The only way to bag my quarry, one store’s employee had informed me, was to get there early.
“We open at 7.”
So at 6:44 I leap from the bed, jump into my car and race to the store.
It’s 6:57 when I arrive. The parking lot, which normally would be virtually deserted at this hour, already is one-third full. I park the car and dash to take my place at the end of a line waiting at the front door. Most, but not all, are senior citizens, for whom the store has established an early-bird policy. It’s like queuing up for a Wayne Newton concert.
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It’s exactly 7 o’clock, but now I’m worried because there are dozens of shoppers in the long gray line ahead of me. Maybe some of them are just here for Depends, I tell myself.
When the doors open there’s a cane- and walker-assisted scramble for shopping carts, but I have no time to waste on one. I swivel-hip my way into the store through the traffic jam of carts, but then I’m faced with a decision. Is the paper products aisle to the left or to the right? I’ve shopped at this store for decades, but I don’t remember where the paper products are located, because I seldom buy anything I can’t eat or drink Now, though, one wrong turn and the race could be lost.
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I gamble on right and it pays off, leading me directly to the paper products aisle. I’m so close to my TP I can almost smell it.
When I reach the toilet paper shelf, there are only a few 12-packs left. I grab a pair and leave the store triumphantly, hugging 24 precious rolls to my bosom.
It’s 7:16 and I’m savoring the thrill of victory.
In your face, coronavirus.