"Often, the pretexts for starting a war are not real shortages of land, food or fuel, but rather perceptions -- like fear, honor and perceived self-interest..." -- Victor Davis Hanson
Witnessed at approximately 10:30 p.m. this evening:
The Overlord is in the local (insert name of chain drugstore) this evening seeking out a certain brand of skin cream formulated for Diabetics, of which Mrs. Overlord is. The form of psoriasis she has (a consequence of taking Metformin to control her diabetes) is stubbornly resistant to all other forms of moisturizer, and this stuff is the only thing we've found that does a half-decent job of keeping her peeling skin under control.
It costs $25 a tube, too.
(For those in similar situations who may need it, it is Cerave "Diabetic Dry Skin Relief". Works better than Vitamin E, Baby Oil, Vaseline, or any fruity, scented "Skin Care" products).
This is the fourth pharmacy I have visited in my Quixotic quest to obtain said magical elixir; due to "supply chain issues" the flow of this panacea has slowed to a trickle.
Life in 21st Century Staten Island.
I finally achieve my objective: they have two tubes left on the suspiciously-empty shelves, so, I decide the best thing to do is grab them both, count my blessings, and consider this a successful hunt.
And then the yelling begins.
Two women (excuse me for using an archaic definition of said gender, but I'm an old, oppressive-minded White Male o' Privilege) are cackling at one another. They are loud, obnoxious, and the language is such that the Overlord finds it amusing, his having a mouth like a sewer, himself.
Among the other things you can't get around here, as of late, is Baby Formula. Assuming you made the (apparently bad) choice to be a "birthing person", and one may need such as a consequence.
The argument is over the last case of said Infant Chow on the shelf. Two women apparently went for it at the same time, one narrowly beating the other to said treasure. Chaos resulted.
There is a lengthy exchange of expletives and comments made by each combatant about the other's hair, nails, and appalling taste in knock-off designer whorewear with suggestive words like "Juicy" and "Baby Girl" emblazoned upon the bottom.
(As an hilarious aside, this is not strictly true, for all one really sees is "J-CY" and "BA-RL" as innocent fabrics are sucked into the Space-Time Continuum that is a fat broad's hindquarters. Seriously, someone fucked THAT and got it pregnant?)
This is, after all, Staten Island. The women (although far be it from me to misgender anyone) here are vicious. Wolverines take lessons on ferocity from the Middle-Class-With-No-Class denizens of Great Kills and Annadale, I'm told.
(These two presumably-female examples are obviously on the lower end of the social scale, to judge from the size of the stainless-steel-pretending-to-be-and-failing-silver hoop earrings and the pungent aromas that are Dark and Lovely, with just the slightest hint of Shea Butter (whatever the fuck that is)...or maybe its just Crisco?).
The centered-upon-who-is-fatter -- and poorer -- discussion soon threatens to escalate to physical violence.
The store manager quickly rushes in to tell both ladies to "knock it off before he calls the cops", and then informs the slower shopper to "calm down", which makes her even-more infuriated.
He's trying to explain to her that he has more Rugrat Fertilizer in the back; they just haven't gotten around to putting it on the shelf, yet. He will be happy to get her a case of the stuff in just a few moments.
She momentarily calms her raging vagina.
But "I got here first" can't let it go.
"Happy Mother's Day, Bitch".
And now it is on...
I cannot tell for certain just what that object hurtling through the air was, but from the sound of breaking glass emitted as it hit the floor, it couldn't have been anything non-lethal. It missed its intended target because, of course, the person who propelled it throws like a girl (again, Ancient White Male hung up on gender stereotypes).
A melee ensues as other customers -- we three men who happen to be inside the store at the time -- attempt to get between corpulent vicious rhino dressed in pink terrycloth and unctuous hellion festooned in muffin top and neck fat.
Store manager quickly dashes into the storeroom and emerges with a case of baby formula for Vicious Rhino, and yells for the cashier to let Miss Pork Rinds 2022 jump to the head of the line so he can get her out of the store with greater alacrity.
Perhaps, he foolishly believes, that if these two are separated and their departure staggered, there will be no further shenanigans. He is mistaken. For much like the Russians and Ukrainians, Honor is at stake...or at least the surge of post-delivery hormones is in full rush.
Amber (of the) Herd is now insulted that she has to be momentarily detained so that "that fat-mouthed bitch" can have the "privilege" of being cashiered first with an EBT card. This brings about a second round of "Who's-poorer-than-Who" chest-beating. The fact that Amber will, herself, be "paying" for her brood's sustenance by the same method will somehow elude her.
The first Vaginal Gladiator is out of the store. The second is being given the same "privilege" of being bumped to the front of the checkout. She now turns upon the store manager, saying this is all his fault, because if he had more formula it should have been on the fuckin' shelves. Manager informs her that the shelves are routinely re-stocked by the overnight shift, and they just hadn't gotten to it yet. So shut the fuck up, pay for your shit, and get out of my fucking store.
The Overlord decides to use the Self-checkout kiosk. Because the faster he gets out of this looney bin, the better his seat for what follows will be.
And these two "ladies" did not disappoint, for First Offensive Bag of Skin is, indeed, waiting for Second Hateful Waste of Gametes in the parking lot. Fortunately, the episode petered out in a series of exchanged insults and derogatory statements; no physical violence ensued, and the Overlord went home disappointed the UFC Post-partum Division Championship failed to come off.
But only slightly. If I truly want to watch water buffalo butt heads, David Attenborough is on BBC America every night.
The store manager comes out to see what all the ruckus is about. He is visibly relieved that the combatants did not injure one another in "his" store, but frightened about what may happen the remainder of the evening.
He tells me that the real reason why there wasn't any more baby formula on the shelves is because the store has been victimized twice in the last ten days by shoplifters -- both individuals and an ENTIRE FAMILY -- who are trying (and so far failing, because Security) to walk off with diapers, baby wipes, and cases of formula.
By deliberately limiting the amount of such items on the shelves, it is hoped the store will lose less inventory to theft, or deter thieves who will be discouraged by the skimpy pickings on display.
When it gets like this, however, what he fears most is some douchebag with a misguided sense of "justice" who will return with a weapon. Maybe more than one douchebag, too. This happens A LOT, he says.
The Police -- no one knows who called them -- finally arrive. It only took 20 minutes, but Tim Horton's up the road often sells day-old donuts and the remnants of stale coffee at a discount shortly before closing. And if the tardy arrival is not due to the stereotypical police penchant for such, then the reason is probably because nobody gives a fuck. It is a difficult job -- it always has been -- to be a NYPD officer, and it has only gotten much worse post-DeBlasio and Pandemic.
You almost have to get murdered in this city to get a police response.
Just like 1975.
And while the Overlord enjoys nostalgia the same as most people, not this kind.
This, I figure, is the inevitable result of a country sliding sideways down the garbage chute to unmitigated Hell.
Shutdown-induced shortages of everything. Stores squirreling away inventory to prevent theft. People who have been conditioned by poor educational systems and a vicious online, de-personalized "discourse" to be as petty, aggressive, and offensive as possible. People living in a continuous state of discontent and often-irrational anger bordering on the psychotic. The excuses made for and Free Passes given to those ready to resort to criminal behavior.
I'm going to Costco tomorrow, and hopefully I'll be able to haul away enough supplies to get me through this Apocalypse, damn the shortage of closet and shelf space here at Overlord Central. I'll stack the shit on the terrace, if I have to, and attempt to do so without incurring the wrath of another shopper.
Costco, at least, is usually swarming with Asians, so I reckon the prospect of having to engage in armed conflict while laying in supplies of Froot Loops and toilet paper is rather slight.