Coronamageddon is upon us. The stores are being raided by terrified citizens in search of toilet paper to withstand a respiratory illness.  But I’m ready. I’ve got Pez.

Though the virus is no laughing matter, the way some people are responding certainly is.

I went to the grocery store yesterday, not because of the virus, but that’s when I usually go. I had heard mixed stories of shortages and irrational panic. Other people reported shopping as usual. I assumed I lived in a rational, level-headed community. Surely my grocery store would be one of the “business as usual” ones.

Not even close. The produce was picked clean. The toilet paper nonexistent. The meat section was a vegan’s delight: none to be found.

People were pushing carts piled high with frozen food items, some were aimlessly crashing into things as they talked on their cell phones, and a few muttered to themselves. So, I thought I had better stock up to survive Coronamageddon.

First, I went for the milk. No milk. It occurred to me, in that moment, that I don’t even drink that much milk. Why was I looking for milk? 

As I wandered the aisles and passed the milk drinkers, I spotted the motherload: 72 cases of Yoo-Hoo! I don’t drink much Yoo-Hoo either (as in I drink no Yoo-Hoo). But it was there. And nobody had noticed! So, I grabbed three carts, strung them together with the shoelaces of someone who had been trampled by the milk drinkers and filled them up.

Just a few minutes later, I spied something else that had been ignored by the milk drinkers and the egg hoarders: Pez. Bags and bags of Pez where sitting undisturbed. Cherry, Orange, even Grape! I took them all. 1,475 individual packages of Pez were mine. with that and the YooHoo, I could survive anything. 

However, I did decide to get something more nutritious -Fritos. One and a half bags of Fritos were still left. So I grabbed them too.

As I made my way to the checkout line, I passed the bread people. They had loaves in their carts, under their arms, and in their coats. Their children were carrying bread. Would this be the last bread I ever see? I didn’t care, because I also noticed a giant display of mayonnaise. I took all 272 bottles of it. When the world descends into anarchy, I will control the mayonnaise.

When I was almost finished loading the mayo, I noticed a box under the display. Much to my surprise and joy, there was a 144 count case of sparklers that had been left from the 4th of July. If the power goes, others will have candles. I will have sparklers.

I made my way to the counter to check out. Despite the huge line, everyone parted before me. They had looks of amazement in their eyes. Some grabbed their kids and hid them from view. An elderly man wept openly. One woman took pictures with her cell phone. So, I rang up my order.

  1. 272 Bottles of mayonnaise
  2. 72 cases of Yoo-Hoo
  3. 144 boxes of sparklers
  4. 1,475 packs of Pez
  5. A bag and a half of Fritos.

And now I’m set to hunker down, social distance and finish writing the next novel —by the light of the sparklers.

Carry on, Citizens!

photo credit: Polycart Many Red Trolleys. via photopin (license)