By Marjorie Haun
What do America and Venezuela have in common? Empty shelves in the supermercado!
No, City Market and Dollar General are not suffering under the ignominious shortages inherent to socialism, but a creeping mass hysteria over the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) that is driving people to hoard bung fodder — an early 20th century euphemism for toilet paper
I’ve seen the photos on Facebook of empty shelves in retail giants like Target and Walmart, and being a little incredulous, I set out to see for myself. But the photos are accurate. Shelves are being emptied of emergency food kits, bleach, hand sanitizer, rubber gloves, disinfectant wipes, but the first to go is, invariably, bung fodder.
I dropped into City Market late one evening to see if the mass hysteria had taken root locally, and on the way in passed a couple of young, healthy-looking people with bandanas covering their noses and mouths. And yes, even in our humble berg, there was not even one overpriced, “eco-friendly” toilet paper package left. The shelves were stripped of every last soft, cushiony square.
As I stood gazing at the empty spaces with a bemused smirk on my face, I caught the eye of a fellow bung fodder seeker who said, “Hey, I’m just here to buy toilet paper because I poop.” I answered, “Yes, this is mind-boggling, don’t you think?” Then he attested, “It’s all because of propaganda.” And he was right.
The psychology of bung fodder is complicated. There is an actual shortage and related panic in Australia over the stuff. There were past runs (pun intended) on bung fodder during the Y2K scare and immediately following the events of Sept. 11, 2001.
But why toilet paper? Perhaps it’s a fear of protracted home-based quarantines. Perhaps it’s a collective genetic trauma retained from bygone days when butts were left raw by catalog pages and corncobs. Perhaps it’s human instinct that, when the excrement hits the fan, we all want to go out in a dignified manner, with clean bottoms. Who knows? But the political and economic dynamics behind (pun intended) the bung fodder scare of 2020 are disquieting.
And this is why: Like certain “identity” groups, COVID-19 has gained the protection of politically correct speech. You are not allowed to react proportionally to a relatively innocuous microbe, because it would be politically incorrect to do so. If you were to utter the truth that COVID-19 is similar to a severe cold or the flu, doing such would bring upon your head accusations of being a xenophobic fascist racist sadistic Nazi who hates children and eats roasted puppies on Sunday afternoons.
Think about it. President Trump has taken measured steps to contain and mitigate COVID-19 in the United States. First, he implemented travel restrictions from affected countries. The Media-Democrat Industrial Complex (MDIC) responded by accusing of him of overreacting and enforcing racist policies. Then, once the virus hit our shores and the threat level to healthy individuals was (and is) still extremely low, the MDIC shifted the political narrative to blaming President Trump for not acting soon enough and with too little force.
President Trump then accurately called the MDIC’s hysterical over-hyping of the nature of COVID-19 and its actual threat level a “hoax” (propaganda campaign), and it was at that time — with the urging of the MDIC — the apocalyptic mood began to take hold and the dash for bung fodder began.
Because the MDIC dictates that COVID-19 is now a protected class unto itself and one must conform to the approved group-think and speak only in terms of mass pandemic carnage when referring to this “Trump-created” many-headed beast, the sheeple of the world are reticent to speak the truth. And the sanguine truth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health is: For most people, the immediate risk of being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to be low. This virus is not currently widespread in the United States.
There is no denying the mass hysteria, and there’s also no denying that it’s inspired by politics, not epidemiological reality.
Now, it’s possible that this current frenzy could yield helpful benefits. After all, it never hurts to have a supply of food, medicine, dry goods, and yes, bung fodder in one’s home. Perhaps the apocalyptic mindset gripping the sheeple of the world will foster a greater sense of self-reliance and need for home-based security, which are good things. And perhaps, politicians, business owners, everyone in Utah and throughout the country, will begin to reconsider our cultural and economic overdependence on global interconnectedness.
Self-reliance is an ethos that should apply to our nation, as well as our families.
In the meantime, as consumers continue to evacuate (poop reference) the shelves of grocery stores, and we sit on our respective stools waiting for bung fodder to become available once again, we can hoard corn on the cob. This delicious favorite has the double benefit of giving us a healthy meal, as well as a nice fresh cob with which to wipe our nether regions.
Haun writes from La Sal.