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Best Social Distancing Business Pivot So Far - Bumper Car Tables, Dining Dummies, or Priest Shooting Holy Water Out of A Squirt Gun?

“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”

- George S. Patton

Show me an obstacle in the road and I'll show you an American entrepreneur who will find a way around, under, or over that obstacle.

It's what separates The United States from the rest of the world. 

Electricity, automobiles, air travel, the telephone, space travel, personal computing, the internet, America pioneered them all.

When faced with being forced into a second World War, the entire country mobilized in mere weeks by adopting policies like the Cost-Plus Contract to get major industries on board to convert to war production to produce materials and vehicles as quickly as possible. The selective service draft was flooded with men and women who volunteered to answer the call to fight for their country.

When American's backs are against the wall, we shine. 

For small businesses now is one of those times.

The Corona Virus dealt a deathblow to millions of small businesses, that weren't deemed essential, seemingly overnight. The hospitality industry took it especially hard. Now that states are beginning to reopen with strict guidelines in place, that time to shine is once again upon us.

I present three of the best innovations for post Corona Virus business in no particular order.

Dining Dummies

Fox 25 Boston - ... There will be social distancing, but the otherwise empty tables at the restaurant in Rappahannock County, located nearly 70 miles west of Washington, D.C., will be filled with mannequins, Washingtonian reported. Chef Patrick O’Connell worked with the Signature Theatre to gather mannequins decked out in 1940s-style clothing, the magazine reported. The smartly dressed mannequins will be seated at tables throughout the dining room.

Movie fans will recall the scene in “Home Alone 2,” when Kevin held a holiday party with mannequins and life-size cardboard cutouts to make would-be burglars believe the house was full. The Little Inn at Washington will use a more elegant touch, Servers will interact with the mannequins, including pouring wine -- most likely the house brand, since the restaurant’s wine list can get rather pricey.

Respect Fox 25 for calling those blow-up dolls mannequins. Aside from the creepiness of the faces on those dolls I love this move. Nothing worse than sitting in a restaurant where you have to whisper because everybody else can hear your entire conversation over the silence. These capacity limits will be a major drain on energy and negatively affect the overall experience. So places like The Washingtonian have decided rather than leave every other booth and table empty, they'll fill them with fake bodies and dress them up. 

Does it have a very "House of Wax" vibe? For sure. (BTW - very underrated prime-time Elisha Cuthbert movie.)

But it will definitely make the place feel less dead and give diners shit to look at. So I'm a fan of this move.

Bumper Car Tables

OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJZ) — Giant inflatable inner tubes on wheels were spotted at an Ocean City bar and grill over the weekend, built with the intent to provide an idea of what a socially distant dining experience in the future. The pub Fish Tales recently got the tables in the hopes they can use them once they can go back to dine-in services with social distancing guidelines in place.

“We’re an event company, and events have taken a hard hit, so we’ve been trying to figure out a way that events and things can still happen,” said Erin Cermak, one of the owners of Revolution.

She said while people have been trying to figure out extended seating for big places like ballrooms, no one has been able to figure out a safe way to be social and walk around while maintaining the required distance.

The tubes are custom made, with a welded frame, with an inner tube and wheels. She said it was a lot of trial and error, but that once they got it to six feet, people can run around and interact with each other- six feet apart of course.

“You get in the middle of them and you’re just happy,” Cermak said.

While there isn’t necessarily any official state guidance yet on something like this, she said that they have built them to be guaranteed six feet away from someone else.

Fuckin geniuses over at Fish Tales in Ocean City, MD. Not only will these help the bar comply with the state's rules, but people are going to go fuckin bonkers for the chance to suit up in one of these, pound a few stiff ones, then ram one another and blow off some steam. Talk about a great way to bump into girls too. (See what I did there?) Hats off to these guys. Really hope the state of CDC doesn't find a way to rain on their parade and deem these unacceptable. 

Priest Improvises Using Squirt Gun To Bless Parishioners With Holy Water

Detroit Free Press - Photos posted on social media by the St. Ambrose Church show the Rev. Tim Pelc shooting water into a car window as it stopped by the steps of the church on Easter. He wore a mask, face shield and rubber gloves as further precautions against spreading the coronavirus. Pelc told (redacted) for an article over the weekend that he was a little concerned about how the Vatican might react when the photos of him squirting holy water began circulating widely on the internet. But, he said, “I haven’t heard anything yet.”

I think we have a clear winner here. Father Pelc loading up a squirt gun with Holy Water for reverse-drive-by is fantastic. Gotta love his quote to the Free Press about being worried how Pope Francis is going to feel once word of this gets back to the Vatican. 

Don't be shocked if he gets his hands on that pizza shooter Ninja Turtles toy and has it loaded up with Hosts for drive-by Communion next Sunday. Father Pelc is an innovator to the highest degree.

Just three more examples here of America leading the way to overcome hurdles as usual.