The pantry at my parents’ house has reached Fun House proportions.
Step inside, won’t you? Would you like a pickle? No? Are you sure? Because I think I can give you up to six quarts before anyone would notice.
I like to wander in, every now and then, just to see what we’re stocking up on these days. It’s not a large pantry, but it has its charms. Food, wooden matches, boxes of cassette tapes.
They stock up, my parents do, partially for winter, and partially for any unforeseen circumstances.
Should The End come, there will salsa and chips at my parents’, followed by a brief memorial and a dance.
Look over there. You see that? Appears a deal’s been made in the area of canned water chestnuts.
“Dad,” I say, barely able to keep the smile off my face, let alone out of my words. “You plan on doing a lot of stir-frying?”
My father is not dumb, but he does enjoy a good game of Let’s See How Far We Can Take This.
“You know what the currency will be, don’t you?”
“What, when The End comes?”
My dad nods.
“Dad, have you been listening to the Mayans again?”
Dad taps the side of his nose and winks but remains silent.
“And you’re thinking that sliced water chestnuts are where the power will lie?”
“And the whole water chestnut!” he interjects. “Let’s not downplay the value of the whole and unsliced water chestnut!”
Water chestnuts aside, the pantry also seems to hold a lot of canned tomatoes, bar soap, marinated artichoke hearts (“oh, your mother loves those, you know”) and, inexplicably, wooden toothpicks.
“Wooden toothpicks,” I muse. I let the phrase hang for a bit, see if it will gain any momentum.
“What,” Dad says. “Because it’s the end of the world we’re not going to have cocktail parties? Build tiny rafts? Spear each other in mock duals?”
He has a point.
No use in letting the end of the world ruin a good time.
One Last Note
11 hours ago