everything you can
To see that others, whether child, or man,
Or woman, or trans—whatever their state—
Is armed with knowledge, fully up to date?
Aha, I knew it! And I shake my head,
Sir, at your unconcern. It’s as I’ve said:
Our first and foremost task: when, where, and how
To be seen as more virtuous than thou.



Julian D. Woodruff, who contributes poetry frequently to the Society of Classical Poets, writes poetry and short fiction for children and adults. He recently finished 2020-2021, a poetry collection. A selection of his work can be read at Parody Poetry, Lighten Up Online, Carmina Magazine, and Reedsy.

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The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or commentary.

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18 Responses

  1. Cynthia Erlandson

    Spot on, Julian! The tyrants never will be satisfied. / However many times we have complied, / It does no good; it only gives more power / To them, who plan more evil by the hour.

    • Julian D. Woodruff

      A neat little 4train, Cynthia. Let’s all whistle little tunes like yours whenever appropriate!

  2. Brian Yapko

    Julian, this is very funny and very accurate. Being forced to dance and jump through hoops is quite exhausting and seems to be a fruitless endeavor. Yet how many people will do or say absolutely anything — no matter how irrational or destructive — in order to appear virtuous? And in the end the mob will still come for them.

    • Julian D. Woodruff

      Thanks, Brian. Ridicule of absurd behavior must be part of our defense, and pens like yours, Susan’s, and Joe Tessitore’s–among many others–are a valued defense and promoter of sanity.

  3. Joe Tessitore

    I add my voice to Cynthia’s and Brian’s – ours’ is the most remarkable of times!

    PS. Mrs. T and I were invited to bring an object in to the Antiques Roadshow, but were booted at the last minute for being unvaxxed.

    • Jeff Eardley

      Joe, I am intrigued at the nature of the object you mentioned, and amazed that our “Antiques Roadshow” is out there on your side of the pond.

      • Joe Tessitore

        It’s an art glass vase from a friend of ours who died.
        We were cleaning out her apartment and the vase was on its way to the thrift shop.
        The weight of it caught my attention, and then I noticed that it was signed, so I brought it home.

        I’ve seen the British Roadshow and I know that it predates ours, but few of us here in the States are aware of that.

        I wish there was a way I could send you a photo.

  4. Joseph S. Salemi

    Here’s an anecdote from Brooklyn, where I live.

    There is a small delicatessen-bodega on our corner, where you can get pretty much any food, drink, candy, produce, or frozen food you wish. The place is cramped, and can only accommodate about fifteen persons at a time, but nobody has ever complained. The establishment has been there for more than eighty years.

    The place is owned and run by nice guys from Egypt. They have learned both English and Spanish well enough to deal with their customers, who are from a wide mix of ethnic groups.

    When this Covid mass hysteria began, the first political Diktat from that jackass Fauci and his politicized CDC was that everybody had to wear those stupid and useless masks in public. No one in the bodega paid the slightest attention to that absurdity, neither the owners nor customers like me.

    One day, one of those arrogant, overentitled millennial jerks entered the place, and reacted with virtuous horror at the fact that we were all maskless. He started to make the kind of holier-than-thou scene that one expects from left-liberal virtue signallers.

    The Egyptian owner swung into action. In his somewhat shaky English he said “Who de hell are you, buddy? Why you come into my store to make trouble? I tell you dis: YOU WILL NOT LIVE ONE SECOND MORE THAN ALLAH WANT YOU TO LIVE! Your stupid mask is of no help to you!”

    When the millennial asshole continued to complain, the owner came from behind the counter, grabbed the jerk by the scruff of his neck, and flung him bodily out the door onto the sidewalk. And he said “Do not come back here! If you do, it will be worse for you!”

    We never saw the little prick again. Left-liberals lose their nerve when faced with real men.

    • Cynthia Erlandson

      That is a great and heartening story! If only everyone had said “no!” from the beginning to these stupid and inhumane “rules”!

    • Sally Cook

      Joe –
      The store owner reminds me of my husband Bob, who, when he caught some neighborhood transient bum taking a dump in my flowers, rolled him in the results, threw him into the street, called the cops and said he’s all yours! Those poor guys had the unpleasant task of putting him in their squad car and hauling him off; not to the psychiatrist’s or some place for a free lunch but to the hoosegow. But before they left, he apologized to them for getting the jerk dirty.
      See, there is still some joy in Mudville !

      Thanks for a great story.

  5. Paul Freeman

    Of course from the opposite side of the pond, the opposite may seem true.

    Thanks for the read, Julian. You’ve caught the current mood very well.

  6. Patricia Redfern

    Really appreciated this delightful anecdote, Joseph.
    Seemed to me one is a member of the great unwashed, without mask and VAXXED. There are medical reasons why one cannot be VAXXED. And there is also free choice! Let’s remember that!
    I heard a great explanation of how effective masks are…Ready? I rolled on the floor, almost, laughing..
    ” AS EFFECTIVE AS A CHAIN LINK FENCE TO KEEP OUT MOSQUITOES,!” Those who want to wear them. Please do! But as an, American, stop
    laying mask-o-mania on me. WISH I had a blessed bodega and courageous owner here.! Thank you

  7. Sally Cook

    To Joe Tessitore –
    Smart move on your part, bringing it home. Perhaps, if you could tell us the name on the vase some of us could help? Tiffany and Galle are two big ticket numbers. You could find yourself with a good chunk of cash.

    • Peter Hartley

      Julian – I liked this little poem very much, agree with its sentiments wholeheartedly and think that they have been exceedingly pithily put. The hypocrisy is not quite so evident on my side of the Pond but some will still make the sign of the Cross when presented with anybody flouting the rules and flaunting their blatant masklessness.

      • Julian D. Woodruff

        Thank you for your kind words, Peter. Don’t you admire the auras around these so-high-above-me types?

  8. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Julian, thank you for your poem. It brings to light the side effects of propaganda – a divided world swarming with self-righteous, judgmental beings. What few seem to realize is, while everyone’s arguing about the efficacy of masks and shots, the world economy is collapsing and our freedoms are eroding… the global government’s mission will be accomplished while we’re focused on issues that will soon seem like a breeze compared to the tempest in store. I appreciate your fine, poetic eye.

  9. David Watt

    Thanks Julian for highlighting the fact that there are so many pitiful people jumping over each other to be holier than thou. Just a couple of days ago a local mother stated that she is frightened to send her 12 year old back to school unless all children are vaccinated. Parental rights matter not a whit to these ‘do-gooders’.


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