A Portland friend messaged me this morning. How nice is it to live in a state with no known cases of coronavirus? I bet you can still find toilet paper in the stores there. The crazy thing is, she wasn’t exaggerating. Costco and other stores are reporting their shelves have been wiped clean in the U.S., Canada, and overseas. If you’re looking for toilet paper in many parts of the world, you’re shit out of luck. Even single-ply rolls are being hoarded, the clearest case yet that the world is on the brink of mass panic and desperation.
I’m having trouble understanding the logic here. There are certain items that make sense stocking up on, whether you’re worried about COVID-19 or the zombie apocalypse or, scariest of all, another four years of Trump. Like wine. While everybody else is making a beeline for the TP, I will happily choose chardonnay over Charmin. (Actually, I pine for Pinot Noir and savor Sauvignon Blanc, but I was aiming for alliteration.) If I were to end up quarantined, I’d make damn sure at least some of my hours were happy.
Look, toilet paper is important; I’m not suggesting otherwise. But if we’re being honest, isn’t it really just a luxury? There are plenty of alternatives in a pinch. If the shit really hits the fan, you’re going to need canned goods and bottled water. Medicine and first-aid supplies. Candles and batteries. Not Angel Soft or Quilted Northern.
People sure are funny when the end is nigh.
Tara recently made herself an omelette for breakfast and I couldn’t help but notice a gloriously crispy cheese skirt on her plate. “Is that a grizzly bear in the backyard?!” I asked in an attempt to distract her so I could grab it for myself, but my wife is onto my tricks and rarely falls for them anymore. In retrospect, I probably should have kept it simple and claimed to spot a deer or squirrel instead of a bear. At least those creatures have actually appeared in our yard and might have warranted a glance on her part.
If you’re unfamiliar with the culinary delicacy that is a cheese skirt, it’s the crispy, golden-brown cheese that you find on the edge of a pan when you’re making lasagna or enchiladas or baked macaroni ‘n cheese, i.e., the very best part. I don’t have any actual statistics to back this up, but I’m pretty sure the top three reasons people go to war are for economic or territorial gain; nationalism; and an unwillingness to cede the cheese skirt to other diners.
Thinking about this after Tara swatted my hand away from her plate, I had a revelation. “We should open a restaurant that specializes in cheese skirts!” I said excitedly. After all, there was a Seinfeld episode about a business called Top of the Muffin to You! that sold only the top part of the muffin, i.e., the very best part. Genius idea, Elaine! Imagine going out to eat and finding cheese skirts on the menu.
There’s already a restaurant in California that specializes in cheese skirt burgers. If people are already flocking there for the cheese skirt, let’s just eliminate the superfluous items like the burger patty and bun. I picture appetizers made with different cheeses like cheddar, gouda, and pepper jack. Just a big ol’ plate of cheese skirts! (Maybe I’d offer a marinara dipping sauce. Maybe.) And we’d serve cheese-based entrees like the aforementioned lasagna, complete with their own impressive cheese skirts. Maybe we’ll reinvent some classics, like the Philly cheese skirt steak. How about a decadent slice of New York cheese skirt cake for dessert? Or maybe we do it on a smaller scale. Buy a food truck and serve piping hot bags of cheese skirts. Chips are ubiquitous, french fries are obvious, and popcorn is boring. But cheese skirts…now, there’s a unique (and delicious) idea! Am I right or am I right?
Living in the heartland, I can tell you that cheese curds are wildly popular here. I see no reason why cheese skirts can’t be just as big.
Whaddaya say? Anybody care to invest in my get-rich-quick scheme, or should I aim for Shark Tank instead?
(I’m only signing a deal with Lori Greiner, though.)