Friday, November 18, 2005

I need a crate of Cheez-its


A couple of weeks ago after not being able to get into a new children's museum, Cranky's Wife, Cranky Jr. and I went across the street to wander through Costco to kill time. We decided to join and then spent an hour wheeling a huge cart around looking at 3 pound bags of Doritos, 48 count Pop-Tart boxes and $3,000 Cartier Tank Francais watches. The place is amazing. It makes you want to open a restaurant just so you can buy gallon bottles of A-1 sauce and mayonnaise. You just don't realize you need a pallet of Snapple iced tea until you stand in the shadow of one.

Costco came to mind when I was watching a recent episode of Nightline. It was about the bird flu. Right now only a handful of people have been infected from birds although the death rate is around 50% which is huge. The big fear is if the avian flu virus mutates allowing human to human transfer. When person to person infections occur, and the experts say it is only a matter of time, there are predictions of tens of millions if not hundreds of millions dead, borders closing, a world-wide shutdown of travel and hoarding of vaccines and medicines that might help combat the bird flu. Big deal I say. I've seen this 6 years ago.

It was the end of the world predictions surrounding Y2K that drove me crazy. Due to a computer programming issue there were "experts" claiming at the stroke of midnight on Jan. 1, 2000 the world would shut down like a giant electro-magnetic pulse had hit the planet. People I thought were level headed and even-keeled started buying bottled water and canned goods and keeping extra money around in case the ATMs went brain dead. I thought Y2K wasn't going to be any problem and if all banking, electricity, planes, computers, vcrs and toasters went bye-bye then a bathtub full of water and some spam wouldn't help much.

I tell you this because I consider myself a very rational and reasonable (although perpetually cranky) type of person. And I consider Ted Koppel perhaps the most level-headed, reasonable and unflappable person on television. So as I was eating a bowl of Capt. Crunch with Crunchberries I froze in mid-crunch as he calmly asked Sec. of HHS Michael Levitt whether people should have four weeks of food in their house to tide them over during the coming pandemic. Excuse me? Did I just hear that correctly? No need to digitally rewind this exchange since Ted asked again, should people, in light of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, have four weeks of food, water and surgical masks to sustain them during the bird flu pandemic that is only a matter of time say the experts. Well no one on the panel said, "that's crazy!" or "Ted, that's creating unnecessary fear." All I could think about was "Honey, we're going to Costco."

I even saved that Nightline episode on my DVR to show my wife. I did not got so far as to pull out a pen and paper to write down my list of things to buy but I was tempted. A couple of days later, I was talking to a friend of mine who unprompted raised the topic. She said her husband had watched some show about the bird flu and now wants to go to Costco to buy four weeks of supplies. She said he saved the show and wanted her to watch. She was laughing. I said, uh, well...

So I don't know if I'm still considered reasonable or not but I'm going to Costco this weekend. If I'm wrong then I'll just have a lot of canned peaches and Pringles to eat through for the next year or so. Anyone want to join me?

5 Comments:

Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Flu or no flu, down in hurricane land you always need to store up emergency supplies. It's important to eat a healthy diet in times of stress so don't forget the Pop-Tarts and frozen waffles.

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You silly, silly man. All you need is beer - and a whole lot of it!

11:37 AM  
Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

That was one of your most hilarious posts. That should be an op-ed in a newspaper.

I don't buy all this hype about the bird flu either but, here in CA, it's always wise to have some supplies on hand. You never know when God is going to get fed up with us left coasters once and for all (perhaps I should call Pat Robertson, his emissary on earth, and find out) and unleash an earthquake on our asses.

4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anony-ass 2 said...

Y2K, Bird Flu, and 10,000 deaths you predicted in New Orleans. I agree with you 100,000,000 deaths ain't no big deal?

7:45 AM  
Blogger Crankyboy said...

You find where I predicted 10,000 deaths in N and I'll buy you lunch. Another anony-ass without any facts. Typical for your ilk of liars and fabricators.

10:18 AM  

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