So I found myself at the supermarket early Saturday morning, a ritual that had once been a sacred source of serenity for me. That was because no one gets up early on the weekend where I come from. Until now, of course. I’m sure you have all been exposed to it. I’m not documenting anything groundbreaking or exploring something personally exclusive. It did make me want to share some observations on the current crisis, however.
I suppose that what it boils down to, what we as a people have decided is the most progressive luxury of the 21st century, the thing that we can’t possibly live without, is wiping our arses. How we came to this conclusion – a collective hive mind instantly swarming over the toilet roll aisle with the force of a school of piranhas dissolving a bovine carcass – I find completely fascinating.
Up until recently, children used it to deface people’s houses. If you caught a kid TP’ing a house these days, you’d have them certified.
I played it cool to begin with. People are idiots. I’m not rushing out and feverishly stocking up on toilet paper. That’s ridiculous. I don’t need it.
Until I did. Oh dear. Then the mind shifts. Why wasn’t I prepared? Why did I not run at the tissue aisle armed with an axe with the rest of the desperadoes when supermarkets still stocked it?
So what is it, overreaction or under reaction? That of course, was only the start. Eventually, after some crafty research and a few late night stakeouts, I managed to find some toilet paper. I’m feeling pretty damn good about myself. Strutting around the house like cock of the walk. See that, wife? I provided. Full, hunter gatherer style. Like the ancestors did. The real hairy ones.
Now I can’t wash my hands.
Hand wash, sanitizer, soap – they’re gone now. There was a time when I never even cared. Less than cared. I watched my toddler pump sixty seven idle rounds of glorious pink antibacterial into the sink one day a few months back, while we both laughed and frolicked, getting amongst it. It was a good day. We hadn’t a care in the world.
I cry when I think about that now. Liquid pink gold, and we were just showering in it like a race car driver foaming up a bottle of champers after a big win. We’ll never get it back.
The thing that really bugs me, is the misinformation. Zombie Apocalypse movies were supposed to prepare us for this kind of thing. I dare you. Go and watch The Walking Dead, or something based on the original idea by Romero where they roam the post apocalyptic wasteland. There’s not much left. The bandits have cleaned out the medical supplies, the guns and the cigarettes. But every single supermarket they pilfer, has toilet paper. And soap.