I’m home from town, without toilet paper

This afternoon, while Beau stayed home with our little chillin, I headed to the big city (Billings, 70 miles west) to stock up on supplies for whatever is ahead of us… and also because we legitimately are on our last roll of toilet paper here at the Blake house.

The good news:  Now that I’m safely home and unloaded, I think I have enough groceries on hand to last us 6 to 8 weeks.  In fact, starting now, I am challenging our family to hunker down and live off of what we have for as long as possible.  Bring on the social distancing!  I’m feeling prepared!

The bad news:  I couldn’t find any toilet paper today.  I looked for it at Costco, Walmart, Dollar Tree (where they suggested I grab a package of party napkins, just in case things get really desperate), WinCo, and Sam’s Club.  Not a single package of TP anywhere.  Costco, Walmart, and WinCo all promised they would have toilet paper on the shelves first thing in the morning… but that doesn’t do me a lot of good.  I wasn’t going to stay in Billings tonight in order to buy toilet paper in the early a.m., and I certainly am not going to load up the kids and drive back there bright and early tomorrow.  I’ll figure something else out… right?

(For the record, Sam’s Club and Dollar Tree both said it would be several days before they got new paper products in.)

So I left Billings tonight without the super-essential white stuff loaded in the van.  Game Plan A for in the morning, then:  Call the local hardware store and, if they still have one, pay $70 for a case of toilet paper.

If that doesn’t work, on to Plan B:  Hire Nephew Nate, who has a driver’s license and no schoolwork to keep him busy these days, to keep an eye out for toilet paper in his hometown of Miles City (70 miles east of here).  And if he finds some, to buy it and deliver it to our front door.

Truth be told, I don’t really want to go back to town if I can help it.  While I was driving on the interstate today, I listened to a couple podcasts about Coronavirus.  I generally avoid the news in an effort to prevent fury and hysteria (in myself).  The informative podcasts I heard today, though, both from trustworthy sources, enlightened me to the basics of why Coronavirus is a legitimate concern.

So now I am officially concerned, too.  And when I was roaming around Billings, shopping among potentially germy strangers, I was wondering at the wisdom of my expedition.  I am very glad to be home now, and freshly showered, and I hereby sequester myself to the ranch for 6 to 8 weeks.  (Unless I have to leave tomorrow to get toilet paper!)

Here are a few pics I took today at the Walmart on King:

Where the potatoes should be.
Where the pasta should be.
Where the rice and beans should be.
Where the paper products should be.
Where the cheese should be.
Where the bottled water used to be — now replaced with cases of beer.  Because people are just that gullible, apparently.
Where the bleach should be.

© Tami Blake

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