All this hyperventilating has to stop

We all remember what happened last spring when the pandemic first hit: It clearly scared the poop out of everybody because the first thing most Americans apparently thought was, “I’m gonna need 400 rolls of toilet paper!”

I understood the run on disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer, but the run on toilet paper baffled me. Did the poop rate go up? Was it because people were staying home from work and just got tired of sitting in front of the TV, so they decided to go sit on the toilet for a while?

It’s the same thing when a snowflake falls or a hurricane is 300 miles away — folks race to the grocery store and stock up on water and milk … and probably toilet paper, too, depending on the category of the storm.

“The Weather Channel’s Stephanie Abrams says it’s a Cat 5 now, and they’re sending in Jim Cantore! Make sure you get two-ply! I feel a disaster coming on!”

“Told you we shouldn’t have had Taco Tommy’s at lunch!”

Last week, it was gasoline. Folks were waiting in lines to top off their tanks — and their 5-gallon cans, and their Ziploc bags, and their milk jugs …

I’ve seen people nut up before over gasoline. The first time I really saw it was in 2005 right before Katrina hit. I stopped at a convenience store on Second Avenue in Columbus, and a guy was furiously screaming at the poor fellow behind the counter because the price of regular unleaded had soared overnight by about two bucks.

“You think this guy raised the price of gasoline?” I asked the enraged lunatic.

“%#&*@!” he responded. (I think I spelled that right.) I’d have smacked him in the face, but he looked like he had urgent matters to attend to like getting to work or planning for a Capitol invasion in 15 years.

The moronic masses who were worried about gas shortages last week “solved” the problem by racing out with their pickup trucks full of questionable containers to stock up and, yes, create a gas shortage that otherwise would not have existed.

But, you know, Biden.

At least the president did respond by issuing an executive order encouraging private companies like the ones who run the Colonial Pipeline to enhance their cybersecurity and also by addressing the apparently Russian hackers by pointedly telling them to, “Sit on it, bucko!”

I did what any good and decent American would do in the face of a crisis that could only be manufactured by the very people worried about a crisis — I went out and stocked up on regular unleaded toilet paper! I’m just kidding — it was premium. They were out of regular unleaded Charmin. Must be a drizzle coming this weekend.

Actually, I merely sat at home and worked from my home office. For various reasons, I’ve spent every day of the past couple of weeks working from home instead of the usual two or three. It’s cut down on my gasoline use and greatly increased the amount of pajama shorts I’ve been through. (My home office has a rather relaxed dress code that allows all of its employees — all one of me — to work comfortably and efficiently.

Now, I’m about to get back to my normal routine, so I hope you panicky people are done panicking over gas and will start panicking over something real like rising sea levels, the disappearing Amazon (don’t worry, honey, it’s merely a forest, not your online store), or the collapsing Gulf Stream current. And quit worrying about Russian hackers.

Unless they hit the tequila pipeline from Mexico to the U.S. In that case, Mr. President, tell the Russians: “This means war, bucko!”

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