I took a drive yesterday for business purposes. I headed west to a town called Mendota in north central Illinois. Mendota is not a particularly pretty town, or maybe it was just the rainy day that made it appear a bit bleak and rundown. But it looked like any other town in any part of the Rust Belt in the USA. And it was comforting.
First, the COVID-19 coronavirus had not started infecting people in the area yet. I still took extreme precautions as I was out and about. It wasn’t a good business call. My appointment hated the product I presented.
While out, I carefully explored some stores out west. I found toilet paper in Mendota. 2 pack limit, but plenty on the shelf. I remember that time in America when clean butts were a given. As I headed home, I stopped in Earlville and found ramen noodles on a store shelf. Amazing discovery. Another nostalgic blast from America’s past. I grabbed some and arrived home to be hailed as a returning hero with a bounty of both toilet paper and ramen.
As I got back into my town, I stopped at a local store for some frozen veggies to throw in with the ramen I had scored. But first I peeked. Still no toilet paper. No ramen noodles. But worse, no frozen veggies except for …. brussel sprouts. Ew. I grudgingly purchased the last bag in the freezer.
I felt some guilt as I made ramen noodles last night. Perhaps I should save them for possible grimmer times ahead. I have no return trips to Mendota or Earlville planned, thankfully. I did discover that brussel sprouts are palatable in small doses. I enjoyed that bowl of ramen noodles. It reminded me of an America I once knew.