Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Shopping Odyssey

I spent the day shopping.

Observation: Traffic was normal. Most people were actually at work... or they died in the office and left their cars there. I guess I can't rule that out. After all, WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!! 8 TRILLION WILL BE INFECTED!!!

Stop 1: German bakery. Those crafty Germans smartly put everything in the back and would hand it to you in bags rather than letting sick people sift through it. Good call. Watched one German woman employee lose her mind though because they were only letting 9 people in the store at once and she was sure there were more than 9 people in the store! "You are all getting soft and vee are going to get sick because of it!" Yeah, Hitler never would have allowed more than nine people to enter at once. They have gone soft. Anyways, there were six people. But in her defense, they were all fat so maybe she double counted? We got our stuff and left.

Stop 2: Costco. They had a line, and would issue you a freshly wiped cart and put you in line. The line was about 50 people. Sounds bad, right? Actually, we marched right on inside with no stopping. I thought they were limiting the number of people in the store, but apparently it was just for exercise. They were out of eggs and milk. Sad. To their credit, they had a limit on milk of one per person, but in light of them being sold out, it was in actuality zero. They were handing out one package of TP to everyone too, so we took one. I don't actually need TP, but you never know when you may want to TP the mayor's house or burn some in an ostentatious display.

Stop 3: McDonalds. Mmmm. McGood.

Stop 4: King Soopers (Krogers in other areas). A nice elderly lady wiped my cart down after I touched it, defeating the purpose but I thanked her anyways. No reason for rudeness in the apocalypse. No lines. The store wasn't super busy, but the stock situation wasn't great. There was no brand-name bread, but plenty of store bread. There was no brand name butter but plenty of store butter. Ditto on cheese. Not sure what this tells us, but I like the King's brands so we we're fine. Then came the bad part... every single flippin' can of food was gone. If they sold it in cans, it was gone... except crab meat. They did still have pickles and olives though, so I got some of those. No eggs, no milk.

Observation: Everyone we ran into by this point thought this was all utterly ridiculous. No one was panic buying either Their carts looked like normal carts, and judging by the faces, I'm pretty sure they would have signed a petition to ruthlessly murder the f***ing retards who are panicking and causing all of this.

Stop 5: Still needing canned chicken and eggs and milk, we decided a change of tactic was in order. We went to Safeway. Safeway is generally empty as the staff is surly and the place is expensive. I figured it would be the last place the locusts would descend. I was right. Their shelves were down but not out. They had everything Kings did not... except milk and eggs. But then the clerk said they had eggs in the back, so we gave the password and he brought us some! Limit three dozen. So we got three dozen. No milk though. May have to steal a cow, or signup for milk delivery or something. Although, a source across town said her Kings has milk and TP but no eggs.

So looking at the score, we got everything we needed except milk and two things I forgot. Arg. Because of Costco, we got things we didn't need just like before the apocalypse. Since I went and not my wife, my kid got oatmeal cookies to see her through the apocalypse...which my wife cannot know about, so don't tell her.

How are things in your stretch of the barren wasteland that was one America?


AndrewPrice said...

For those playing along at home, Apple stock is at $246, about $35 above where it should bottom. Hang tough!

Avoid Facebook until everyone else recovers, it fell off the face of the earth.

tryanmax said...

I live a few blocks from the Rotella's Bakery, which has a outlet store on the corner of the building. Normally, it's stocked with misshapen loaves of the same bread they sell in stores and their inventory is about 50% hamburger and hot dog buns.

Yesterday when I went, the store bread was replaced with "school bread" which I take to mean the bread they normally ship to the schools. And they had breadsticks up the wazoo! Presumably from restaurants cancelling orders. I did not see any hot dog buns and the hamburger buns looked super-fancy (restaurant buns?)

All of which is to say, I had no trouble getting bread, but it was an interesting look at how the surplus has shifted.

AndrewPrice said...

I has been really fascinating to me to see what gets sold out in which stores (they are in very different income areas), how the stores are handling issues and how people are responding. This is a great glimpse into society. It also shows that government remains the worst group to solve problems, but individual stores are excellent at it.

ArgentGale said...

Those observations make sense, Andrew. I've only spent a bit of time in Dread Walmart this week and it's pretty depleted in a lot of areas but I was still able to find the main thing I needed and a few extras - thankfully nobody's hoarding Easter candy! I'm getting a sense that more and more people are finding the reaction to be overblown at this point, both locally and in a few other places, so it sounds like there might be a shift in the general public in the works soon like you mentioned in the previous comment thread. Anyway, I'll have a full report on a rural Georgia Aldi, some combination of Dollar General/Family Dollar/Dollar Tree, and perhaps even a real look at Dread Walmart tomorrow evening!

Stacy said...

I live just east of Pittsburgh and it's tough to get anything you actually want at the store. Wally World has been stripped nearly bare of groceries, paper products, cleaning products, or health items(pain relievers, decongestants, thermometers, etc.). The biggest grocery chain has closed its bakery and meat departments per CDC recommendations. Small businesses are hurting. Restaurants are open for take out and delivery, but all say business is way down. People are posting sightings of the rare and elusive TP, eggs, and milk on Facebook. Everyday something else is closed or more social distancing measures are added. Today they stopped all PennDot road construction (like we'd notice) and the Shell cracker plant being built in Beaver that said yesterday it would not close, closed. That's 8500 employees off the job. I work in a nursing home and live in fear of being quarantined inside the home for weeks. On the optimistic side, my husband went out and bought a truck today.

AndrewPrice said...

Daniel, I think the food stores have done a commendable job, not only of restocking but of putting rules in place to try to help -- limits on purchases, special hours for old people, wiping down, "social distancing" etc. Good luck finding what you're looking for.

It's a little hit or miss right now.

AndrewPrice said...

Hi Stacy, We're having some of the same problems. Our glorious governor shut down all the restaurants and the such, which is costing lots of people the chance to make a living and I don't think a lot of those businesses are coming back. That's going to hurt a lot of people. I've actually made a conscious decision to order food from my favorite small-business restaurants just to help them out. The local news seem focused on that too, which makes me glad. And it sounds like the Senate Republicans are worried about small businesses... for once. Hopefully, that means something.

We have some missing food items (milk in particular), but they are working hard on restocking. I give them credit for their efforts and the good nature of all the employees I've met. I give credit too for some big companies around here who have announced that they are hiring (Kroger, Amazon, and a couple others). Well timed. I think that will help some of the people who lose their jobs. I'm glad too that none of these companies are panicking too. They are acting very rationally, and people seem calm. This could be a lot worse if we listened to the "experts." Although, some businesses are definitely not helping things.

That's bizarre about PDOT. Now is the perfect time to work like crazy since the work is outside (at a social distance), traffic is light and people need money. Now is the time to do as much roadwork as possible... but what do I know?

Working in a nursing home is not easy to begin with, it must be particularly difficult right now. Thanks for doing that! :) I wish you the best!

That's great about the truck! We're watching airline sites for actual discounts (so far the "deep price cuts" have all been fake).

ArgentGale said...

It ended up being just Aldi and Walmart for me today but my observations were similar to yours, Andrew. Aldi was pretty depleted in a good bit of areas, including milk, canned products, and bread, but I was still able to get some favorites to get me through next week. Walmart was a little better than I remember it in some areas (actual full sized Chef Boyardee cans for example), had just enough hand soap for me to get my usual backup bottle, and had plenty of milk with a limit of one. Both stores are closing early, 7 PM in Aldi's case and the usual 24 hour Walmart being open from 7 AM-8L30 PM, mainly to let stockers do their job unmolested by crazy customers.

In sad local news the city is limiting restaurants to takeout only starting tomorrow and my favorite downtown spot, which was open Monday, may be closing for two weeks. If the gossip around Aldi is to be believed the idiots running the city only declined to set a curfew because they didn't have enough cops to enforce it. Rural areas have their own brand of heavy-handed stupidity, too. That said, I am hearing more people starting to find this ridiculous and had a good conversation about it with a few people around Walmart. Finally, I might not be much for drinking, but even I had to cap off my shopping with a liquor store trip for one of the few things I do enjoy, sake. Unfortunately I couldn't find the really good kind I got from them last time but at least they're open and willing to sell.

AndrewPrice said...

You like sake? Cool. I never could develop a taste for it, but I struggle with the taste of alcohol generally.

My wife went to Target today and got milk. Our grocery store apparently has it again too. There's still a lot that is sold out, sadly. Hopefully, this silliness stops soon and we can go back to a normal supply chain.

AndrewPrice said...

BTW, backing up what tryanmax said, I saw an article today that said the supply chain is full of food that normally goes to restaurants and cruise ships and the such. It's all there going through the grocery stories and bakeries now. Interesting world!

ArgentGale said...

I'm not much of a drinker myself for similar reasons (and finding drunkenness, which I saw more than my share of at a certain SEC school I used to attend, annoying as Hell rather than charming) but I always had been curious about sake, especially since Japanese gaming is a big part of my entertainment. It's not a staple of my fridge (heresy, I know - the fridge part, I mean) but it's just enjoyable enough for me, especially the kind I unfortunately couldn't find today (it's called Nanbu Bijin Shinpaku Junmai Daiginjo if you want to give it a try).

Agreed on the silliness on all counts and I hope it's not too late to minimize the damage either. The fact that people are waking up to the panic should help there, as well as things like the actual Diamond Princess results getting out to the public even though the media's probably going to do their best to memory hole that.

AndrewPrice said...

I'm just not a fan of the taste of alcohol. I wish I liked it better, but I don't, so I rarely drink.

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