“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single home in possession of a good snowfall, must be in want of peanut butter and toilet paper.”
- Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (Not)
It’s December. This is New England. And there is a snowstorm expected. This can mean only one thing: The local department and convenience stores will run out of peanut butter and toilet paper.
Why is that, you ask? Well, the answer to that takes us back several thousands of years to a time when humans lived (and made markings) in caves. Recently discovered cave-drawings show us that this tendency to stock up on these two specific items is not surprising, after all, but might indeed be genetically imbibed in each of us.
The purport of this decidedly anachronistic fresco is clear: “When you are hunting, if it ever snows, then you go right out and get some peanut butter and toilet paper”. All that was needed was for someone to actually invent the damn things so others could buy them, but now we are just talking technicalities here.
And so it has been for centuries. Irrespective of what activity humans are involved in at any given time, if they should ever hear that there is an impending snowstorm, they just drop everything they are doing and rush out to the nearest store to grab as many jars of PB and as many rolls of TP as they can lay their hands on.
All this makes me wonder, exactly what the heck are people doing in their homes when it’s snowing outside? I don’t know about you, but all I do is lay back in the couch with a cup of tea and write about others rushing around helter-skelter as if this was their last opportunity to get anything at all and as if civilization as we know it is going to come to a screeching halt as soon as the first snow flakes hit the ground.
I have heard of people laying out detailed emergency procedures, locking themselves in the basement with crank-operated radios and not venturing out for two days until the “event” passes. They will periodically call their friends to enquire about how bad it is “out there” and of course the usual response will be something along the lines of “Huh? What do you mean?” because said friend had simply cleared out his driveway and headed out to work as usual.
But the paranoid are not easily convinced and so hunker down they will. Then once they do come out they discover that … nothing at all happened. The world went on as usual and the only real “event” is that they have missed of a couple of days of work cooped up in the basement for no reason at all.
And what do you think they do during all the time they spend in the basement? Why, eat all the peanut butter and …. use up all the toilet paper, of course!