And Yet, They Persist

Spring has sprung. Inside, anyway.

I read to you today from this week’s Longo’s flyer. “Cashmere Select Bath Tissue, $6.99, save up to $5.50!” “You could find the cup to win one of three trips to the Stanley Cup Final! Purchase any one of Kruger paper products!” “Free Cineplex movie offer with purchase of General Mills family size cereal.” I was lured in not by these offers, but by the sale on smoked salmon. I did score my smoked salmon, but of course a package of toilet paper is still as illusive as the Stanley Cup, this year or any other. Fortunately, I am well-equipped in that department. Like their fellow purveyors of grocery store flyers, the tone-deaf marketers at Longo’s exist on another planet. I can’t wait to see what fictional products show up next week.

It is fascinating to observe the products that do and don’t fall under the spell of panic buying. We all know about the toilet paper thing. A lady in the grocery store last week told me the run (pardon the pun) on TP started because the Interweb said toilet paper comes from China. I have no words.

The pasta and sauce aisle is pretty bare, but only if you don’t want spaghetti or macaroni or rose sauce or anything remotely spicy. I’m running low on Frank’s Hot Sauce but am guessing I’m not going to have to arm-wrestle anyone for one of the last forty bottles on the shelf. There is no regular yeast, but lots of bread machine yeast and quick rise. Lots of flour too. Not sure what the regular yeast hoarders are doing with it, but my bread will be done before theirs. Produce is in vast abundance. All the broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts you could want. But I guess your average, run-of-the-mill, hoarder does not want. My roasted brussels sprouts tasted delicious, with a maple syrup balsamic glaze. Lots of maple syrup available, by the way. And, according to the Interweb (if not now probably sometime very soon), maple syrup is the only known cure for Covid-19. Maybe I’ll be able to swap mine for some toilet paper.

Apparently, cheese is not a product one requires when hunkering down to await a pandemic to run its course. Even at Costco (not a place I frequent except to buy cheese) the cheese is spilling out of an otherwise pretty shameful cornucopia. Perhaps nobody has yet clued in that cheese lasts a very long time. Longer than toilet paper, even. Especially the orange kind in the cellophane. The package I just bought has a best before of August 2021. I’m sorry I told you that. Do not even think about trying to steal my stash.

Should you decide to brave the germs at the drugstore, be heartened there is plenty of shampoo and soap. And for now, also a good supply of hair dye. I’m expecting that will change and so will everyone’s hair colour as the available choices dwindle.

I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or bad thing that there’s still a plethora of chips, and junk food in general, on the shelf. I suspect what we’ll be doing in the post-apocalypse is sharing recipes for potato chip poutine made with ninety-year-old parmesan and victory gravy made from shredded brussels sprouts. There is also no run on cut flowers, which I find very sad. If we can’t be civilized in the face of uncertainty, what can we do? Sunday dinner. Roasted veg. Scalloped potatoes. Ham. Candles. Flowers. Wine. Keep calm and comfort on.

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