A Threat Is All It Takes (tf)

I could never understand the compulsion to stock up on milk and bread at the approach of every winter squall. The guys I used to hang around with would just buy beer. I’d say, “But Murph, you’ve got 3 cases in the basement already.”

“Ya never know” he’d say.

Can’t argue with “ya never know”.

I don’t really drink milk unless I’m pouring it on Fruit Loops. And we hardly ever have any Fruit Loops left when the mood hits me. And bread doesn’t do much good unless you put something between 2 pieces of it. So presumably everybody standing in line at the store already has plenty of meats and cheese and peanut butter and jelly. You wonder why they’re always out of bread. Seems very poor planning. A bit of the cart before the horse, no?

The presumption, of course, is that the storm is going to be biblical. Awe inspiring. “The Storm of the Century” (how many of those were there in the 20th century anyway?). Snow piled to the roof. People will be unable to get out of their homes. An utter societal breakdown (strangely, nobody ever thinks they might lose power or cable TV). So they’ll just kick back and stay alive by rationing Wonder Bread and drinking thimbles of milk while the rest of the county starves to death or becomes mangled from a lack of calcium.

What really happens is that the storm touches down, drops a fraction of the snow that was called for (why do we always blame weathermen for this? Like they knew we’d get 2 inches instead of 19 and conspired to keep it from the masses in a show of perverse solidarity), and by the next morning the plows have already been through and the main roads are clear down to the pavement. And then you notice that the expiration date on your bread is tomorrow and your milk smells kinda funny. If you are indeed stockpiling, why in the world bring home the 2 most perishable foods on earth?

You suddenly feel foolish.

You should feel foolish. If it was an impending nuclear attack, maybe. Some duct tape and some wheat bread might be a good idea. Milk not so much. Maybe a good wine. Or better yet, go hang out at Murph’s house. You’ll never know what hit you. But a few inches of snow? In the year 2011? There’s a convenience store about a mile from my house that would keep the front half of the store open if somebody blew the back out with a grenade launcher. About the only thing you can’t buy in there is beer. For that you only have to walk across the street to the distributor which is open 12 hours a day 6 days a week. Guys who sell beer don’t worry about milk and bread.

I am also perplexed by the folks who run out to buy shovels when a storm is coming. You live in NEPA and you don’t own a shovel? What did you do the last time it snowed? Get on your hands and knees, puff up your cheeks, and blow it off the sidewalk?

The folks who buy shovels by the storm are the same ones who drive 70 miles per hour in the passing lane during a white-out,  spin out of control crossing the bridge,  nearly ending up in the Lackawanna river, and survive to tell the rest of us that the “roads are terrible”. Try not to move next door to these people. You will end up paying for a large fence.

So we have survived another one. Time to stock the shelves.

–Tom Flannery

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~ by admin on January 14, 2011.

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