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Monday, November 3, 2008

That Extra Roll Won’t Save You

Have you been to Sam’s Club? Have you seen the giant jars of mayonnaise, the deals you can get when you buy a hundred pair of socks at a time? Why pay $2, $3 for a jar of jalapenos when you can buy a gallon tub of them for $7?! Of course unless all you’re eating for the next 30 days is jalapenos – and that's probably a blog unto itself – or you have a circle of friends who all want in on your jalapeno bonanza, you’re either going to have nothing but that in your fridge or everyone you know is getting jalapenos for Christmas.

Of course, you’re gonna need to store it… you’re gonna need a bigger house.

Does a person really need 100 rolls of toilet paper at a time? No, but look how much you’ve saved! And if you play your cards right and only poop at work, you may never have to buy toilet paper again!

OK. I understand. You have quite a few children, and they’ve all grown accustomed to using the bathroom whenever they need to. I get it. Children are notorious for their bodily functions.

I smell what you’re cookin’.

But what’s it all mean, the need to hoard? Is it truly because it was such a fantastic deal that you couldn’t say no? Is it the need to fill the physical space? Or is there a different space that needs filling?

I’ve served drinks/appetizers/dinner at private homes that could house four full families, easily. I’ve cleaned homes that are really the size of three. And you know what they keep in their five-car garages, other than three or four or five cars?

Crates of toilet paper. Cases upon cases of pop and bottled water. Sacks of rice. Stockpiles of canned meat.

I know. I know. It’s so much cheaper to buy in bulk. I get that. But what the hell?

It’s all a symptom of a much bigger disease, isn’t it?

I don’t think it’s just the savings. I think it’s the idea that, somehow, by having plenty “on hand”, that we are somehow safe from something. As if all those rolls of toilet paper will save us from whatever catastrophe is on the horizon, whether it’s a recession, a massive shortage, job loss, or locusts.

Do people really think that the extras will help, that they won’t be taken away by those who have nothing?

Who are we kidding?

8 comments:

ugich konitari said...

The minute I heard about the mass scale jalapenos, I thought of pickle; indian style, that is. My brother in Califiornia makes a years supply of hot pickle (not the vinegar thing, but burning-the-tongue type) from some special hot peppers you get in hawaii or something. . This is a routine thing in India (not hawaii, but the pickle), where the stuff ages brilliantly as the year passes. So i will pass on the Sam's Club thing to him.

ICKY said...

0o0o0o0o0o
Sounds yummy.

Not The Rockefellers said...

Do you remember Y2K? Of course you do, it was last Wednesday. I remember my husband totally drank the Kool-Aid on that one. He came home from Costco with a crapload of Water, Snack-Packs and Pop-Tarts! WTF?

Peace - Rene

Lilly's Life said...

I dont know why Pearl. There is a difference between hoarding in order to be economical and hoarding because you are greedy and a glutton and just want more and more and more.

We don't need everything we have as it is. And as far as all this supersize me stuff goes it jsut encourages people to consume more.

Its easy to fall into the trap. I think its going to change out of necessity if nothing else. I just read today that the hard times have even hit Tom and Katy hard, they make their own coffee to carry in flasks rather than do the Starbucks thing now. I think the magazine was mistken that the Scientology Koolaid they are carrying in their flasks....

Judy said...

I have a crazy niece that hoards water. She has an entire closet full of gallon milk jugs of water. She is afraid the terrorists are going to put something in the water and we won't be able to get clean, healthy water anymore! Like you said, it would be taken from her if it happened. Guess it takes all kinds to make up this world...

Braja said...

Oh Ugich hilarious: did you know there is a sign at Bangkok's airport that they put up at the gate to all flights to India that says "NO PICKLE"...because they carry their lime pickle/mango pickle everywhere and if it leeks...oh boy, you can't get THAT smell outta the airplane seats!
Er..and...ahem...having said that, the other night? Remember I wrote about Idol Tyranny,and a trip back from Calcutta: I have a confession. Before we came back, the first stop was Big Bazaar, so I could get six packs of my favorite lime pickle...
I'm sorry Pearl. Really :(

sage said...

I like the idea of pooping at work and saving toilet paper! Good rant on our over-consumption

Pearl said...

Ugich, I had no idea about the pickle, but it appears you are not the only to mention it!

Icky, I don't know how to respond to that.

Rene, I love that visual and I'm diggin' the Pop-Tarts.

"It was last Wednesday."

Why I oughta...


Lilly, I hear what you're saying. There's a difference between bargain shopping and hoarding. I had a friend growing up whose mother saved absolutely everything. Everything. Even if it could ROT she saved it. Their house was like walking through a maze. On fabulous property in a lovely neighborhood.

Hi, Judi. See above, :-) plus Terrorism. There are a lot of frightened people out there!

Hi, Braja. :-) Pearl

Hi, Sage. Sometimes the practical things are the most beautiful things.

Pearl