On February 19, 2020, more than a dozen people set out on a 25-day adventure rafting the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. When they left, the Democratic debate in Las Vegas was to be held that evening with Bernie Sanders having a double-digit lead. In mainland China, cases of coronavirus were showing signs of decline.

Their enterprise came to an end on March 21 with a disturbing reality. As they paddled to shore for the last time, the first other human being they’d encountered in nearly a month asked this question, “Have you had any contact with the outside world?” 

The group shrugged and said no. Then the man sighed and continued while rolling his eyes, “The world is going crazy. You’ve got a lot to hear. The stock market crashed, toilet paper is out everywhere, Italy closed its border, and the NBA isn’t doing games anymore.” 

Imagine hearing all that after 25 days of being off the grid. I found some other headlines that these rafters also missed and might catch their interest. All are true but one. Can you guess which one is not real?

Planters made an announcement in late January on Twitter: Mr. Peanut died. You know the one…that cartoon peanut with a top hat and monocle. Mr. Peanut, according to the ad they released, sacrificed himself after a car crash to save his friends. The announcement was shocking but the reaction to it was more shocking because of the reactions to it: people loved that Mr. Peanut died. They hoped he roasted in hell. His death was celebrated all over the internet. There was cheering in the streets. Who would have thought people cared about Mr. Peanut that much. That would have a big shock coming back to reality with that news, too. 

Here’s another surprise for the group. People all over the world stepped up to donate to Australia’s cause of dealing with devastating wildfires. Kaylen Ward, one enterprising woman, went above and beyond by sending nude photos to anyone who donated at least $10 to the organizations working to put out the fires. All she asked was to send proof that you donated. And guess what? She raised over $1 million and she gave herself a new nickname: the “Naked Philanthropist.”

Hey, Rafters – would you believe this? There have been mysterious sightings of swarms of drones in the sky over Colorado and Nebraska. Those reporting this development claim they are “as big as cars, flying in groups in grid patterns at night.” Authorities expressed that there is nothing weird about the flying objects. Of course, conspiracy theories proliferated with some believing in aliens while others are convinced it’s the military and they are not admitting to any of it. So, mysterious UFO sightings start this decade and while you were rafting, you failed to hear about it. 

Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston met up backstage at the 2020 SAG awards where they were both winners in the respective categories and where the paparazzi went crazy trying to tie them back together after 15 years apart. Rumors started flying as they were photographed together being rather cozy as many body language experts noticed. This will make great fodder for the remaining year. 

And finally, how surprised will these adventurists be once they face reality and find their own toilet paper shortage. But never fear. If they are traumatized, all they have to do is call Stanley Morgan of Morgan & Morgan Attorney at Law to see if they may be entitled to compensation!

Lee St. John, a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, is a No.1 Amazon ranked humorous author. Look for her on Facebook, Twitter (@LeeStJohnauthor), and her blog at www.leestjohnauthor.com. Her new release, “SHE’S A KEEPER! Cockamamie Memoirs from a Hot Southern Mess” can be found on Amazon.com.