Of Biblical Proportions?
A Special HURRICANE EDITION of
TALES FROM THE GROCERY CART!!
So last week, Texas was bracing for the onslaught of Hurricane Rita, and as we all know, it wasn't nearly as bad as everyone had feared. But keep in mind that the following events occured when Rita was still churning in the Gulf as a Category 5 and heading straight for Houston.
On Wednesday afternoon, DxB informed me that we were out of both mayo and crackers, and as the only food he consumes is tuna salad on crackers, I felt compelled to go to the grocery store so he wouldn't starve. Now, I knew that people were freaking about the hurricane, and I figured the store would be a little busy, but Holy Crap! I had NO idea what I was in for!
I got to the parking lot and it was jam-packed. I thought about saying "fuck it" and heading back home, but the thought of watching DxB stare broken-heartedly into the fridge all night drove me forward. I finally got a space and made my way through the throng of people. I swear, every single person in San Marcos was there and they were in full hoarding mode. People had multiple carts piled high with shit - it was unbelievable! And the shelves... they were completely barren as if a plague of convenience food loving locusts had descended upon the store. No bread, no canned tuna, no cereal, no bananas (that one confused me - why the run on bananas? There were oodles of apples and oranges... Eh, whatever.)
The best thing of all were the people. Absolute fucking hysteria! Folks were grabbing shit off the shelves like Armageddon was coming! I told Okashii that it was like a really bad made-for-TV disaster movie. Some woman was hollering that the pharmacy across town still had cases of bottle water. Some guy yelled that he'd heard that Radio Shack just got a shipment of batteries in. Everyone was on their cell phones saying stuff like, "they don't have any more X! What are we going to do???" CHAOS!
I was getting pretty damn cynical (what, me? noooo...) and I fell back into my old "Hurricane Preparation Routine" that I manifested when I lived in Houston: purchase two twelve-packs of Diet Cokes and two boxes of cherry Pop-Tarts. (And yeah, I got the dastardly mayo and crackers for DxB...)
I finally made it to the checkout line, and started to look at what these damn fools were purchasing. God DAMN! People didn't just get a few cans of stuff - oh HELL no - they were taking entire BOXES of food from the shelves! CASES of canned chili, ravioli, and soups. Multiple boxes of crackers. Five, six loaves of bread. And water. Oh my GOD. Some people had one entire cart containing nothing but bottled water. I saw that the woman in front of me, in addition to her 876 cans of Dinty Moore Beef Stew, had grabbed FIVE can openers. FIVE!! What the hell? I mean, she had a lot of cans to open but. . .
But the climax of the evening happened when I turned around and saw what can only be described as The Sublime Toilet Paper Incarnation. It was a cart, piled so high with toilet paper that surely some basic laws of physics were being completely ignored. Four packs of 24 rolls it was. That's 96 rolls of toilet paper. NINETY-SIX. Out from behind this marvel stepped a woman of substantial size who bore a look of grave worry on her face. By this time, I was completely flabbergasted and so I turned to her and said, "That's a lot of toilet paper you got there." Her reply? "Well, you never know how LONG we could be trapped!" "Trapped by what?" I inquired. Her eyes got as big as platters and she practically yelled at me, "DON'T YOU KNOW THERE'S A HURRICANE COMING??"
It truly was a beautiful moment.
And with that, here are some post-hurricane facts for you:
San Marcos elevation: >620 feet above sea level.
Distance from the Gulf Coast-Galveston region: ~215 miles inland.
Average precipitation resulting from Hurricane Rita in the San Marcos area: 0.0"
Average wind gust resulting from Hurricane Rita in the San Marcos area: 20 mph
Tornadic activity in the San Marcos area following Hurricane Rita landfall: None
Reported power outages in the San Marcos area following Hurricane Rita: None
Weather conditions in San Marcos following Hurricane Rita landfall: Clear and hot
High temperatures in the immediate days following Hurricane Rita landfall: 105-108 degrees
P.S. Happy Getting Old Day to Hellboy and Mister Wrong!!