Red Alert

vic fortezza
2 min readApr 24, 2022

Is it me or is mental health in the USA in steep decline? Is the desire to go viral a virus? Headline from “Click bait: Daredevil YouTuber crashed plane as publicity stunt, FAA says.” And a 21-year-old female University of Wisconsin track athlete has committed suicide. And this: “Man arrested in threat to bomb Merriam-Webster over ‘woman’ definition.” And from, another in a spike of foolishness at athletic events: “Animal rights protester tackled after storming court during NBA game.” Also in sports, from an FN article by Andrew Mark Miller: “…fans in the notoriously rowdy right-field bleachers at Yankee Stadium pelted Cleveland outfielders with bottles, cans and debris in a chaotic scene Saturday…” Please tell me it’s me, or the 24/7–365 news coverage making it seem the end is near.

Amusing NYP headline: “Suck it, vegans: US is eating meat more than ever.” Given the state of things, why shouldn’t people enjoy themselves? Rare, medium or well done?

Step right up, NYP headline: “Poop pill could be the secret to crushing it at the gym.” The accompanying article by Mark Ellwood informs that it “contains bacteria harvested from the poop of high-performing athletes.”

Headline from FN: “Loudoun County volunteer firefighter crowned Miss Virginia 2022.”

After a one day absence, the unfriendly wind returned. My thanks to the woman who donated a fine mix of books in Russian and English, and to Mr. Conspiracy, aka Steve, who dropped off a thick tome on the Bush family; and to the woman who overcompensated me for four kids’ books; and to the gentleman who bought two DVDs: The Fantastic Four (2005) and Beaches (1988). I hauled out my old high school football jacket, hoping it would attract attention, initiate conversation. Only Mike commented. It’s not surprising given how the neighborhood has changed. I thought it would be too warm to wear it — not! Redmen forever!

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vic fortezza

I was born in Brooklyn in 1950 to Sicilian immigrants. I’ve had more than 50 short stories published world wide. I have 13 books in print.