I just threw out half an apple cake.
I should probably do the same with the unopened pretzel m&ms. Too late for the Baked Lays, the Salt and Vinegar Kettle Chips, and both pints of Haagen Dazs.
Oh, there’s also the nub of a blondie from the Korean deli. I could toss that.
I normally don’t have any of this crap in my house.
Well, the ice cream, yes. Always my weakness. But the rest, I bought, and ate, because of Irene.
I’m not the only one.
All over my Facebook news stream all weekend were updates from friends (mostly female) saying:
“This hurricane is fattening!”
“Irene is making me fat.”
“Hurricane bad for waistline.”
Well, of course, because we were all shut inside, and the minute we’re trapped somewhere, we start cramming our mouths with everything in reach. Ever notice how, as soon as they close the doors on the plane, everyone busts out their stinko sandwiches and individual pan pizzas?
The question is, why is there so much crap in the house in the first place?
Panic, that’s why. Panic, imagined scarcity, and Darwinian instincts that translate as: “I want to outlive those other bitches”
I walk past that apple cake every other day at the farmer’s market.
It always looks good, but I tell myself, “that’s an extra 1500 calories I don’t need.” Eyeing it on Friday, when there were rumors of apocalypse and the farmers were starting to pack up, I thought this instead:
“Look at those apple chunks. This could be my last chance to taste that cake. And what if, after several days, it’s the last thing left in the house? Steven and I can ration it out in little one-inch squares for a couple of days. We’ll be hungry, but we’ll still have strength because of this apple cake I almost didn’t buy. Oh, look at those misguided people loading up on fresh fruit. How long will that last when the power goes out? After 4 days, they’ll be plagued with fruit flies — while my apple cake stands the test of time.”
After thinking about it a little more, I bought some nectarines.
I didn’t want to be the one stupidhead who didn’t have any fresh fruit. It’s good when water runs out.
Why did I think our supply of water would run out? Because the news kept saying I needed three gallons per person: one gallon per day, per person, with a safety net of three days. I’d hauled home a motley load of bottles in different sizes and brands, but not six gallons.
Come on. I can’t ever drink the recommended 8 glasses per day.
It’s all I can do to drink one. One glass of water, and maybe a can of soda or glass of wine.
Would a hurricane make me more thirsty?
Still, it nagged at me that I hadn’t bought enough.
I could have rustled up the 6 gallons in my least favorite supermarket, but I got there just at the time that everyone in the neighborhood had the same idea. I was too concerned with getting a cart and getting in line before it wrapped all the way around the store to think intelligently about what I was buying. Also, too caught up in the mood of the store.
The supermarket was full of panic.
Potentially panicked people like me, who didn’t really think anything would happen, but didn’t want to feel foolish if it did, and truly panicked old people, lots of them in couples and shouting to each other from different aisles:
Whatever I saw almost gone, I grabbed, too.
There was still plenty of water, so I only grabbed a few bottles. But bread? I couldn’t believe my luck, snagging the last loaf of Pepperidge Farm Enriched White. Enriched is good when you’re down to your last scraps.
You never know what’s going to end up being your Tic Tac.
When I was standing in line, a woman wedged herself right in front of me. Blatant cutting.
I spent the rest of that day, and then Saturday, gathering more “better safe than sorry” items:
I pictured the city plunged into blackness, with all other citizens screaming and scrambling for candles while I sat curled up with my New Yorker.
What about you?
Were you on the East Coast?
Did you buy and eat ridiculous items?
9ja news says
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Levi also had a headlamp flashlight! It really must be the trend. (I’m sure that the NYT Style section this Sunday will depict photos of leggy women in cut-off jean shorts, wellies and headlamp flashlights. At least the jean shorts and wellies. I hope all those bitches ate as much ice ream as I did!) Fortunately, this was already in the toy chest so unlike the 10 packs of instant brown rice cups I stood online for over an hour to buy at the shitty supermarket around the corner from the good supermarket that I couldn’t even get into, we did not spend any money on this emergency item. I’m not sure if he was channeling my gynecologist father from the grave or was dressing up as a cabbage patch miner but it was the most entertaining part of our Irene prep, way better than evacuating Montauk. I thought I bought too much food but lo and behold (I’ve always wanted to say that!), I somehow was able to eat all of it before the end of Saturday night. Did you know it is really important to carbo-load before a hurricane? It’s kind of the like pasta dinner at the old tavern on the green before the marathon. Sorry about the ridiculously long post. . .
I really went to all the markets. Every time I saw a korean deli with no line, I got so excited that I had to go in and buy another “provision.” In one, I bought some Vitamin Water Zero, and a bag of “touch of sea salt” popcorn — because your body loses precious popcorn throughout the day. In another, I bought a sandwich, because I thought it might be the last pre-made sandwich I’d get my hands on for some time.
I really hope that Levi doesn’t channel your gynecologist father. I don’t want him looking at lady parts yet.
Vitamin Water is gross to me, like I forgot to rinse out the juice glass and filled it with water and drank that by mistake. While I hope Levi is not yet ready to whip out the speculum, he sure does love to eat a disproportionate amount of pastrami which does seem quite Al-like and as I understand it from Jason, quite a bit Lenny-like too — he got a double helping of the Eastern European shtetl palate.
Haha! Put a bowl of borscht and some stuffed derma in front of him and we’ll see how deep it goes.
Carleigh posted her Irene activity with friends “Hurricane Weight Gain!”. We were in the clear by noon on Sunday…but our gorg girl had a very had time tearing herself away from the fridge!! We still have lots of chips…but no apple cake…I would hate to leave the planet without at least a little taste!!!
Seriously, it was like freshman semester, Halloween, and a month of holiday parties packed into a weekend. Now I’m thinking the hurricane was brought to you by Lucille Roberts.
The apple cake’s pretty badass. They’re there Wednesdays and Fridays.
Lyne Tumlinson says
I’m in Kansas, rumored home of tornadoes (a la Dorothy). Yes, we do the same thing. But more for blizzards. Sigh. Nice to know we’re all in this together!
Wait, you don’t really get tornadoes? Those would be the best excuse to eat. Anything that can lift your house off the ground merits a binge.
Lyne Tumlinson says
The trick with tornadoes is that, opposed to hurricanes, they are hit or miss. You sit in your basement with the tv on (or if it gets close, we climb into our storage area where there are no windows and turn on a radio – if we remembered to buy batteries). If it hits, it may get a couple of houses in your neighborhood with a variety of damage and still miss yours (good scenario)… or the opposite. If it’s close but not exactly in your directions, many Kansans go outside to watch. Some really silly ones drive and follow. They’re a lot quicker than hurricanes, so eating isn’t necessarily part of the picture. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
Mom Belgray says
Hearing that chocolate was good for you, it was a logical staple. I said to Dad/David, “YAY! chocolate is good for you.” He said, “What?” “Chocolate is good for you.” “WHAT?” “CHOCOLATE is good for you.” “Vodka is good for you?” “NO!! CHOCOLATE.” “DID YOU SAY VODKA?” So I stocked up on chocolate and vodka (which neither of us likes) along with the tuna fish, hard boiled eggs, and peanut butter & jelly.
Ha! Well, at least you had the sense not to send him out for chocolate. On the other hand, Mom, maybe if you stopped mumbling everything, he would be able to hear you.
Chocolate has lots more nutritional value when dipped in peanut butter.
Carolyn Herfurth says
The almonds were a giant-sized Costco purchase. How many almonds can one girl eat?
Depends: in normal weather, or a hurricane? You can finish the whole tub if you’re waiting for power outages and flooding.
Carolyn Herfurth says
Flippin’ hilarious, Laura. I stopped by Trader Joe’s @ 72nd & Broadway at 9:45am on Friday morning to pick up some edamame & pretzel crackers but the checkout line was all the way to the bottom of the entrance escalator.
NFW was I going to stand in line for 45 minutes. Certainly not when I had 3-month old almonds back home.
Wow, upper west siders are way more on top of their panic than downtown people. Around here, nothing was going on till 5pm. And then all cracker-grabbing hell broke loose.
Re 3-month-old almonds: do you live with my parents?
Michael Troy says
So true. OK, I’m gonna roll with it. Today, I’ll remind myself that I’m that guy who wrote the most alliterative comment on Talking Shrimp. And that ain’t a bad thing.
Michael Troy says
Um, actually, hold the phone, I just had to look up “alliterative”.
That doesn’t matter. If I were a concert violinist but had to look up “violin”, would I be any less of a virtuoso?
Michael Troy says
Irene, the category 1 calorie consumption catalyst.
I’ve spent the last 5 minutes trying to think up something smart to write. I’m sorry, but that line above is all I’ve got. I think I sound pretty dumb.
Mike, give yourself some credit. Would you believe that’s the most alliterative comment I’ve ever gotten? Well, it is. Dumb people cannot match consonants like that.
Nancy K. says
I stayed safely in denial…now we have no power in our town for maybe a week or more. We got a generator 2 states away last night. I’ve eaten my way through most of a bag of Cape Cod chips and polished off some glass bottles of Coca-Cola from Mexico (no hfcs). Brought kids to McD’s (then swore it off again) because Panera is still closed. Did some post-hurricane panic shopping at Target today. I can’t remember what I bought-will probably end up returning much of it. iPhone is my lifeline…watched 3 eps of Arrested Development for first time last night. Got eye strain. Worth it. Gonna eat rest of chips now.
So smart buying stuff where there’s a refund policy. I bought my dumbest things at local mom-and-pop shops. Hardware store isn’t taking back the duct tape, I can tell you that. Mexican coke, huh? Isn’t the power outage a good enough excuse to go high-fructose? Man, how much extra money do you think McD’s made this weekend? So much.
Nancy K. says
Thank you for making me feel smart for buying supplies after the fact!
It doesn’t matter what you buy or when, if you keep the receipt.
you know what i love? when i write a long comment that details out everything we did to prepare and didnt need to do and how i was HILARIOUS and my husband was so very wrong about the ice which made me so very right. and then i hit submit. but i forgot to fill out my name. IT’S ALL IRENE’S FAULT!
also, headlamps, i had no idea they were so the trendy item.
NO!! I want your long hilarious comment! Damn you, Irene. Damn you. Please at least tell me your position on ice vs your husband’s. I need an informed way to choose sides. Though I’m already inclined to side with you, since you say you were right.
you are a smart smart woman! silly man, he wanted to put the ice directly in the cooler. until i pointed out that perhaps it was more efficient to put the ice in the freezer until (i may have snickered or even chuckled here) the power goes out. He attempted to argue but you cannot argue with a FREEZER vs. a cooler. So he moved it to the freezer. IT’S STILL THERE and i am happy to say, it’s still ice! AMAZING! (see there? i resisted saying i was right!)(sortof)
He also purchased a ‘cars’ nightlight for our 5 year old son. it plugs into the wall. no battery option. AND a headlamp which he was VERY EXCITED about.
i don’t try to understand the logic. sometimes i send him shopping just to see what he will bring home.
I mean…WHAT? I understand the impulse to have things ready – like putting the flashlights where you can find them – but with an ice chest, ready for what? in what situation would you need the ice chest filled immediately?
Talk to my mom about sending the husband to the store. My husband does well, but my dad is famous for bringing home the wrong thing.
“David, I said fresh squeezed orange juice”
“What’s wrong with this instead?”
“It’s a bar of soap.”
Karie Hill says
I am not even close to the east coast but when the east coast hurts, I hurt. I will not let you suffer alone!!!
I had a meatless crunchwrap supreme from Taco Bell, 4 draft beers (something had to drown out the pain and suffering I was feeling for everyone), popcorn, and sushi (the crunchy kind w/ orange mayo crap).
Please don’t tell DiAlto that I went off the “tighter in 10” diet. It was all for the love of my east coast people.
The good news… I got lost in Chicago today and had to walk an extra 8 blocks. Skinnnny!
We felt – and appreciated – your solidarity. You get an honorary East Coast Panic Pig badge. I won’t tell DiAlto, though she had the courage to out herself on FB. Sounds like she was on my program, the “tubbier in 2” plan.
Sorry to break it to you, but you have to walk 20 blocks to be skinny. It’s a whole mile. Or maybe blocks in Chicago are longer and more thinning?
Liz DiAlto says
and the program still worked..gotcha bitches!
I came back just for this comment…speaking of survival, there was a murderer “at large” near my parents’ house during the hurricane. No problem, my dad grabbed his glock and ate breakfast with it on the table. Talk about survival instincts. Yikes.
Not on the East Coast, but been through a hurricane!
You forgot tons of ice & ice chests to keep your water cold.
And that head lamp. They are the freakin’ bomb!!!
I didn’t exactly forget to get ice. It was sold out in one place, and I was too lazy to look further. So I filled up the two sad ice trays we have, and had a plan to put that ice in an ice bucket so that if worse came to worse we could still save a pint of ice cream for an hour or so.
You people are certifiable. Out here in California, this never happens.
“Earthquakes?” you say? Shut up.
Oh, ok, Mr. California. Let’s see how you deal with a blizzard. Because it’ll happen. And you’ll probably eat your weight in mayonnaise.
Please, that would be aoli. Not “mayonnaise.” *sniff*
I had 6 people under one roof, but still… *DEEP BREATH* here I go: 3 pints of Ben and Jerry’s, 2 bags of frozen fries, giant back of chicken fingers, 2 40 packs of pizza rolls, 2 cases of beer, 3 lbs lunch meat, 1/2 lb cheese (cheddar and pepperjack), peanut butter, jelly, eggs, spaghetti, polly-o string cheese 20 pack, reeses peanut butter cups, loaf of potato bread, loaf of wheat bread, fritos, oreos, kettle chips, and OJ.
We didn’t believe that we wouldn’t be able to cook/refrigerate. Took a chance, sure. But we were victorious!
Oh, I also went out and bought supplies for 4 large servings of green juice when the rain had already started. Like a boss.
omg, giant BAG of chicken fingers. What would a BACK of chicken fingers… look… like?
OMG – I love hearing it in lbs! I would like to see what that converts to in fat, on a wagon like Oprah pulled onstage in the ’80s. Did you ever make the green juice? How can you drink green juice when you have a whole back of chicken fingers?