Remember Ireland in 1845? No. Neither do I.

However, at about 1745 this evening, I was at a local supermarket. Things were going well. Alex had enjoyed the journey there, boogie’ing away in his car seat to the energetic (yet somewhat inappropriate) Smack My Bitch Up by the Prodigy* and was now happily sat in the trolley, nibbling a chunk of biltong. Life was good.

And then – down the snacks aisle, right next to the puffs, this:

Potato Shortage

I have to admit, this was a new one on me. We’ve had shortages of oil here, which led to shortages of petrol and widespread panic buying. Been there, done that back in the UK. We had a lack of glass that almost meant they couldn’t make beer bottles. That was very worrying. We even ran out of carbon dioxide (yes, really!) which led to a scarcity of fizzy beverages. We soldiered on through (though strangely, Seth Rotherham seemed irrationally alarmed by the news of a Coke shortage).

But a shortage of chips really is a true cause for concern.

Immediately, I thought this must be a callous marketing ploy by the supermarket in question in order to raise the price of any available chips by preying on the minds of innocent chip-purchasing shoppers. There was only one way to find out – the leaders in South African potato news and information: Potatoes South Africa.
It’s where we all get our potato-related information over here. Sample quote:

They may not be celebrities, but potatoes certainly get their share of media attention. Read about how potatoes are profiled in the press, the news they generate by just being themselves, and who to contact for more information if you are one of our media friends.

I may have missed something here. Not that I’m a big reader, but are the pages of Hello, OK and the pisspoor South African You/HuisGenoot really packed full with our starchy friends sunbathing on foreign beaches, partying with some European royal or flashing their bits as they exit a sports car?
Can a potato really generate news by “just being itself”?

Surely not.

Anyway, I digress. Back to the great Cape Town potato shortage. It seems that the hastily-printed fluttering A4 warnings were all true. Not a single potato arrived in Cape Town today. Just look at that terrifyingly empty CPT column. Even SPG got more than us. SPG**, of all places!!!

It’s going to be a long, cold, chipless winter***.
I fear that increasing my beer consumption may be the only way to keep my carbohydate levels up.

Oh well. Needs must.

* 6000 miles… does not advocate smacking your (or anyone else’s) bitch up.
** No, I have no clue. Sorry.
*** Once we’re through our long, hot, chipless summer and long, mild, chipless autumn, obviously.

8 thoughts on “Disaster

  1. That makes me deeply sad πŸ™ I know about two months ago there was a bit of a shortage – my mom couldn’t get her special hand made extra salty chips and it was a tragedy – but I thought it had been sorted out. Nothing is worse than no potatoes πŸ™

  2. Koosh – No beer? Surely that would be worse?

    Daisy – No chips is bad.

    Delboy – I think you’re right. There’s no way that they should should get more potatoes than the mighty Cape Town. That makes it even worse.

  3. Naah afraid not. Potatoes are the ultimate. I had a real hard time with the coke shortage but when I was in the shop today and looked at the lack of selection in flavours of snackage – I nearly cried.

  4. The crazy thing is that this potato shortage wasn’t new and/or unexpected news.
    See http://www.fin24.co.za/articles/default/display_article.aspx?ArticleId=1518-25_2103904

    So, I wonder why Simba didn’t plan properly, using risk management techniques? If Coke could plan propely for the festive season last year, then why couldn’t Simba follow suit? They know that the festive season is a bumper season for them – why take the risk of not having stock at that time?

    Futhermore, over the last 5 years or so there’ve been various potato shortages worldwide – couldn’t Simba learn anything from this? Eish!

  5. Koosh – There’s gonna be a rush on biltong.

    s – so I understand. I wonder exactly how they would plan for it though? Importing spuds from Zim seems unlikely.

  6. I have 600 bags of fine patatoes 10kg bags.

    Selling between R40 and R45 a bag in Cape Town.

    Bold van rhyn

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