This alien year, this incompatible, antagonistic year of horrors has produced one extraordinary hero in one very special moment ….

The Rev. Timothy R. Pelc of Detroit.

This thoughtful, imaginative priest used a water pistol to spray parishioners with holy water in an attempt to maintain social distancing.

In a year that’s been an appalling melee of pandemic grief and misery, marches and mayhem as well as political pollution, Father Pelc brought a much-needed moment of lightheartedness and grace to a nation that needed it.

And I hope there’s a special award for this fine man when the smoke clears and the world is free again.

• • •

A short list of things to do in pandemic lockup when others have already been done ….

Caulk a shower.

Write a rondeau in a foreign language.

Stand on the sidewalk in front of your house and point a hair dryer at cars moving too fast, making the drivers think you’re aiming a speed gun at them — or better yet, to make them think you think it’s a speed gun.

Organize your thoughts on interstellar travel theory.

Subscribe to a Kyrgyzstani magazine.

Try remembering every car you’ve ever bought, in sequence.

Write down the 10 best things about being old, if you’re old.

•  •  •

OK, Ralph-the-realist, the down-to-earth guy who knows for a fact it wasn’t a perfect world before 2020 exploded on us …

You’re right, Ralph, we can remember the semi-great way things used to be.

And we can wish once more to ….

Go to a department store blowout-sale and try not to get trampled. On the bright side, it’s a heck of a good workout.

Enjoy a nap or three in church listening to an inspiring sermon inspiring naps.

Go to a movie and have 14 people excuse themselves (some of them) squeezing between you and the seat in front, to go to the concession stand or rest room, then a short while later, returning.

Sit in the stands at a football game behind some clown who once played on a high school B-team, explaining to everyone within the sound of his loudspeaker voice why this quarterback should be benched (a remembered experience that makes you wonder if empty stadiums are such a bad idea, should coronavirus guidelines lead to that).

Riding in an airplane when the guy in the seat in front of you reclines, and you’re certain he’s going to plop down on top of you, crash into your tray and the coffee and tiny bag of peanuts it holds.

•  •  •

Then, finally, on those precious moments you can leave the house …

When it’s cool enough and safe enough to slip on your mask and go for a walk, here are some song-combinations you can try to whistle as you traipse along, doubling your enjoyment no doubt …

“I Walk The Line When it’s Twilight on The Trail”

”Walkin’ to New Orleans On The Navajo Trail”

“You’ll Never Walk Alone On The Old Chisholm Trail”

“Walking the Floor Over You Because of Blue Shadows on The Trail”

“These Boots Were Made For Walkin’ on The Santa Fe Trail”

However you walk, whatever whistle:

“Happy Trails.”

Corky Simpson is a veteran journalist who writes a column for the Green Valley News.