A broken pet teepee waits for a certified teepee repairman. Photo by Tim Grobaty.

It’s Day 66, just 600 days shy of the Mark of the Beast festival. And on days like this when I’m sort of weary about the lockdown, I get to the point where I’m about ready to open my house as a fitness center or yoga ashram like all the cool rich kids are doing now: Club Grobix.

My list of chores and exciting new discoveries as forced upon me by my beloved and terribly missed coworkers at the Post and Business Journal (aka the biggest and most dependable news outlet in our city) is growing rapidly and fast outpacing my talents. I can do a lot of things now, none of them particularly well. I can say “I drink water” and “I eat bread” in Spanish, I can paint by numbers once I throw away the numbers, I can sit cross-legged and breath like a black-belt yogi and I can bake flat bread (not to be confused with flatbread) and now you can go ahead and say I’m a guy who can make a TikTok video. Who wouldn’t hire me?

“There are a lot of old people on TikTok now,” chirped the patronizing reporter Valerie Osier, skirting dangerously close to actionable ageism. Like it wasn’t bad enough she chose a dinosaur for me to paint.

The TikTok assignment came from City Hall reporter Jason Ruiz, who admirably didn’t make any snide remarks about the tenuous grasp old people are said to have on technology.  Hey, old people sent men to the moon using nothing but a church key and parts of an old walkie-talkie.

I’m not, despite my young age, a huge fan of TikTok. My robust attention span seeks out videos that are longer than a minute, and I’m always exasperated when a TiKTok ends on a cliffhanger and the viewer is extorted with “Like me for part two.” I won’t. I can’t claim to like someone when my first introduction to them is irritating. I won’t live that lie.

So I watched a couple of YouTube (the Facebook to TikTok’s Instagram) videos on how to make a TikTok video and I was urged to dance, lip-sync or put stupid hats on my dogs. The dog video was tempting, but Jasper’s not in a stupid-hat mood right now. He’s got a torn ligament in one hind leg ($3,500 to fix) and over the weekend he tore up his left front paw (cost TBA, but I’m guessing $400, pretty much what a vet charges if you walk in the door) so walking is a bit of a chore and he’s not going to put on an outfit for a video.

@timbojohnMy first and best TikTok. Like me for part 2. ##longbeachpost ##lbpost♬ original sound – timbojohn

My video employed a couple of effects, including a backdrop of dinosaurs and a hat that tended to come adrift from my head. The video basically detailed what I’m doing at home to kill COVID time. So it’s a little light on content and semi-heavy on effects. That’s a perfect description of TikTok.

If some of my aging readers have enough on the ball to give it a try, simply download the TikTok app and you can watch quick videos all day long, or start an account and make your own. Also: China might be watching you, so if you have a trace of paranoia, pass on this, and maybe set your phone on fire.

So, what’s next? I’m not sure. I might pitch a tent. Someone left a blue and white kids’ tent on my porch and, since leaving things on my porch is the preferred method of dropping off things that I’ll need for a project, I figured someone wanted me to try camping, for which I’d need a tent.

I asked whatever colleagues that dialed in to our morning Zoom meeting if they knew anything about the tent, and no one copped to it, and it was suggested maybe a parent had borrowed it from a friend and mistakenly returned it to the wrong address.

So, I left it out in plain view on the porch in case its owner happened to notice it and perhaps knock on the door and sucker punch me for swiping their kids’ tent. We’ll see how that goes.

If it is for a project for me to solve, the problem is, it’s a little tent; you could maybe put half of me in it.

Also, it requires construction and comes with a half-dozen wooden poles and no directions. Now, you could argue how difficult could it be to put together a child’s tent?

Like me, and maybe we’ll find out in Part 2 tomorrow.

Tim Grobaty is a columnist and the Opinions Editor for the Long Beach Post. You can reach him at 562-714-2116, email [email protected], @grobaty on Twitter and Grobaty on Facebook.