8/10/2006

Food Fright, Part 14

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 6:22 pm

foodfright-14.jpg

Shot this while shopping at Costco with Margaret last week. There was a whole pallet of these 5-gallon buckets on an end cap between the deli stuff and the beer and wine. Gosh, where to begin….

Firstly there’s the idea that Costco has jumped on the “Disaster Preparedness” bandwagon. That’s just so….well, so incredibly American. I mean, it’s cute in a way, thinking of folks going about their Costco-y business, loading up their preposterous aircraft-carrier-landing-deck-sized commodity sleds with frozen chicken nuggets and cases of Kirkland Signature┬« Sports Drink (aka Gatoresque) stopping in front of the stack of Kegs-O-Human Chow and saying, “hey, yeah, what the hell, there’s still room in the garage next to the lawn edger.”

And yet, if you’re the type of person who regularly shops at Costco (as do we), you already by definition have at least a half an Apocalypse worth of food stored in your home; isn’t an additional 5-gallon tub of yummy foodlike substance just a redundancy?

Then there’s the fascinating array of foodish substanceoids present in the container. You can’t read it from here, but among the entrees proffered herein are: blueberry pancakes, mashed potatoes and something unnervingly called a “scramble”. A survival situation is by its very nature one of personified by the act of making do or doing without; tarting up your friendly neighborhood disaster with gourmet-style rations seems, well, unnecessary and slightly daffy. Personally, if I decide to stock up for the End Times, I think I’ll go with something simple, like a 55-gallon garbage can of beans and another one of rice, triple-sacked and stored with a few bricks of dry ice to keep the aerobes down. If you want something more exotic, dry dog kibble is almost perfectly nutritionally balanced for human consumption (and that’s before you count the extra protein from all the bugs); just a few vitamin supplements will round out your meal plan.

Unless you’ve packed some dehydrated maple syrup in your survival kit, them pancakes are gonna be mighty dry.

Lastly there’s the wierd vibe I get off these things. I’m reminded of nothing so much as the scene in Repo Man where punk wannabe Emilio Estevez pulls a can of “FOOD” (in black block letters on a plain white label) out of his parents’ fridge and starts digging into it with a spoon. During an interchange with his parents watching TV in the living room, he is seen to be masticating something chewy from the can one instant and crunching something quite hard and brittle the next. I don’t think I’m quite ready to be one of tens or hundreds of thousands of people who will be rooting through my bucket of “FOOD” when the Big One hits, desperately trying to find something that goes well with a side of anthrax, cesium or contaminated drinking water. For some reason I’d rather eat dog food. Or the cats, maybe. After all, we’ve been feeding them for years; only fair that we get something back on the investment.

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