I take you back to the olden days. It was far from the good old days, though. Spring of 2020. It was the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. At that point, I’m not sure we even knew it was a pandemic yet. All I know is people were scared. When people get scared, they also get set strange. And, does it get any stranger than hoarding toilet paper?
Remember walking into a grocery store. heading for the paper goods aisle, and finding empty shelves where the toilet paper was supposed to be? If you were lucky enough to find some, you’d take enough to last the rest of your life. It was bad enough that stores put a limit on the amount of tp you could buy. One grocery store had a manager come to the checkout counter to make sure you weren’t taking more than your arbitrary limit.
Two years later we’re on to the next crisis. No, not toilet paper again or any other type of paper product. In 2022, the world is on the hunt for baby formula.
I started my search for the elusive formula on Monday. NOOOOO! It’s not for me. I’m not Tony Randall or Mick Jagger. We need some for people coming to visit who have a three-month-old baby. Stop one, Walgreens-nothing. Next came trips to two different Targets-nada. Off to Walmart-zip. Later came two grocery stores-nope. Finally, we went to CVS. They had cards that you brought up to the front counter. That’s where they kept their canisters of formula. Was this going to be the formula breakthrough? Was CVS the place to score? BUZZ! BUZZ!! BUZZ!!!!! Tease!!
As we headed home empty-handed, I commented that the only way to get formula was to go on the black market. I was sort of joking….sort of.
Monday night, I was perusing Facebook when I came across this: “If anyone is out and about and sees this formula, Enfamil Gentlease, please grab one for me.”
Hey, that’s the same stuff I was looking for. When I responded with my black market formula sarcasm, her response was, “On Ebay right now selling for $140, plus $20 shipping. The regular price is $49.”
Seriously?! Are you fucking kidding me?! There really is a black market for this stuff. I can find hard drugs easier than Enfamil or Similac or name your
drug formula of choice.
While the last four hundred-plus words have been somewhat satirical, there is nothing funny about the formula shortage. Obviously, babies need this stuff to survive. Parents are going to take drastic matters to find it. There are already stories of people thinking it would be easier to order formula on Canada’s Amazon site and have it shipped across the border. It was a good idea. Very creative, except it didn’t work.
But back to this black market scam thing. I do have two cartons of the Enfamil Gentlease in purple. Each carton makes fifty-four-four ounce portions. How much do you think I can sell these for? Two hundred a carton? Three hundred? Plus shipping, right?! Hmmm…I think I need a partner in crime to do this? As they said in the movie Casablanca, “We can make a fortune if you work with me through the black market.”
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