Over recent days, images of empty supermarket shelves have once again begun to appear on social media and, in so doing, have set in motion an unstoppable phenomenon that will be sweeping the country before the weekend. Panic buying.
On this occasion, the shelves in question are those of fruit and vegetables, with restrictions now in place as a result, apparently, of poor weather conditions across Europe. In reality, of course, the shelf contents are irrelevant.
As soon as we are told not to panic buy whatever was once on the bare shelves, we will all immediately panic buy the must have items, regardless of whether we need, want or eat them.
This, in turn, results in more bare shelves, more posted images of bare shelves and more people emptying whatever shelves they can find, this time in a bid to stockpile their emergency cucumber reserves.
Of course, the best example of this phenomenon was the toilet roll apocalypse of 2020, when fist fights broke out over the last rolls of Andrex. People’s desperation to ensure they had enough paper to wipe their arses during the pandemic made headlines around the world and saw a toilet paper black market emerge.
The only saving grace this time around, however, could be the UK’s poor diet. Whereas our Mediterranean colleagues would be crying over their empty salad bowls, there’s a chance that Brits will just opt for fish and chips until it all blows over.
Interestingly though, it seems that cucumbergate is also dividing the nation politically. Many blame Brexit for the situation, while others – the mainstream press included – are sticking to the line of poor weather over parts of Europe being responsible for the failed crops, with high energy prices adding to the issues.
It’s almost as if people have a constant need to be outraged at something, or to place the blame for whatever it is at the feet of the media, or whoever’s currently shacked up in No.10.
“No cucumbers? It’s that bastard Sunak’s fault. I should be lying in a bath of tomatoes with a bloody Mary now!“
For me, I can’t say I’m that concerned. I’m not sure why anyone would need more than one cucumber at a time anyway. I mean, how many cheese and cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off can one person eat? It’s not even summer yet.