Peanut butter and the end of the world
An extra large jar of peanut butter; that was our breaking point.
It was early last week when the gravity of this situation became suddenly and terrifyingly apparent to me. We hadn’t been panic buying because it seemed both irrational and irresponsible. Then I noticed that the stores were looking a bit thin. Then I heard some chatter about the supply chains being disrupted. Then I read the news.
In times of panic, one should avoid the news at all costs.
I realized that I had not done what is always a sensible thing to do which is to simply have a couple of weeks of food supplies on hand. So with mouths to feed and butts to wipe I set forth upon a dangerous supply run in a dystopian landscape where one’s future is never certain. I went to the grocery store.
The other faces that I came across in the store looked exactly like mine felt. Strained smiles and shifty eyes. People were obviously trying to check off certain lists and when they couldn’t fill particular items they just bought all of something else that was totally unnecessary.
“Oh my god there is no toilette paper! I MUST BUY SIXTY PACKETS OF TACO SEASONING!”
I wasn’t nearly so reactive. Being strategic in my apocalypse shopping; I knew that we needed shelf stable, protein efficient food sources. We needed peanut butter.
Now, my wife had no idea that I had suddenly become Rick from “The Walking Dead.” The last thing she knew was that I had left the house to get a cup of coffee. So when she called to see what was taking so long and I explained to her that I was doing what I needed to do to keep this family alive, she was somewhat alarmed.
“What are you buying?” She asked.
I briefly went down the list before excitedly proclaiming that I had procured what would be the secret to our survival, an extra large jar of peanut butter.
“Dont,” she said “buy any peanut butter. We have two jars at home.”
This was exactly how I figured she would behave when the end of the world happened. I myself, being a man, had prepared for this exact scenario my entire life. I have practiced sweet moves with swords. I have patrolled my house at 2 a.m., armed with only a golf club because the dog woke me up. I have seen all the movies. This was not a time to be “practical.”
I explained this to my wife and she told me once more to not buy the peanut butter. I lowered my voice to what I thought sounded stoic and kind of badass and I said, “I’m buying the peanut butter.”
And she hung up on me.
I finished my shopping, peanut butter and all. In fact, I nestled the peanut butter next to me in the truck, smiling to myself at my own smartness.
“I’ll show her!” I thought to myself as I began to daydream. I imagined all of the walls of our society crumbling down around us while we cowered in our home. We would be nearly to our breaking point when I would then unveil the extra large jar of peanut butter and we would hunker down around a small fire that we built in our living room and share the jar. It would ultimately prove to be the key to our survival and enable us to eventually rebuild our society again.
This was last Monday. I may have overplayed my hand a bit.
This is not to say that times aren’t still concerning but certainly they are not apocalyptic. In fact, what I am seeing mostly is good will, hope and families learning how to simply be with each other again.
The stores are slowly restocking. People are mostly being responsible about social distancing and businesses are finding creative ways to stay vibrant during this rough patch.
My wife and I made up. There have been some other meltdowns with our family since then as I think is inevitable when any group of people are forced to spend too much time around each other. We got past those and we will get through more.
As for the extra large jar of peanut butter, I have it stashed away in the garage just waiting for when we need it most…