Nobody Here but Me and the Cats

It was an uneventful morning. I woke up to find the house was still intact. No toilets spontaneously overflowed overnight. No major appliances exploded.

No, this morning everything was A-okay. The sun was shining. Birds were chirping. So I did what lots of men do during a quarantine. Namely, I went to the front yard and I sat on a ratty easy chair that our garbage man forgot to pick up.

Previously, the chair had been rotting in our garage. So I put it in the driveway where it became home to many upstanding local feral cats. For the quarantine, I drug this chair into my front yard and started sitting in it. That’s where I am right now.

I am wearing plaid pajamas, bare feet, messy hair, drinking coffee, waving at cars from my easy chair.

I don’t even bother getting out of my pajamas anymore. I’ve been wearing these things for almost a month now. I just don’t see the point of getting gussied up. Or flossing.

This is how I spend my days. I just pretty much sit outside on a torn up piece of furniture tapping on my laptop. I take breaks, I look at trees, I wave at my neighbors who sort of edge back inside whenever they see me reclining on my landfill-style barcalounger.

NEIGHBOR: Our weird neighbor is sitting in that godforsaken chair again.

NEIGHBOR’S SPOUSE: I feel sorry for his wife.

Occasionally, I crack open a can of flavored sparkling water. I have really gotten into the sparkling water lately. My wife buys them. They are great. They have no sugar and no nutritional value whatsoever. This means you can drink several thousand of them.

But you have to be careful because I read an article this morning which states that the leading cause of spontaneous bodily explosions can be traced back to carbonated beverages.

But enough about that. I’ve been sitting in my yard for days, greeting people who pass my house, sometimes I conduct conversations with couples who walk their dogs.

ME (shouting): What kinda dog is that?

GUY WALKING DOG: Run honey, it’s that guy in the chair.

GUY’S WIFE: His poor wife.

We live on a dirt road, so we also have a few hoodlums who ride their four-wheelers into my driveway and do “donuts.” I just learned what a donut is. I’m not talking about the breakfast food.

In my extensive time sitting outside, I have learned things about donuts: They are (a) very dangerous, and (b) to properly execute an all-terrain-vehicular donut you need courage, and about three beers.

Basically a donut is where hoodlums whoop and holler, riding ATVs in circles, carving four-foot circular ditches into your property with their enormous tires.

I simply wave at the hoodlums since I couldn’t care less what they do. They could be building sand castles in my driveway with a bunch of Franciscan nuns for all I care.

Because I am starting to go nuts here. Last night I felt so stir crazy that my wife took me for a drive just to get me out of the house. I haven’t left the confines of my own property in a month.

So I put on some non-pajama pants for the first time in weeks. Then we drove around without a particular destination. I had the time of my life.

I think I finally understand how dogs feel when they go for car rides. Have you ever noticed how dogs LOVE going on rides in the car? They love these rides so much that they are almost telepathic when it comes to vehicles. They can tell whenever you are even thinking about touching your car keys.

Our dogs go on full red alert when they know we’re about to go for a drive. They start barking. Our whole house comes unglued. And someone even—I’m not naming names—makes pee-pee all over our floor.

But I understand them now because I had so much fun on our little drive. I even rolled down my window to hang my head out, letting my tongue flap in the wind.

We drove for about an hour. And it was a weird outing. Our city was practically empty. There was no traffic. Vacant intersections. The restaurants were dead. The supermarkets were ghost towns. Waffle House was closed.

Waffle House.

We pulled over at a gas station, everyone had masks on and wore latex gloves. I wore an old HEPA-filter mask from when I worked construction. It looks like an alien space mask.

The man who was pumping gas several feet away from me waved. He was wearing—this is true—cowboy-print pajamas. I would kill for pajamas like these.

“Nice night,” he said.


“How’re you doing?”

“I’m going slap crazy. How about you?”


“Nice pajamas.”

“Nice space helmet.”

Our voices were muffled because of our masks.

My wife and I drove around some more. We stopped by the old chapel we got married in. We drove by the little bookstore where we went on a first date. We sat in a vacant parking lot, hashing over a few good memories. Then we turned around and drove home.

And that was the highlight of my week. Right now I’m just sitting here in my front yard, in my ratty chair, with a few local cats who are missing chunks of their ears and parts of their tails. This is my world now.

I see a man and woman walking their dog. I wave to them. He and his wife wave back. I can read her lips:

“I feel so sorry for his wife.”


  1. Cathy Lemlyn - April 18, 2020 7:53 am

    Thanks. I did a virtual vacation of my back yard yesterday. I was worn out when I returned to quarantine. Must have walked at least 100 yards. Those vacations do that, sore feet, bad back from carrying that phone all around. Now to do all that unpacking and laundry. Have to set that phone down and wash these pajama pants (mine have daschunds on them) Going to change into my ones with the crazy looking cats.

  2. Barbara Kelman - April 18, 2020 10:05 am

    Sean, love your columns. Some make me laugh and others make me cry. This one made me laugh.

    Stay healthy, happy, safe and sane.

  3. Curtis Lee Zeitelhack - April 18, 2020 10:42 am

    Everyone you see, it seems, feels sorry for your wife. Me too. Nice Pajamas, Sean. Say hi to the cats – and the dogs.

  4. Melanie - April 18, 2020 10:54 am

    Waffle House is closed?! 😱

  5. Cathi Russell - April 18, 2020 11:25 am

    My grandaddy called it “doin tha loop de loop!” Their driveway was long and covered in small riprap stones & the 4 wheelers used to race up & down it

  6. Berryman Mary M - April 18, 2020 12:49 pm

    Priceless, Sean! I laughed and laughed! Some days I save your writings as a special treat at the end of my day, but today I decided to start with you and I’m glad I did. Hope you have a good day today, Sean.

  7. Elizabeth - April 18, 2020 12:57 pm

    Lol, that’s funny! Someone send that man some cowboy pjs!

  8. Linda parker - April 18, 2020 1:02 pm

    I think ur wife is blessed….so does she I am 99.9% sure. Thanks for the smiles!!

  9. Heidi - April 18, 2020 1:08 pm

    My dh has not changed out of his pajama bottoms in a week. I finally figured out why last night after our 100th meal of the day….I’m graduating from jeans to sweatpants today. Stress eating has taken its toll.

  10. Glenda Hinkle - April 18, 2020 1:36 pm

    LOVED this! I’m a big dog lover and appreciate everything you say about yours. Of course, mine do the same thing. I do have a dog that has never behaved like all the rest. Whenever she gets in the car, she IMMEDIATELY goes to sleep and sleeps the entire ride. Somehow she thinks this is the rule…..I don’t know where this rule came from in her little brain but she strictly adheres to it. Anyway, I enjoyed this and hopefully life will get back to normal soon.

  11. Bobbie E - April 18, 2020 2:24 pm

    My first really good laugh in a few days. I love it! Watch your mailbox…bet you’ll be getting more cowboy pjs than you know what to do with! I may check out Amazon. I love your sense of humor…it always shines thru, even in your serious stories. It’s a gift along with your special writing style. God bless Jamie…she’s a gift also.
    Thanks for starting my day on a good note. Maybe if you’re good today your dear wife will take you for a spin. Can’t believe the Waffle House is closed! That’s the first stop for me and my friends when things open up! A dark waffle and a bowl of grits…extra butter!
    God bless ❤️🇺🇸🇺🇸

  12. Anne Swinson Godwin - April 18, 2020 4:28 pm

    This morning, I’m thankful that your sense of humor is still intact. I have several lockdown outfits. The one I’m in now needs to visit the laundry. I’d given some thought to wearing my long hair in dreads. My daughter just sent a text that she’s going to work on the kid’s room in her downtown office, if I wanted to get out of the house. I think we’re all ready for our new normal to get back to our old normal. Our Moffett Road Awful house will be reopening soon. They’d closed right before this hit because they did more take-out than sit down. Keep observing. Keep writing.

  13. Susan Kennedy - April 18, 2020 4:57 pm

    I am a married 62 year old Nana of 4 sitting here in my Big Foot pajamas. Just saying…

  14. Donna - April 18, 2020 5:07 pm

    Slap delightful!! Got me grinning from ear-to-ear… my tongue may have even hung out the window in honor of Thelma & Otis. Thanks for always being a day brightener.

  15. Christina - April 18, 2020 5:50 pm

    funny post and made my day. Thanks

  16. Linda Moon - April 18, 2020 6:02 pm

    I often sit on the front porch in my rocking chair with two spoiled cats and wave at neighbors. The husband is usually piddling in the garage and eventually makes it to the driveway for some outdoor fun on his four-wheeler. Then we sit on the porch together for a while. The neighbors probably say, “Run, honey, it’s that old couple on the front porch. I feel so sorry for them.” But I don’t feel sorry for your wife, Sean, because just maybe I see us in you two, about 40 years into the future!

  17. Kathie J Kerr - April 18, 2020 6:20 pm

    Add a few hours a day of Law and Order and that’s my day, too

  18. Linda Moon - April 18, 2020 8:06 pm

    P.S. I left the front-porch rocker and went for a walk. One family was having a Beach Party on their driveway. A cat I sit for when her family’s away came to the window and “talked” to me as I walked by. I don’t think any of of them felt sorry for me on my beautiful afternoon walk, away from the rocking chair and the husband. Hang in there, Jamie – both these husbands of ours are worth it! And we’re not too shabby, either!!

  19. Laura - April 18, 2020 8:07 pm

    Yesterday I actually saw a guy in our neighborhood washing his car and his plaid pajamas.

  20. Laura - April 18, 2020 8:10 pm

    Oops, “in” his plaid pajamas. I would’ve paid closer attention had he also been washing his plaid pajamas. LOL.

  21. Brenda - April 18, 2020 8:14 pm

    Thank you Sean for bringing me out of a migraine funk into some much-needed laughter… Still smiling over it 😊

  22. Jenny Young - April 18, 2020 9:14 pm

    Oh this made me howl with laughter!

    Here are a few quarantine jokes I saw on Facebook
    “Quarantine has turned us into dogs. We roam the house all day looking for food. We are told ‘no’ if we get too close to strangers. And we get really excited about car rides.”

    “Day seven at home and the dog is looking at me like, ‘See? This is why I chew the furniture!’”

    and this one just because I think it’s so funny…
    “The world has turned upside down. Old folks are sneaking out of the house, and their kids are yelling at them to stay indoors.”

    Stay sane,

  23. Edna Barron - April 19, 2020 12:30 am

    I understand about the pajamas. I live in mine too. My little Pogo loves to ride in the car too. He has a car seat with a safety belt for just in case. Can’t be too careful with precious cargo. You stay safe and have a wonderful evening, hugs, Edna B.

  24. Donna Dicks - April 19, 2020 7:47 pm

    Now, Sean, did you really fit into your “normal” pants? Are they size 38″ waist like those previously mentioned Baptist deacons? Love your posts…keep on writing.
    A friend in sweat pants…

  25. peggybilbro - April 19, 2020 9:40 pm

    Hahaha! Too good Sean! I know a lot of people like you! Nd 9 know their wives too! Love you both! ❤️

  26. peggybilbro - April 19, 2020 9:41 pm

    …and i know….

  27. Celia Harbin - April 20, 2020 3:57 pm

    This was one of the funniest stories you have ever written…and from the very beginning I was thinking of Jamie and feeling sorry for her.. but saying very softly.. ooh, his poor wife.
    I understand the Pajama thing.
    Cheer up…it can’t last forever.
    still in my PJ’s
    unable to sleep
    eyes gritty from lack of sleep but PJ’s are very comfy


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