Bulking up

As a kid I remember being massively impressed when my Italian school friend walked me through his parent's garage and showed me a wall stacked with groceries.

Jars of olives, shampoo, washing powder, toilet paper, dog food, tinned tomatoes and, of course, pasta: there was boxes of the stuff his mum had purchased in bulk and laid in next to his dad's Cortina.

All Mrs Maniaci needed to add was a couple of ninja swords, a rope ladder and some antibiotics and she was surviving the zombie apocalypse and smelling great doing it.

For the past 20 years, I have fought the urge to become Mrs Maniaci and buy in bulk.

Do it! Get six of 'em, never again will you feel the despair triggered by the sound of a butter knife scraping the bottom of a jar of Vegemite at 3am!!

But something stopped me.

It'd go to waste.

It could spoil.

I might have to move house and my mate Johnnie the Fish (who owns a ute) would see I had 50kg of laundry powder in my shed and that'd be embarrassing.

I'll just get more when I need it.

Granted, this minimalist approach also leads to walking like a crab to find newspaper when one runs out of toilet paper but I just couldn't get my head around being that person who had eight tubes of toothpaste under his bathroom sink. It felt ... pathetic.

Parenthood changed all that because if there's one thing you don't want to happen when a wriggling child has poop shooting up their back, it's to run out of baby wipes. Or nappies.

Seriously, when a child is snarling like a koala in a bushfire and leaking number two onto your bed, you get desperate; you'll use your best shirt to staunch the flow if you can't reach anything else, so it pays to be prepared.

Baby wipes and nappies were my gateway drugs to buying in bulk, one because you can never have too many nappies and two because baby wipes are the single most utilitarian invention since gaffer tape.

There's a saying gaffer tape is like The Force from Star Wars because it's black on one side, white on the other and holds the universe together.

Well, baby wipes are what cleans up the universe after it's vomited blueberries on your couch.

Give me a packet of baby wipes and I'll tidy up the scene of a triple homicide so thoroughly the cast of True Blood wouldn't even pop a fang. I reckon you could mop up magma with enough baby wipes.

I have 'em everywhere. Car. Toilet. Bedroom. Kitchen. And I buy at least 10 packets at a time. It's changed me.

It's introduced me to the smug, adult world of not running out of stuff - of there always being another jar of peanut butter when you rummage, hung-over, through your pantry on a rainy Saturday morning.

You're never late to a date because you had to sprint to the shops to buy more toothpaste cos you're stocked. Sexy, eh?

I may have cupboards that look like they've been provisioned by a 55-year-old Italian woman but then, I'm entering that romantic demographic - at least, it's who I get messages from on RSVP.

That's because I know what women want.

It's groceries.

And a shed full of Omo.

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