Gas price crisis and food shortages? Time to get ready for the Three-Day Week – Susan Morrison

The Yorkshire husband came back from the supermarket with worrying news.

Friday, 24th September 2021, 4:55 am

Fat-free Greek style yoghurt was nowhere to be seen, but there was, apparently, a strained version. Would I prefer that?

Well, I must admit to some reservations. I’m not sure I’d like my yoghurt under some strain. Surely the least you can expect in a yoghurt is that it should be relaxed, especially the Greek version.

That’s the whole point of Zorba. He’s all laid back and relaxed. At one with the universe. He’s not strained. The rest of the world is, on account of that bloody annoying music he dances about to all the time, which I am fairly sure is playing in your head right now and that is my fault. Sorry.

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The yoghurt is not the only thing strained in the supermarket, it would seem. There are gaps all over the shelves, leading to some tense encounters between shoppers.

I’ve seen three-way stand-offs in the fruit aisle, all narrowed eyes glittering above the masks, bodies twitching to explode into action. Who would break and lunge for the last of the pak choi?

All we needed was the wail of the trumpet from an Ennio Morricone soundtrack on the supermarket muzak and we had ourselves a scene straight from a spaghetti Western. Oh, and the pasta’s looking a bit scarce as well.

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Gaps have started to appear in some supermarket shelves (Picture: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Mushrooms and those cute little easy-peel tangerines? Now you see them, now you don’t.

We’ve been here before. Last year vanishing toilet roll hogged the headlines. Some folk started eyeing up the Daily Mail as a substitute. Well, a use for it at last. A couple of years ago, the Beast from the East decimated Asda’s stone-baked pizza selection.

This time it’s a shortage of truck drivers. No kidding. Back in 2007 Tesco’s drivers went on strike because they were having their money and conditions mucked up by a management that apparently continued to wander about saying “there’s many that would take these jobs, mate”. Actually, there aren’t. As a nation, we are not good at producing new Scots. There aren’t enough young people who want to be truck drivers.

We used to have truck drivers from Europe, but something happened to make them think they weren’t welcome anymore. Can’t think what it was.

I always quite fancied being a trucker. A friend and I once got the chance to drive a van. We turned into your full-on redneck trucker on the spot, all plaid shirts, Timberland boots and baseball caps. When we passed other trucks we did that cool bus driver wave. We were in a Transit. They probably couldn’t see us.

So, people, the shelves are emptying and the gas is running out. Panic not. We, the Elders, remember this. It was called the Three-Day Week.

Start stocking up on candles. Not the scented sort, although that would be nice. Dig out the Monopoly board. They used to turn the telly off at half-past ten. We had to talk to each other. Imagine that.

I tell you, without Greek yoghurt, strained or otherwise, easy-peel tangerines or mushrooms, this autumn could make lockdown look like two weeks in Benidorm.

Things might get worse. Winter is coming. I’m thinking of buying a crossbow and taking to the hills. There’s venison on them there slopes, mate.

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