This War Will Be In the Retirement Home

We go through this traumatic exercise every few years. In 1990 it was the First Gulf War that sent us running to the supermarket to lay in stocks of canned tuna, sardines and bottled water and then racing back home to put sheets of plastic over our windows and tape up the glass. By 2003, just when we had reached the end of our tuna and bottled water diet, it happened all over again, this time the Second Gulf War. More tuna and bottled water, but by this time we had learned and added chocolate to the diet.

Now that we are in the retirement home and hoping that all these irritating household panics are behind us, warnings are sending us to the supermarket yet again. In addition, we have heavily reinforced secure rooms on every floor, complete with gas filters, a water supply and a chemical loo. Something to look forward to… This time we are 22 years older than we were the first time. And a lot wiser: if I have my way, the diet will be straight chocolate this time.

There are foreign caregivers in this retirement center. They too are lining up to buy emergency provisions in the face of the threats to “wipe us off the face of the earth”. Working here in order to save a little money and send it home for the welfare of their families in the Far East, they fear they are about to be caught in the crossfire between two foreign countries. I heard today that the “coming war” is a popular topic of conversation among them. Hopefully the emergency rations will all be in vain and we will be eating chocolate in peace for the next years.

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