Saturday, March 14, 2020

Conversations from the TP aisle.

Apparently things got crazy overnight. I was just at the store yesterday morning and you could still find most stuff. You could still find flour. TP was starting to be a problem but water was still there. Cold medications and alcohol have obviously been gone for days. But everything else seemed okay - just yesterday.

I have been stocked up for almost two weeks, but still go to the store every couple of days to get grass for Lacie. I'm not a prepper, but I do always have earthquake water on hand. It's pretty much the bare minimum of preparedness. We DO sort of always have to have a plan in the back of our minds because we normally don't get to prepare for disasters. Usually you just wake up one day and all your shit is on the ground. What you have is what you have.

I was in Loma Prietta so I have sort of a rough idea of what happens when you go through major service disruption. Anyway....

There have been a lot of conversations in the TP isle. Today a lady was telling me she had five kids - and suddenly no toilet paper. I tried to help her think of alternatives like fancy napkins even though they are crazy expensive. Another woman was looking for water which was suddenly sold out. She says to me - this is political right? I respond - no this is not political. I tried to tell her the virus was extremely contagious. Told her to wash her hands and open doors with the lower part of her shirt. I also told her that Home Depot might still have bottled water in the garden section like they did TWO days ago. I showed her pictures.

After I get out of the store Mr S. thinks he should have gotten a couple more mini waters but we were fine. I say.... Home Depot might still have all that water - maybe we should get one. So we head to Home Depot.

I hop out on the garden section side and they didn't even have that area open. You aren't stealing our garden plants in this crisis! JK.  I couldn't see if the water was still there, so I went to go inside and realized - PARSLEY. They sell live parsley. Lacie is used to fresh grass and carrots all the time, so if that stops - live parsley buys me time. I need to make sure her GI stays healthy.

Went to go pay for the parsley and I spot that woman I just told about the water at the other store. I ask her were she found the water.  She must have RUN there because I went directly from the previous store we were both in. After she tells me, she again says that she thinks this is politically motivated. Something about Google. She's a teacher and a lot of crazy things are happening. I admit Google is an asshole but this is real.

I try to explain to her again to take this seriously. It's not political. Countries don't risk their entire economies on politics. Anyone that was in office would be going through the same thing. But she didn't believe me.

It's just sad that people are so blinded by politics. Things that are politically motivated benefit the person who does it. How does this benefit Trump?

I think this is the TP isle. I don't even know anymore! It's not my native store. But it does have the best grass in town.

Oddly no one seems to be thinking about banging. Condoms were the only thing that looked untouched.

Even the onions were started to look thin!

Oddly - every single store in my town has these drive and pick up stalls. I have never ever seen anyone use one of them. But I bet they become popular now.


  1. Your TP aisle photo is almost exactly the same as the one I took this morning at Safeway. There aren't even any napkins! Apparently this will be back to normal in a couple of weeks. The merchants never anticipated this level of stupidity.

    There's a lot of this going around:

  2. I took a picture of the empty TP shelves in Walmart the other day, that was different.

  3. Yeah.... I don't get that at all. Especially because they usually come in and place gouging laws. So.... that is a bit of a risk for those people.

  4. In retail it's called unconventional inventory accumulation. People are now spending all their money doing this.

  5. Capital of Texas RefugeeSaturday, March 14, 2020 9:50:00 PM

    "Apparently things got crazy overnight ..."

    I stopped at a Walmart in the Midwest and it wasn't much better.

    This van is an unbelievable pain in the ass to drive at speeds of 70 mph and higher, BTW.

    It is most definitely not an expensive toy with a top speed of around 185 mph.

    "I tried to help her think of alternatives ..."

    Try an RV supply store, they have TP for campers that will break down easily with chemicals.

    They also have the chemicals as well as toilet seat bucket kits that convert a 5 gallon bucket of the type you see frequently at Home Depot.

    You might also find some at Cabela's/Bass Pro Shops for RVers.

    Try not to make this awful for the RVers because they can't use the other stuff.

    "It's just sad that people are so blinded by politics ..."

    I'm telling you: solipsism.

    Everything has to be someone else's fault.

    Spitting on everything? Oh, but the rest of the world doesn't matter.

    Licking on very public things? Oh, but why not share the misery with everyone else.

    You might starve because you didn't put up enough food? That has to be Donald Trump's fault!

    One very good thing will come of this: a lot of people are going to understand that you don't reason with people like that.

    You just "take them out behind the wood shed", to use a Southern phrase.

    What happens behind the wood shed stays behind the wood shed. :-)

    "Condoms were the only thing that looked untouched."

    Obviously your neighbors aren't planning on using them as improvised silencers, which is a good thing ...

    Oh, yeah, you didn't know about that, did you? :-)

    The Walmart locations I've been at still have plenty of ammo for the .270 Winchester hunting rifle that I'm traveling with, so I'm also taking that as a good thing. (No pistols this time -- the few I still have in Florida are still down there, partly because I need to travel through certain parts of Illinois.)

    But we'll see how all this works out next week.

    Everything else in the van is packed up and tarped down with black tarps, and I've installed some makeshift pull-down tinted shades to keep someone from shining a flashlight into the van's cargo area.

    "... live parsley buys me time ..."

    Read up on whether the very high oxalate levels in parsley would harm rabbits.

    Calcium oxalate kidney stones may be a problem.

    "According to USDA data, a 100-gram serving of fresh parsley provides 1700 milligrams of oxalic acid."

    See if you can still get some wheat grass at a hippie grocery store.

  6. Home Depot (and likely Lowes and other hardware stores) sell cheap packs of terry hand towels and painters rags, buy an extra bottle of bleach and a bucket and do an extra load of laundry every day. Its not that hard to cope.

    My work has been out of sanitizing wipes for over a week. We ran out of sanitizing sprays (except for a couple of random products hidden in the no-home overheads) Tuesday. We ran out of TP on Thursday, and papertowels on Friday. As of Saturday all of the laundry bleach was gone, and the two sku's of regular stock germicidal bleach (Clorox brand and HDX brand) were down to 4 bottles each in the store when I left at 6pm. We DID get in an emergency shipment of a 4'x4'x4' pallet of Clorox germicidal bleach (different size bottle) in early this past week, and had sold all but 1/4 of it by the time I left. We still had plenty of "outdoor bleach", but I figure thats next.

    I had a guy from a local ambulance company in the store yesterday, their supplier can't get them their normal order of sanitizing products to sanitize the ambulances after each patient properly. I handed him the case of Microban I'd just found in the no-home overheads and walked him to the register. He said he felt bad buying the last case in the store, I informed him that if I have to call an ambulance I want that thing properly cleaned TYVM. THIS is whats going to do us the most damage, as a country. Its not this damned virus, its the panic that has driven people to buy 10times more of everything then what they need.

    EVERY store and warehouse in this country runs on Just In Time ordering. And there is no way the warehouses are going to be able to push enough product out to all the stores, nationwide, to refill the shelves properly. So the panic buying is going to continue, because the shelves won't be full, and the mayhem will continue.

    On the other hand, agriculture is about to get a hell of a boost. The timing is damn near perfect. Everyone I know who raises crops and meat animals is figuring out how many extra fields they can plant and how many extra animals they can beef up for slaughter. If this had happened mid-late summer they'd be much harder pressed to make up the difference.

  7. Wow. Very interesting comment. I think some of the panic is because people don't actually know what comes internally. No one knows what comes from where and so on. We only know most things come from somewhere else.

    I began stocking up in stages. Every three days I'd asses if it had slowed down yet. If the answer was no - I'd buy a few more things. So I'm glad I was mostly done by the time other people got started.

    It's been sort of heart warming (so far) to see a lot of us banding together to share where we find stuff. You know we all hate each other... so..... at least for a moment it was there.