A week ago I was writing about a restaurant with a sign up that said “Patio Open.” This week, that patio is covered with snow. There are times I truly hate February. But I have my milk, bread, and toilet paper so I know I’m set for the rest of the month.
I’m sure there are super-markets across the country, no, across the world that are overrun with mad shoppers a flake short of looters hoarding all the milk, bread, and toilet paper at the first hint of a storm. But here we can actually walk that particular cat back to a real crisis – sort of.
It was in 1950, the day after Thanksgiving. The forecast was dire, 12 inches of snow over the next 24 hours. The weathermen (remember, 1950, no weatherwomen then) were wrong. Over three feet fell over those 24 hours. Over the next few days the locals dealt with it. The snow came, emergency services served, and people existed on their Thanksgiving leftovers.
The weekend came and went and so did the leftovers. Probably because of those leftovers, the city grocers had fairly well stocked shelves come Monday. So well stocked they were that one of the local papers headlined how well things were going with “City’s Food Supply Is in Good Shape.” The story was slugged “There Is Plenty for Everybody…” That was a relief, but rather short-lived. The article’s second sentence began, “Milk was the one shortage that has hit all sections…” The sentences that followed noted specific abundances, praised workers who showed up, and in general commented positively on how there is still plenty of food for everybody. Except for that milk thing. Oh, and bread which had been “doled out in some stores.” Remember, 1950. World War II rationing wasn’t that long ago. “Doled out” did not conjure up images of “plenty for everybody.”
Then to make matters worse the story continued that heads of families should buy “only what you need on a day-to-day schedule in order to have enough of everything to go around.” That doesn’t sound like “plenty for everybody” at all. No sir, not at all. No milk, no bread and here are families who just spent a weekend of every meal that included leftover turkey gravy. And those were some big families (remember, 1950, baby boomers). If they needed enough of anything to go around it was going to be toilet paper. And it was going to be soon!
Ever since then, no matter what the forecast, if there was any snow in it then as God as our witness we will NEVER run out of milk, bread, or toilet paper! And that’s why today when I stopped in the bakery for a loaf of bread all that was left were a few mini-Italians and a couple donuts. The little cooler had no milk and they don’t even sell toilet paper. And yes, yesterday’s forecast called for 1 to 3 inches by tomorrow.
Fortunately I really don’t drink much milk. I myself am a mini-Italian so I was quite satisfied with the available bread. Since the inception of places like Sam’s and Cosco I can open my own toilet paper franchise.
The donuts? They were a plus. I figure you can never have too much of anything with sprinkles, and if I didn’t buy them somebody else would.
I can hardly wait for the next snowfall.
That’s what I think. Really. How ‘bout you?