– On the way to the first week of bowling league last night, I witnessed the heading-home-from-work traffic turn into the I-need-to-get-gas backup at one of the highest priced gas stations locally. Panic and lack of preparedness know no savings.
– Speaking of savings, in checking on my Dad and his preparations (he’s fine), he mentioned that he turned away from filling up his car because the gas station only had premium. I mentioned that it was the opposite of intelligent to do that (for probably a one-time $15 difference) and he agreed. He still hasn’t filled up his car and now I expect the lines will be worse.
– At bowling, we talked hurricane before bowling and after bowling, but we managed to actually lose ourselves for a few hours. Me and my damaged toe did terrible.
– On the way home, I resolved to top off my own tank, get that extra cash and maybe even look for some general munchies in the wee hours. We have a 24-hour Wal-Mart nearby and I’m an early riser.
– Too early, as it turns out. I woke up around 2 am and, after some consideration, just got up and made my run. Cumberland Farms for gas (regular unleaded available, though 40¢ more than last week). A man filling up next to me said he went to a station that was actually out. Good luck Dad!
– Wal-Mart was funny. Massively empty shelves in some areas and totally stocked in others. A surprising amount of paper goods still available (I didn’t need any, check out yesterday’s post). No water, of course, and, darn their eyes, no pink lemonade (which I don’t buy anymore but I thought I could use the hurricane as an excuse).
– By the way, it was almost as busy as a Saturday afternoon – at 2:30 am on a Wednesday.
– Speaking of excuses, gotta love hurricane “survival” kits. I was able to buy all sorts of crap and not feel guilty. Potato chips, Cracker Jack, Raisinets and cosmic brownies! All in a good cause!
– On the way back, I stopped at the ATM and there was no one there. Sweet!
– A few hours later, I decided, hey, I could use more bananas and maybe a half-gallon of milk. Off to Publix I went. I was too early, but the manager was letting in the crowd anyway. It looked like a Black Friday event (except they never let you in early for those).
– While Wal-Mart was out of milk, Publix was fully stocked. No water, of course, but they did have BOGO on two 2-liter Coke (buy two get two). I don’t buy 2-liters anymore, but, it’s hurricane survival! My triglycerides are so going to suck at my physical this year.
– I picked up some chips and some honey-roasted peanuts (more BOGO!) and rolled my cart out the door only to be nearly run down by a huge SUV that hurtled right through the parking lot stop sign. I wagged my finger (pointer) and when the driver came out, the lady came over and apologized. She said she was in such a hurry because she heard a rumor they had water. I sympathetically explained to her it was only the mineral water stuff, not just good ol’ bottled water.
– We talked for a few minutes about filling jugs with regular water and I mentioned my habit of washing my empty half-gallon milk containers and reusing them (usually for iced tea).
– Upon arrival home, I took all the loose pieces from the front of the home and shoved them in the storage closet. Later, I sprayed the patio and all items on it with bug spray in anticipation of having to drag them all in the living room tomorrow. I’ll likely take my chances with the grill, unless we are scheduled for a direct hit.
– I spent much time at all locations talking with my fellow residents. Most people were keeping their spirits up, despite the tint of fear behind their words. Once in a while, there was the sourpuss or pessimist but for the most part, South Floridians seem to be keeping the proper attitude about the storm.
And now, I’m done. I may go out and get a sub later (I can split that over two days), but I’m pretty set and ready to hunker down.
Oh, one final ironic bit of humor: Each week, the Wednesday paper has the preview ad for Publix. Their weekly sales start on Thursdays. One of their BOGO’s for the upcoming week: Bumble Bee tuna. None of which exists anywhere (not in Publix or Wal-Mart). More like “Buy none, got none”!