M. Giant's
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Monday, April 28, 2008  

Shopping for the Apocalypse

Trash sent me to the wholesaler near my office the other day to "stock up on staples."

First of all, let me tell you about this wholesale outlet. It's highly convenient to my workplace -- almost literally next door, although the fact that we're talking about multi-acre property lots makes walking there a nonstarter. However, it sits at the top of a hill, which means that as soon as you get out of your car you're lashed by frozen winds that have arrived unobstructed from the Arctic Circle. Even in July. The kind of wind that makes you stump along the pavement, stoop-shouldered, with your hood up whether you're wearing one or not, hissing to yourself, "We hates it, preciouss, yes we does." Also, it was raining uphill.

But once inside, I had a mission. Trash has gotten word that food prices will be going up sharply in the near future, so I was instructed to prepare.

"Am I shopping for a recession or for a nuclear holocaust?" I asked, seeking clarification. Trash didn't know what that meant, but when she asked me to just get non-perishables, I took her at her word and assumed that I was to prepare for a scenario in which we had no utilities and were besieged by CHUDs.

So I stalked the non-refrigerated food aisles, loading up my cart with large quantities of anything austere that we can store indefinitely in our basement (the garage is out, thanks to that little fucker Squirrel Goodnut). A giant box of crackers. Cans of tuna by the dozen (albacore, naturally; the end of the world is no excuse to bail on the dolphins). Canned soup by the dozen. A brace of giant peanut butter jugs. A 25-pound bag of rice, to go with the other one. Enough spaghetti to line up the noodles halfway to Venus. Beef jerky, which we never buy except at gas stations during road trips. Even -- shudder -- canned turkey. Which, if we ever actually eat it, we'll know we are very hungry.

I also considered getting some bulk cat food for Phantom and Exie, but they need a certain kind and we'll need them to be healthy when disaster strikes. Otherwise they won't be very nutritious when it comes time to eat them.

I'm kidding, obviously, but it's kind of weird, the mindset you get into when shopping for stuff like this. You imagine the circumstances under which you'll actually be eating this crap, and the next thing you know you want to go up to the people browsing the plasma TVs, grab them by the shoulders, and scream into their faces, "Don't you see? It doesn't matter! We're all going to DIIIIIIEEEEE!"

That didn't keep me from refraining from buying the bulk brand-name cereal , of course. The off-brand stuff in the giant bags at the regular grocery store is probably still cheaper on a per-ounce basis, and I still have time to comparison-shop before the thousand years of darkness descend upon the land.

But after spending less than two hundred dollars, I felt pretty good about the stash of goods I had accumulated. I look forward to a romantic evening of cooking it on the camp stove by the fading illumination of a four-cell Maglite. Now when the desperate, gun-toting gangs of marauders come knocking, I'll have something to hand over to them.

Plus it put the return trek across the parking lot into a little perspective. For about ten seconds, that is, and then I was just cold and pissed. Stupid CHUDs.

posted by M. Giant 4:02 PM 6 comments


I think about that same apocalyptic crap whenever I shop at S@m's Club, plus I worry about whether my 3-year-old could get into the food if her father and I were killed and she were left to fend for herself (one too many news stories about toddlers who survived the massacre of their family and then had to live on ketchup). Then once I'm home there's the dilemma of whether to store those food items on the bottom shelves, where she can reach them in case I'm dead, or on the top shelf so she doesn't tear into it and eat herself into a food coma while I'm still alive.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 29, 2008 at 5:19 AM  

CHUDs! Walking in Soho hasn't been the same since I rewatched that movie a few months ago.

Don't worry, I think you are more likely to be gotten by those shapeshifting aliens from John Carpenter's The Thing. Time to start growing your beard now.

By Blogger Carrie, at April 29, 2008 at 12:27 PM  

Am I the only one who, upon reading the first line of this entry thought, "gee, I wonder why they need so many staples? Are they putting a lot of fliers together or something?"

Just me?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 30, 2008 at 9:34 AM  

Hey, I was just writing about planning for the impending apocalypse the other day! I'm not yet at the stock-up-on-food-women-and-children-first
stage, but my safety kits are all in good order.

By Blogger thesourapple, at April 30, 2008 at 8:53 PM  

No, Shawna, not just you. I was wondering why anyone needed to go to a warehouse to get staples. Dude, each small box has thousands of the things!

Of course, now you've bought the tinned turkey you'll have to reconcile yourself to eating it at some point before it goes off. Looks like M. Small's packed lunches are sorted for a few months.

By Blogger LB, at May 1, 2008 at 2:06 AM  

I may be wrong, but the word "staples" gave me the impression of foodstuffs that are nessisary for living.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 1, 2008 at 4:18 PM  

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