The first place where we looked for water was at National Wholesale Liquidators on Morrissey Blvd, though we went there mainly to buy a couple of basins for washing dishes. We ended up getting a couple of basins and something that looked like a wide, clear-plastic salad bowl, with enough radius for a frying-pan. There were stacks of bottled liquids that, as I expected, turned out to be some semblance of fruit juice. I was momentarily distracted by some clear plastic containers that would normally be used for water, except the water wasn’t included. Finally, we settled for some “paper” plates made of plastic (100 for $2.99) and left, having decided we had enough plastic forks to last for a few days. At least these didn’t seem to be disappearing very quickly.
Next stop was the CVS at the corner of Victory Road. I didn’t even bother to go in, since there was a sign next to the door that said “Sold Out of Water.”
On to Stop & Shop, just down the road. For a while, I was tempted by bottles of pink lemonade and “lime-aid” that were going for a less-than-extortionist two for $4.00. I decided to check out the soft drink aisle first, and saw about a half dozen shoppers parked in front of empty shelves that would have ordinarily been lined with gallon jugs of water. Were more of these jugs going to re-appear any time soon? I found that hard to believe. In mounting panic, I almost grabbed a bottle of Peregrino mineral water, something I’ve only allowed myself while on a rare vacation in a foreign country where the US dollar was stronger than the local currency. But my wife told me to walk a little farther. Sure enough, there was plenty of the house-brand seltzer, at only 79 cents for two liters.
I thought that was enough luck for a day like today, but some customers did have a bit more. That happened when a lift rolled up, laden with cardboard cases holding six jugs of water each, all under a tight sheet of plastic. Once the plastic was torn off, the whole pile was heaped onto wagons in about one minute. There was a close huddle of wagons, but people managed to load their cases without hostilities and even make way as another lift rolled up with the next shipment.