If we can all get our minds off the global chocolate crisis for just a minute – you DO know about the global chocolate crisis, don’t you? Oh.
Well, basically, there’s a shortage looming and it could get expensive, according to what I’ve read. Seems worldwide consumption of cocoa in 2013 was 70,000 metric tons greater than production, which means we’ve had to dip into Strategic Worldwide Cocoa Supplies to make up the difference. Prices have gone up and will continue to do so as production falls further behind consumption, the stories said, and chocolate may in the future be a luxury instead of the necessity we all know it to be.
We’re talking calamity, people. I need my daily bite of dark chocolate and I know I’m not alone in this. I don’t even want to think of the rioting if Ghirardelli goes belly-up.
But that’s not what I’m concerned about. Well, I am, actually, but as I said, I want us to get our minds off chocolate for a moment so that we may concentrate on something a little more seasonally appropriate here in Indiana.
I speak of snow panics.
Now that we’ve had our first measurable snow of the year, I believe it’s time for us to go over the rules that govern exactly how to go out of your minds when the flakes fall. If we don’t, we’re likely to go running willy-nilly, waving our arms and yelling that the end is near, and that would be ridiculous. Only TV weather people are allowed to do that.
So here’s what I’ve come up with to guide our behavior though the coming season.
1. Stock up on salt. Not for the sidewalks, but so that you may take a grain or two every time the TV people tell you that White Death Is About To Descend.
2. Whenever TV people give you a range of snowfall amounts — let’s say 1 to 3 inches — go with the lower number and figure anything above that to be a lucky guess. And remember, when they say we could get “up to” a certain amount, there is a LOT of wiggle room in “up to.”
3. Consider that on some things, they’re right. When they tell you to bundle up, at least wear a hat. And gloves.
4. And remember that weather forecasters are in cahoots with the bakeries, dairies and poultry farms (much the way greeting card companies collude with candy makers and florists on Valentine’s Day). We also know that the mere mention of snow in a weather forecast sends a certain portion of the population, commonly known as the “majority,” to the store in a wild scramble to buy bread, milk and eggs. Therefore, I recommend the following: One loaf of bread, one gallon of milk and one dozen eggs for every 2 inches of snow. This is a bit more reasonable than the national standard, which calls for one loaf, one gallon and one dozen for every half-inch, with the option to double the amount if the temperature is below 20 degrees F.
So there you go: Grain of salt, lower your expectations, wear a hat, don’t overbuy the French toast ingredients.
Oh, and stock up on chocolate while you’re at it. A chocolate shortage? Now THERE’S something to panic about.
Mike Redmond is an author, journalist, humorist and speaker. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on speaking fees and availability, visit www.spotlightwww.com.