Flying the Coop: Where Have All the Chickens Gone???

So I went to COSTCO the other day, looking for this and that, but not a rotisserie chicken.

I really like their roasters: plump, juicy, and at 3 pounds for $4.99 the very model of a major-league loss leader.

But I had recently had chicken, so this time I was just rolling past the big counter where they line them up in rows of plastic containers, from which the aroma drifts temptingly across several nearby aisles. My immediate target was the free sample carts (one had some interesting Keto crunchies, and another low-sodium salami), then the good gluten free bread on the way to the checkout.

Except there wasn’t any aroma that day, and glancing back I saw two surprising reasons why: a long bare shelf, and taped just above it, a sign like this one: “Sorry, no chickens for now.” 

That’s like saying  peanut butter but no jelly, avocados but no toast, bagels sans cream cheese.

Yet there it was. Or rather, wasn’t.

Cliches came to my rescue: “Supply chain,” I murmured, and nervously hurried  on to the bread aisle, where I was relieved to find plenty of the favored GF loaves.

Half an hour later, I was cruising through a Food Lion, still not hunting for chicken. Instead, I was after tater tots, which the Fair Wendy, notwithstanding her general stickler’s demand for organic, artisanal & free range comestibles, maintains a partiality for the tots, as a staple on which she was raised. I think she is persuaded that  perhaps these pommes de terre must have been karmically artisanal at some point in their spiritual journey to Comfort Food Valhalla.

Whatever; I like ‘em too. Enroute to the frozen food, I hung a left in front of the long bank of shelves for fresh meat—

Empty shelves

— And there I was confronted by about twelve feet of completely bare shelves.

It was the fresh poultry section: but while there was beef on one end, and ham on the other, no once-feathered friend was anywhere on sale between, at any price.

Fortunately I did snag some tater tots (grabbed an extra bag too; you never know).  And I arrived home with most of what I was after, including an unexpectedly enhanced understanding of why things feel so unsettled in the USA these days.

In truth, there is plenty of provender in our cupboards & fridge.  Supply chain troubles are a hassle, but we’re not going hungry.

Yet it is nervous-making. A craving for a rotisserie hen can sneak up on one. And if they start running short of TP again, Katy bar the door.

Though I do have a secret stash of several extra rolls left over from the last lockdown. Just in case, so we don’t get wiped out.


6 thoughts on “Flying the Coop: Where Have All the Chickens Gone???”

  1. Sometimes I think a good lesson we can draw from our current situation is to learn to deal with limited amounts of consumer goods, limited resources, limited freedom (in order to advance public health) and other limits that the first wave of boomers are encountering in everyday life as they age. Yep there really are limits. Living with this may well be anticipating what younger generations will have to deal with.

  2. Chuck, perhaps thee is familiar with the classic folk song/protest song “Where Have All the Chickens Gone?”

  3. We, the first Boomers (I actually predate boomers by a bit over a year) live with a level of everyday privilege unheard of during our growing up years. As a child, I travelled the bus to the nearby city to the “butter store” where there was butter. In 1950, beef was still in short supply. As for cooked meat one could buy? Huh? Things were different — I think I was 7 when my mother said I could take the bus to the butter store, and back, on my own. That’s a privilege young children no longer have.

    More goods, less safety and freedom for kids. Not a good trade-off, were it a trade-off able to be chosen.

  4. Yeah, the local FB pages show the trouble. Anyone see any (x, y, z,,,) in the stores? Yes, the Qstore has x. ANd I saw Y at the Pstore. Oh! G had no Z or Y this morning . We are blessed and hexed. No skim milk in Safeway? Go to Wegmans…. The biggest complaint so far in Olney MD is the traffic back up each morning to go around the Dunkin Donut store for coffee and fried bread….

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