Took a break from novel writing to resupply for the zombie apocalypse. Love this time of year when our flip-flops slap our feet as we amble up and down grocery store aisles, hunting and gathering. I can’t believe how many food species go extinct at the grocery store. It goes like this:
Threatened. It begins gradually, like a frog boil. You aren’t aware of it. At this stage, a food species disappears, then reappears the following month, like garlic bread sprinkle. The population is in decline, so the Fish & Food managers (like Fish & Game) closely track species numbers, in a smoke-and-mirrors attempt to conserve by re-stocking every other month. The item becomes Threatened, and you know it’s been relegated to a Threatened & Endangered food species list at headquarters.
Endangered. You see it on the shelf every two or three months. When the store manager chirps, “Finding everything ok?” You say, “No, can you please re-stock this?” They nod and smile, “Sure thing!” Now at this stage, the food species item has crept onto the Endangered list. Only a few left and reproduction to boost the population isn’t an option. You buy them in quantities and hoard them. On your way out, you whine and beg the customer service person to hang onto that food species. Please, you’ll do anything…within reason.
Extinction. It’s gone forever. You mourn the loss of this food species. You cling to remembrances, the empty container, a fossilized remnant of yet another food species gone extinct. You recall the taste of the Bolthouse yogurt ranch dressing on your tongue. Teardrops fall.
Post Extinction. You steel yourself, chin held high on your next trip to the grocery store. You tell yourself, “We still have the Lite House yogurt ranch. But it’s not the same. Will never be like the Bolthouse ranch. Like saying, “Well, the polar bears are gone, but we still have the brown bears.”
Food species we never knew existed have come and gone. Some are “Meh,” others we genuinely grieve. Anything from Lemon ice Gatorade to Apple Newtons, Uncle Ben’s Rice Bowls, Pop Tarts, Blueberry Cobbler Cookies, Pudding Pops, 3D Doritos, Dijonnaise…the list goes on.
The blue M&M reappeared! (I voted for it on the M&M site) And we got those little bottles of Coke back. But I’m afraid my garlic bread sprinkle is no more.
Extinct. Forever. And so I grieve…
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