Missing in 2020: Tissues, toilet paper and domestic tranquility
During World War I, we fortified the Western Front, worked assembly lines and grew victory gardens to feed the troops. After losing jobs and homes in the Great Depression, we queued outside soup kitchens and slept in makeshift shacks. During World War II, we sacrificed at home as more than 12 million compatriots joined or were drafted into the military.
American history has long been distinguished by personal resolve and triumph over adversity. This year, facing a pandemic more menacing than Godzilla’s advance on Tokyo, we had the opportunity to again come together as a nation, work for the common good and pull each other through.
Then we ran out of yeast.
OK, it wasn’t just yeast. It was hair dye and canned soda and jigsaw puzzles, too. The things that—who knew?—made life worth living.
We accepted the loss of these items with the graciousness of a kindergarten class discovering their teacher forgot the graham crackers again. But it didn’t have to be that way.
When the von Trapps crossed the Alps to escape the savages of war, wearing only summer-weight lederhosen, did we hear them complaining? Nope. Not a single ach du liebe! They were singing, which helped them come to terms with the consumer products lost in their own cinematic “Sound of Music” crisis.
And of COURSE it was set to the tune of “My Favorite Things:”
Clorox and Pine-Sol and spray disinfectant
Diapers and condoms and—Wait! Now I’m pregnant?
Garlic and spices and brisket and chops
Now dinner comes from a cereal box
Free weights and barbells and fitness equipment
Looked in the mirror; don’t know where our abs went
Gloves made of latex and thermometers
Who filched the last can of Dr Pepper?
We want board games
We want bakeware
We want printer ink
Vitamins D-3 and A, B and C
But all we can dooooo is drink
Which, as it turns out, was not the worst pastime during endless internet searches for loungewear, Nintendo Switches and King Arthur flour.