I was in the mood for chicken corn chowder yesterday, so I went into my neighborhood Publix to pick up a few (dozen) items.
As I strolled through the produce section, I noticed something disturbing. The normally overflowing bins had huge gaping empty holes in them. The rack of sweet potatoes only held about ten potatoes in total. The refrigerated case of prepackaged veggies was nearly empty: no carrots, no celery, and only a few packages of mushrooms and some pre-washed salad. What was going on?
Casually, but with a panicked undertone, I asked the Sample Lady if everything was okay with the store. She laughed and said that some of their suppliers operate out of Atlanta, and of course, like much of the Southeast, Atlanta’s been snowed in* most of the week. The delivery trucks haven’t been able to get out and deliver some of their regular goods. So the store was experiencing a few shortages.
(*Check Twitter: #Hothlanta and #Snowpocalypse and #snomg are a few good places to start.)
I was relieved that my grocery store wasn’t on the verge of collapsing or going out of business. You’d have to understand my kneejerk reaction. We just lost our beloved favorite local bookstore last month, and my favorite women’s clothing store (Harold’s) went out of business a couple of winters ago. I’m constantly nervous about another store that I rely on going under.
But then I realized how funny this situation was. There I was, on a cold day when at least three inches of snow were still on the ground, in a Nashville Publix that was fully stocked with bread and milk and beer and toilet paper. I could have as many milk sandwiches as I wanted. But there were no carrots and celery and potatoes. Is that bizarre or what?