Shelves stripped bare.


The meat shelves at a supermarket are nearly entirely empty. 

The world’s turmoil is now palpable, especially entering the local supermarkets. Chins are jutting, mouths are clenched, fists are bolded. Trolleys are again waging war with shins and ankles being pushed relentlessly towards the toilet roll sections. The news is grim, schools are being closed world wide and the numbers of corona victims are rising daily. If only we could follow what the Chinese did! But it seems too late now, the horses have bolted. Are we taking ‘democracy’ too seriously even knowing it will cost more lives?

My own personal story is showing light at the end of a few weeks of uncertainty. The sale of my own place fell through even though contracts had been exchanged. Almost at the same time I was told the bad news, another buyer wanted to sign up and exchange as soon as possible. We shall see! I am going through with the purchase of the two townhouses. I lost my lovely daughter, my dear son, my wife of 54 years, and then to have the birch tree cut was a step too far. I simply wanted to move.

But back to the story of the supermarkets. I will let you in on my foray in the feminine hygiene products. My bladder seems to have developed a will of its own. Helvi knew it and told me that most men and women getting older, do suffer from bladder irregular behaviour. I have been perplexed for some time by my own.

No sooner do I get home and turn the key in the door, that an almost unbearable urge overcomes my bladder and forces me to make a run for the toilet. Mostly I make it. I don’t understand why all this is connected to turning a key and the front door. There is a lot there! Helvi too, but to a much lesser extend. She was very strong but with excessive laughter and sneezing she too had problems, but, as the woman she was, had a practical solution. She bought panty liners. I have to admit, I too started using them.

But apropos the moral of this story. I went again this morning to the supermarket to try and replenish my depleted supply of panty liners. I had used the last box that Helvi and I shared. They are in a pink box and branded ‘Olivia’. Fancy wearing Olivia so close yet so far!. To my utter surprise, the whole of the ‘feminine hygiene ‘ shelf was stripped totally bare. Not a box or tampon, slim-liners, invisible panty inserts, and heaven knows what else, to be seen. Not even condoms, male nappies (for the mature).  Not Olivia, nothing. People even hoard those items.

I am perplexed.

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14 Responses to “Shelves stripped bare.”

  1. Therese Trouserzoff Says:

    Ah, the waterworks. I blame my Mum. She toilet trained my by sitting me on the loo and turning on the tap. Or so she said.

    So with all this hand washing I do lots of Pavlovian returns to Waterloo. Which leads to more hand washing. Etc.

    And with advancing years, for wee (😊) blokes comes the inevitable enlarged prostate with or without the big C , so the there are more visits to be made to examine the porcelain.

    Same for me, Gez as far as returning home, putting the key in the lock and whammo- the super urgent race to the dunny. FM is very gracious and usually lets me go first. Oddly, if I forget to go before I go shopping, I often need to pause in mid supermarket stroll and attend to nature too.

    Was there ever a truer truism than that old aphorism for we over 50s (yeah, ok, WELL OVER 50s) to “never waste a woodie, never trust a fart and never walk past a toilet.”

    Be of good cheer, mate. Your story finds me in bed with a dose (probably) of toddler flu I picked up from grandson #1. Had a Telehealth call from my GP. Unless one is seriously crook they understandably do not want to actually see you, and getting tested is virtually impossible. So I’m in lockdown and feeling too crappy to work from home. Fortunately I do have my work laptop and can work from home when I stop coughing and feel better.

    Just a heads up. I wrote a piece called “Corolla Virus” for fun over at the Pigs Arms and published our own recipe for DIY hand sanitiser. Hopefully you’ll find a laugh in there somewhere.

    All the best our Dear Gez. I’m feeling better already.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, the key in the door seems to be the magic moment of bladder hurry. I am alright the whole day going everywhere, but as soon as I get home and put the key in the door, I am sprinting while unzipping taking the old boy out.
      Sorry to hear you got a dose of the flu. I am in robust health, although get puffed moving stuff about.
      I now have to wait till settlement on the 14th of April.
      My own place is going ahead with a new buyer but with all the Corona hype, heaven knows what is in store.
      This is going to be something different, just wish we had a stronger government.
      I have three bottles of hand sanitisers around, we had them for years but never used them. but now I do, even though no-one moves about in my place except me. But, you never know!

      All the best Trouserzoff.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. leggypeggy Says:

    People’s behaviour has been dreadful. As an aside, my like button isn’t working anymore.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, all problems are now coming to a head. Still huge queues at Aldi even though they deferred opening till 9.30 am.
      People were buying huge packs of meat, sausages and cases of coke! No toilet rolls.
      A very large burley bloke standing outside with ‘security’ on his shirt. He kept rocking on his heels to add to the seriousness of it all and add some determination.
      I just bought two bananas and a large pack of chicken thighs.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yvonne Says:

    Oh joy, oh bliss. There was a tiny supply of toilet paper (aka bum wipe) on the shelf at Foodworks (like an IGA). Funny how such a small thing lifted a load from my shoulders. I can now tuck into the homemade baked beans with gusto!

    That’s just crazy about the Olivia and her buddies, I noticed it was exactly the same at our 2 shops. We seemed so generous when Australia was on fire, now we have become savages.

    The key in the lock is a trigger to me, also. Maybe we should leave the door unlocked, to lengthen (or is it shorten, I can never figure that stuff out) in our favour.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      No toilet paper at Aldi. Customers were furious. One old pensioner so determined to get a roll he threatened to defecate on the spot in full sight of the other disgruntled shoppers. The security guard was called in but his heart wasn’t in it, grappling with a pensioner ready to go to relieve himself. Such hard times ahead, Yvonne.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Robert Parker Says:

    It’s strange the things people grab, for a plague, bomb shelter, lifeboat. One time, visiting my relative in Utah, a bolt of lightning started a brush fire near their house. My aunt grabbed her photo albums, and said, ok, time to leave, the rest isn’t important. (By luck, the fire trucks were able to race to the exact spot and put it out before any houses were lost). Here, the panic buying was toilet paper, bottled water, chicken, and boxed mac’n’cheese. If I thought I was going to be wiped out in a plague, my last meal isn’t gonna be macaroni with fake orange cheese powder. And why bottled water? Does the plague include turning the Nile to blood again? I hadn’t heard.
    I’ve heard of a BBC radio show, you probably know, called Desert Island, that’s been on the air since 1942 – -you pick 8 pieces of music, 1 book, 1 luxury item. I think these people with all the boxed macaroni will bring an 8-disc collection and biography of Taylor Swift or Ed Sheeran, and the luxury item will be a carton of quilted triple-ply toilet paper.
    Sir, I hope your house sale goes smoothly now, and that you stay well and healthy.

    Liked by 3 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Robert. I would have thought, people would rush book shops or buy sturdy shoes for running, or watch birds, but toilet paper?

      In the old days people made do with tufts of grass tied to the end of a stick and then, after careful use, twirl it around a bucket of water, shake it a bit, for the next person to use.

      People were turning up in huge trucks buying toilet paper. There are now limits of two rolls per pack and only one pack to buy!

      There is now also a limit of two metres to stay apart, which means that the cubicles in public toilets will have to be rebuild because they are less than a metre apart.


  5. shoreacres Says:

    It does look rather like the locusts have moved through, doesn’t it? Ours did too, for a time, but now things are getting back to acceptable, if not normal. Produce is available again, and I didn’t have any trouble getting milk, salad greens, and oranges yesterday. I suppose if I’d been after hand sanitizer or tp, I might have had a problem, but I’m well stocked with those, so there was no need even to look.

    The stores here have reduced their hours, usually from 7 or 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. It’s much better for their staff, as they have plenty of time to restock and sanitize the stores. I must say, everyone is treating others fairly well. I’m sure there are places where the panic/obnoxiousness continues, but in the places I’ve been, there’s a bit of stiff-upper-lipness taking over.

    The best news for me is that I can continue to work, since the only difference is that there are even fewer people around. I’ve been fairly isolated at work for thirty years, and being able to be outdoors and productive is good for my mental health. I feel sorry for people who are having to cope with telecommuting or suddenly schooling their kids at home with online classes they can’t quite figure out.

    The ones I’d like to whop upside the head are the spring-breakers who are congregating on our beaches. The governor has just today issued a state-wide proclamation that gatherings of more than ten people aren’t allowed, and I hope they enforce it. It might be hard, though, with thousands of kids involved. I’ll stop right there, because those children irritate me considerably!

    I hope you’re well-supplied now, and coping well. Keep us updated!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Big M Says:

      Someone described them as ‘horny and dumb’. Just about sums them up.

      Liked by 3 people

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        I am dumb too but no running to buy toilet paper. Murdoch’s media and newspapers produces copious material for bum wiping, I would have thought.

        In the good old days I remember some genius creating toilet paper with the face of one of our Prime Ministers on EACH sheet. Now, what happened to that creative spirit?

        Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, perhaps things are a bit calmer and have subsided in Texas, Linda. Here it was still full on this morning at our local Aldi. Trolleys full of meat were being carried out by people who looked like hearty meat eaters.

      .The concentration on toilet paper is strange and the Government is trying to reassure us that Australia produces enough toilet paper for three times the population. So, unless people go three times as often, it doesn’t stack up

      I am sorry I haven’t climbed in my pen more often. But, first my place was sold, then the buyer became a victim of the economic downturn and withdrew, (despite loosing his deposit) which I will return if the new buyer continues with their purchase.

      I have finished moving all except the heavy furniture.
      I have managed to put down our most beloved Turkish carpet and with a small coffee table with a few comfy chairs, it feels cosy and very homely already.

      I also put in many of Helvi’s Spathiphyllum which looks heavenly and some are even flowering. AND, a book shelf.

      Liked by 1 person

      • shoreacres Says:

        I’m so sorry you had the added complications with your sale; I certainly hope it works out sooner rather than later. Still, it’s good to hear that the move’s nearly accomplished. It’s really amazing how few things it can take to begin creating that home-like atmosphere. Cozy is better than impressive in my book — with Helvi’s flowers and some bookshelves, it sounds perfectly delightful.

        I went to the store tonight to pick up my eye drop prescription, and did a little light shopping. Most of what I wanted was available: some frozen orange juice, coffee, corn meal. I really wanted some produce, but while there was fruit available there were no fresh veggies. I’ll make another run first thing in the morning, to a different store, and see if I can’t find some broccoli and so on. I have some frozen, but I want to eat fresh if I can, and save the frozen for any two-week quarantine that might be coming down the road.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    Yes, so many things are perplexing me, too, these days.
    I wish you safety and good health, Gerard!
    Love and HUGS to you and PATS and RUBS to Milo


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