STATEWIDE – For those still trying to keep track, today is Wednesday. May is arriving in a couple of days.

STATEWIDE – So, after COVID-19 finally goes away, what will New Jersey look like? To answer that question, the Wall Street Journal went all the way to Seoul, where there now seems to be a rule for absolutely every interaction. Very soon, when we meet in an office, we may all be wearing masks. When we head to the diner, we may sit in the booth in a zigzag pattern, as opposed to directly across from one another. Atlantic City hotel rooms – and all other lodging – would be ventilated for 15 minutes after we check out. Visitors to the Adventure Aquarium in Camden or the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange or any other public space would need to stand six feet apart. Don’t think of shouting or hugging at a Giants game. And high-fives? Are you crazy?

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TOWNSHIP OF UNION – No campus visits, please, but have a pizza. Kean University, like schools everywhere, needs to recruit, recruit, recruit for its fall class. And because it is impossible to get would-be students on campus to show them life as a Cougar, the school sent 365 pizzas across six states, NJ.com reports, as munching families watched school officials make their pitch on Zoom. The virtual “Dinner with the Dean” is yet another way that colleges are desperate to connect face to face, as there are just so many online tours of campuses that can be concocted to woo students.

LUMBERTON – Caution: not all Zoom meetings are a winner. Local school officials are now removing Zoom from the curriculum, after some pre-teens got an education in porn and racism by the scoundrels who hacked into their online classroom. Someone interrupted an otherwise less-than-newsworthy lesson at Lumberton Middle School for about 15 seconds on Monday, showing porn and shouting racist comments, prompting an immediate call from the ticked-off teacher to the administration. There will be no more Zoom, district leaders decree, but the school district will still use Google Classroom and the Walther Learning Portal – if they can stay porn-free.

NEPTUNE CITY – A struggling tavern owner poses a great question: Why can’t she sell mixed drinks to-go? The Asbury Park Press tells the story of the owner of The Grand Tavern who apparently makes the best shaken, but not stirred, martini in town. Yet her business is now in tatters, forced to close dine-in service on March 16. She now does take-out, with the state allowing her to sell packaged goods. But what about that martini? Heck, no! Only pre-sealed liquor, wine and beer can be sold from the premises, further restricting her ability to serve the thirsty masses. Perhaps, during this lingering emergency, the state will allow bars to sell house-mixed cocktails. It certainly can’t pose more of a health risk than a handshake.

BRIEFING BREATHER: In the White House, there are 13,092 knives, forks and spoons.

IN THE MEDIA

ASBURY PARK – Gannett newspapers are losing even more of a local voice, if that is possible, laying off the editorial page editors of the Asbury Park Press and the Bergen Record. It is yet another indication that Gannett is run by investors and bean counters consumed by stock price, rather than individuals who see owning newspapers as a community service. Editorial page editors serve as the “voice” of the community, the calm, consistent presence that cuts through the clutter of politicians to provide much-needed perspective on the news. Apparently, that is of little interest to Gannett, bidding farewell to Randy Bergmann at the Asbury Park Press and Bruce Lowry of the Record, New Jersey Globe reports. A silver lining: Maybe the Gannett stock price will nudge from 86 cents a share to 86.0000001 cents a share. What a win.

KNUCKLEHEAD OF THE DAY

CLINTON – Oh, how far we have sunk. Three middle-aged suburbanites experienced the full wrath of the Clinton Township Police Department, nabbed for playing a round of golf at the Beaver Brook Country Club, which, is, of course, closed. The trio face charges of violating emergency orders. Hey, we also want to play golf, or anything else. But, we can’t. And neither can you. No mulligans; One Murphy for each of you.

KNUCKLEHEAD SCORE: 1 out of 5 Murphies 

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

ON AIR – If you are going on national television, at least try to wear pants. That’s the lesson learned by ABC News reporter Will Reeve, appearing live yesterday morning on Good Morning America to report on pharmacies using drones to deliver drugs to customers. As Reeve was about to sign-off, the chyron at the bottom of the screen disappeared, revealing Reeve only seemed to be wearing underwear. He later clarified they were really, really short workout shorts – like his dad, Christopher used to wear during those Superman flicks – and not underwear. “Hope everyone got a much needed laugh,” Reeve tweeted. We did.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

The rubber hit the road on this day in 1813, when Johann Friedrich Hummel was issued the first US patent for rubber.

WORD OF THE DAY

Zephyr – [ZEFF-er] – noun

Definition: A breeze from the west.

Example: Close the door! Don’t you feel that zephyr?

WIT OF THE DAY

“You may tell the greatest lies and wear a brilliant disguise, but you can't escape the eyes of the one who sees right through you.”

- Tom Robbins

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

“The only reason the U.S. has reported one million cases of CoronaVirus is that our testing is sooo much better than any other country in the world.”

- Donald J. Trump

WEATHER IN A WORD: Cooler

THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun