Monday, February 23, 2004

Got Spam?

I'm working from home today, which is frequently the case in winter when disease is rampant throughout daycare and Sunday school. Thusly, little Bo-Bo is home with a raging case of Montezuma's revenge, and I, the non-manager of the family, will stay home with him today.

While the little guy was catching some well earned ZZZ's, I crept to the kitchen pantry to see what sort of grim fare was available for lunch. By not being a stay-at-home mom, my larder is shallow and haunting compared to the lovingly overstocked kitchen I recall from my childhood. (Yes, I enjoyed the luxury of staying at home with my stay-at-home mom; more about that some other time.)

Scanning the shelves crammed with carbohydrate packed boxes, I focused in on the plastic lazy susans filled with three tiers of canned food goodness. Surely a can of Ravioli lurked in there somewhere? Alas, my husband has been on a "Spaghettios with Meat Sauce" junket lately, though no one has deemed themselves starving enough to down the foul swill. I then took notice of a stack of square cans on the far right side of the shelf; SPAM galore! And "non fat" canned chicken, Dinty Moore Beef Stew....It's the Apocalypse survival stash!

Or, more accurately, our /Y2k/ice storm/hurricane/bad camping trip/ food stash. It all started in December of 1999 (strains of "Prince" are allowed to play in your head here), when shop talk at work turned to those who were stocking up for the potential end of the world due to Y2k computer disasters. Some had done nothing, some had gone as far as bottling water and buying barrels of textured vegetable protein. (Which they are trying to sell on e-bay to this day.) I realized that my cool, "nothing's going to happen" demeanor regarding the Y2k threat was diminishing as the new millennium drew nearer. Out I dashed, to buy large box shaped containers of water, cases of baked beans, golden canned bricks of Spam, and a humongous box of powdered milk. The stash stayed sequestered in the baby's nursery closet, out of the way of my father's critical eyes, yet there if somehow the worst happened.

And there it stayed. Until the water boxes starting leaking on the floor of the closet, and it got inconvenient to go into the baby's room every time we wanted baked beans with our hot dogs. Eventually the Y2k cache was re-orged into the kitchen pantry closet; the leaking or weird items were quietly thrown away. What remained, however, was a spirit of survival. The little Scarlet O'Hara within me was awakened. I would never go hungry again. (Actually, my girthy frame will attest to the fact that I have never gone hungry.) But now, when the harsh winds of November howl with sleet, or the raging rains and winds of tempestuous August blow, I remain confident in the face of potential power-outtage. The gleaming cans of Spam will always be there.