The Barometer and her husband had avoided the grocery stores and the great toilet paper drain, as it were, of 2020, until March 20. We are stockers, and had sufficient TP to decorate a house or two in the manner of our younger days. Until our adult children swooped in because of their millennial ways of, “What, me worry? My phone is down to 10% battery before I think about charging it.” So, off we went foraging that Friday for baked potatoes, milk, and TP.
The TP was being doled out, one package per family, at the manager’s desk. No pick-up from the aisles for this precious commodity. TP had become like Bose headphones at Best Buy. You must ask for them, they are locked in a cabinet, and only certain employees are trusted to dole them out to non-scruffy customers who must pay prior to handling them.
We approached the manager humbly, “Please, sir, could we have just one?” We mentioned that we were stunned that the Walmart Neighborhood Market had become so involved in rationing. Another employee stepped up, leaned forward, and whispered to us as only someone with inside information would, “You know they are sending in the marshal on Monday.” Visions of Matt Dillon riding into Mesa, Arizona came to mind.
However, research showed that there was an Internet rumor that the Feds were going to impose martial law that Monday. The old game of telephone is alive and well, all with the exponential power of technology. Around the country the rumor spread. The hang-up for the fearful was the spelling. Or was the hang-up that no one understood what martial law was? Whatever the reason, the blasted Internet, the tweeters, the flash-grammars, the chap-shatters, and the rest all fell for it and rushed in to get theirs. AH, the makings of a brutal Netflix series were there before our eyes. Have mercy on us through April 30 as people are locked up with their phones and computers. Who knows what showdowns at the corral are coming, or it it coral?