Sometimes, all you need is an avocado. Just one. Just one to make some avocado and toast.
Sometimes, all you need is an avocado and a loaf of bread, so you can make some avocado and toast.
And a toaster. You’ll need a toaster. So, sometimes you need at least three things.
Three months ago, that wasn’t an issue. You would just walk out the door, go to the Superstore, and enter with the intention of buying an avocado, a loaf of bread, and a toaster.
Of course, you’d leave with a new bread machine, a bottle of yeast, a 20-pound bag of flour, and completely forget to buy an avocado.
It was a simpler time.
But now we live in dangerous times, with a possible contagion lurking on every surface, and the potential that the people you come in contact with, might infect you with a deadly pathogen, if you come within 6 feet of their moisture.
Because of this, that leisurely trip to the foodstuff emporium, suddenly becomes a journey marked with peril, and possible jail time if you can’t figure out how long 6 feet is.
Now, more than ever, you need an avocado.
You NEED an avocado because avocado and toast calms your nerves, so you can deal with the contamination anxiety that social media posts are instilling in you. (Did you know that there are roving packs of toy poodles, spitting Covid-19 into the air? I read it on MySpace.)
Luckily, the avocado peddlers have been deemed an essential service in your area, so it’s still legal for you to obtain the high fat tropical berries, so you can spread their creamy green flesh onto toasty slices of grain loaf.
You think of ordering an avocado for delivery, so you can avoid the germ-infested world outside, but picking the right avocado is a tactile procedure. It needs to yield to your touch slightly, like a new Nerf football. Not too soft, like an old Nerf football that’s in a puddle, or too hard like a frozen Nerf football.
No, you’ll have to venture out to the sustenance bodega in order to obtain your hipster comfort food.
But you’ll need to prepare, so you can guarantee your safety.
Luckily, you have a plan. And a gallon bucket of hand sanitizer you bought 4 years ago at the Costco because it was such a good deal.
You dig the hand sanitizer out from under the unopened bread machine box, and find that there’s just enough room in the bucket to dunk your head in.
Besides sanitizing your noggin, it also makes a kick-ass hair gel. And the smell will help with the social distancing.
You saw something in your MySpace feed, that masks can help control the spread of the malady, so you open your commedia dell’arte chest, and choose a Pantalone.
Next, you take six rulers from the extra-large case of rulers you also obtained from Costco, and tape them together end to end. This way, you can swing the rulers around your head like a propeller with a six-foot radius, just to be sure you’re in compliance with the distancing rules.
Then you grab all of your shopping supplies, including your Nerf football for avocado comparison, slathering them in more banana scented Costco hand sanitizer.
Then the final step is to wrap yourself in 200 feet of plastic wrap (same Costco trip), and stuff more of the hand sanitizer into your pockets so you can touch up your disinfection later.
Now you are ready for your avocado expedition.
You depart your abode, opening the front door for the first time in three weeks, expecting to see a grey dystopia, complete with spitting toy poodles. But instead, you find that the snow has started to melt, the birds are chirping, and the squirrels are mating, right in the middle of the deserted street.
Making your way down the sidewalk, you start swinging the ruler propeller, but there isn’t anyone to keep a distance from, except for an indignant sparrow that you accidently graze. But you keep up the rotation, just in case a tainted seagull tries to cough on you.
You realize how ridiculous you must look, a madman wearing an Italian character mask, wrapped in plastic film, swirling a blade made up of duct taped rulers, and dripping with hand sanitizer that covers everything above your shoulders. But it turns out to be a very successful strategy for social distancing, for even when you do happen upon another human being, they are so aghast that they quickly cross to the other side of the street.
As you approach the food merchant, you notice that things are very different from the last time you’ve been there. There is a substantial line-up of people with generous spaces between them, that snakes all the way into the parking lot. A middle-aged woman, dressed in a safety vest, screams pandemic instructions into a megaphone, while two intense looking gentlemen scan the lineup for infractions while wearing full tactical gear.
It looks like obtaining an avocado is going to be more arduous than it was pre-pandemic.
You take your place in the queue, still swinging your ruler saber, and listening to all of the instructions to keep everyone safe.
“DO NOT ENTER IF YOU HAVE ANY PLAGUE LIKE SYMPTOMS. KEEP YOUR DISTANCE FROM OTHER PEOPLE AT ALL TIMES. DO NOT LICK THE SHOPPING CARTS. DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE. DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FRIEND’S FACE. IF YOU TOUCH YOUR FRIEND’S FACE, YOU ARE TOO CLOSE TO YOUR FRIEND. EAT BRAN. FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN TO YOU BY ALL STAFF AND HIRED GOONS. SIGNAGE INSIDE WILL DIRECT YOU TO THE PATH THAT YOU MUST FOLLOW ONCE INSIDE THE STORE. DO NOT DEVIATE FROM THE PATH. KEEP TWO METERS BETWEEN YOU AND ALL OTHER PEOPLE AT ALL TIMES!”
You notice that one of the intense gentlemen in tactical gear is looking at you….
“SIR! YES, YOU SIR! ARE YOU SWINGING SIX RULERS TAPED TOGETHER TO KEEP PEOPLE SIX FEET AWAY FROM YOU?!”
“THIS IS CANADA SIR. WE USE THE METRIC SYSTEM AND THE REQUIRED DISTANCE BETWEEN PEOPLE IS TWO METERS! PLACE YOUR RULERS ON THE GROUND AND BACK UP!”
You do as you’re told, and back off from the bombastic preservation warden. He sprays your rulers with some sort of bleaching agent, pulls a police baton from his utility belt, and affixes it to the end of your imperial measuring propeller.
“TWO METERS IS 6.54 FEET! YOUR SOCIAL DISTANCING DEVICE WAS OVER SIX INCHES SHORT! IT SHOULD BE FINE NOW!”
“AND MAY I SAY, NICE MASK. ALTHOUGH I WOULD HAVE GONE WITH Il CAPITANO!”
After a few minutes, the line-up starts to move, and you feel like you need to decontaminate again. You reach into your pockets to get some more alcohol infused goo, and slather it all over your face. Unfortunately, you breath in some of it, which causes you to cough uncontrollably.
Panic ensues, as everyone in line thinks you are one of the infected.
The woman with the megaphone, points at you and shrieks, with a look on her face like Donald Southerland in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and then runs at top speed away from you, blaring “COVID ALERT! COVID ALERT!” through the megaphone.
Once everyone scatters and the screams die down in the distance, you find yourself the only one in line.
The security guard who helped you with your rulers says “Well played, you may enter.”
A staff member in a hazmat suit greets you as you enter, and hands you a shopping cart with a “sanitized” sticker on it. They then point to the floor, where there are arrows taped to the floor, and says “Follow the path” amidst Darth Vader breathing sounds.
“All I want is an avocado, can’t I just make my way to the produce section and…”
“FOLLOW THE PATH SIR!”
You slowly follow the masses, 6.54 feet away from the person in front of you, starting with the frozen food section, through the feminine hygiene aisle, and the empty shelves in the bathroom tissue zone. By the time you reach international foods, the person in front of you starts weeping, and moaning “Why did they start us at frozen foods? My calorie reduced, artisan frozen yogurt is going to melt before we get to baking needs!”
The usual muzak that was piped through the sound system has been replaced with more instructions about how to wash your hands, how to properly sneeze, and a list of penalties for any attempt at human contact.
You finally arrive at the produce section, and see the pile of avocados in the distance. Pulling out your Nerf football in anticipation, you see someone in front of the avocados testing multiple fruits for firmness.
The crowd reacts in ire, chiding the person for spreading Covid cooties by touching multiple avocados “You’re infecting the whole batch!”, “Oh my God, you’ll kill us all!”, and “They’re avocados, not covicados!”.
You put the football away, and try to guess which avocados are ripe by colour. The first one you grab has the texture of room temperature butter, and the other one feels like a baseball, but you’re not going to put them back for fear of being shunned by the other food mart patrons.
You enter the chute that directs you to the tills, and are told that you can’t pay with cash because it’s contaminated, so you pay the $2.64 with a credit card, which adds a five dollar fee due to a transaction under $10.
On the way out, you give your cart to another hazmat employee, and they pull out a firehose to wash it down while saying “have a nice day” under their breath.
It takes you much longer to get home, because on the way you see an elderly gentleman walking his toy poodle, and you just don’t want to take the chance that it spits the Covid on you, so you take the long way home.
Just before you enter your home, you rip off the plastic wrap, and strip off all of your clothes and throw them into the fire pit. As you open your front door, naked, holding a football and two terrible avocados, you swear you see a worn out squirrel wink at you.
But you feel a sense of triumph, because you got your avocados, and now you can make your avocado and toas……..
You forgot bread.
Time to finally pull that bread machine out of the box and read the instructions….