I went to the supermarket last night. A fairly normal activity, requiring the pushing of a cart through large quantities of food items designed to spoil in ways which if we really understood would frighten us and lead us to a quick death via starvation. However, while no one was particularly concerned about the slow rate of decay in their cocoa puffs, everyone was particularly frightened of the bread and milk aisles, as Snowmageddon 16 was en route.
As an aside, has anyone else noticed they started naming winter storms like hurricanes. We are up to Winter Storm Pax, which is quite possibly the least appropriate winter storm name which does not involve warm, hot, fire or easy drivable roads, since peace is about the last thing a winter storm brings to mind. I remember the good old days, when winter storms happened without ridiculous names designed to bring an additional emotional impact to the viewer.
So, while I don't actually keep milk in the house, because I never drink milk on its own and seldom have reason to cook things which require milk, leading to the embarrassing revelation I've had mashed potatoes approximately three times in the last five years, since most restaurants make terrible mashed potatoes and I can not be bothered to keep milk in the house. More importantly, it is a good thing that I did not have a strong desire for mashed potatoes, since there was no milk left in the store. And the bread aisles was almost as bad, as there were approximately eight loaves of bread remaining in the store.
Which brings me to the point, why does everyone panic and buy milk and bread anytime disaster is going to strike? If milk and bread are so important in a storm, shouldn't I reasonably assume that most people keep a regular supply of both in their homes. Heck, I have a loaf of bread from the beginning of the week in my home, still with plenty of edible bread left, requiring no restoration of my bread reserves due to the impending storm.
Do people fear being trapped in their homes to this degree that they might not be able to get to the store for a week? Even during Superstorm Sandy, I could go to the grocery store on Tuesday and buy most items...not milk though. I found milk seldom in my travels, as hoarders beset every scene where there was milk with a rapidity that defies human experience.
But today, as I look out on clear roads, with barely six inches of snow hitting the ground, I am still confused. I could easily walk to the local grocery store in these conditions and should have no trouble driving anywhere tomorrow, yet last night the bread was gone, as if six feet of snow were going to bury us for weeks inside our homes, locked away from the outside world, save through our precious internet connections. It's these little things which always confuse me about people, since a rational approach is almost always a better approach, yet no actor is less rational than a human being, especially if there is a storm with a cutesy name en route.