Coronavirus: Toilet paper wars at Woolworths for rich people

 

There's a secret stash of the most in-demand product in town and only the country's rich and famous are being given access.

After almost being shivved (that's a joke, I was just roundhouse kicked) by a mum in a ransacked toilet paper aisle at my local supermarket, I was forced to drive around last week making pit stops at every nearby store but the shelves were bare.

Then I ventured into exclusive territory.

Down at Woolworths Double Bay in Sydney's affluent eastern suburbs, the air is sweet and the sunlight dapples though the trees. It's that good light, like an Instagram filter.

This supermarket is in A-list heartland. Sylvia Jeffreys has been papped there in the past picking up the essentials. Roxy Jacenko and Jackie O live in nearby Vaucluse. Malcolm Turnbull's down the road. Everyone's neighbours to barristers and entrepreneurs and finance bros and CEOs of weird companies we haven't heard of.

Even the Woolworths here has harbour views. That's a lie, it doesn't. But it would really play into the stereotype if it did. Stereotypes are fun, so let's lean into that.

This Woolworths doesn't accept debit cards or cash. You can only pay in antique rubies.

It's in the Kiaora Lane precinct - a paved plaza lined with trees and dotted with bougie cafes.

The kinds of cafes that have giant bowls filled with stacks of lemons, carefully placed around on different tables and benches to add a pop of colour and earthy whimsy.

Oh, haven't you heard? Flowers are out and lemons are in. Statement lemons. Feature lemons. You're not allowed to touch the lemons and don't even think about using the lemons in a juice or a salad dressing.

You must buy other lemons for that - those are utility lemons and these are display lemons. Pinch one out of the giant copper bowl or oversized glass vase and it just throws off the balance of the entire establishment.

Anyway, that's the kind of area this supermarket is in.

Sylvia Jeffreys makes a dash to the posh Woolworths while pregnant.
Sylvia Jeffreys makes a dash to the posh Woolworths while pregnant.

This exclusive supermarket has security at the entrance and, to get in, you have to provide a recent bank statement and tax lodgement to prove you've got a half-decent salary. If you don't meet the requirements, you're made do a walk of shame back to the carpark while all the rich people hiss and throw their unwanted small change at you.

After successfully forging financial documentation, I masqueraded inside the supermarket like Kristen Bell in The Good Place.

Guys, the shelves were full of toilet paper. I'm talking about the good stuff. And no one was buying it. Why? One of three reasons. Rich people are smarter and far more sensible than us poor people. Or they're getting special treatment with around-the-clock deliveries which mean the shelves are permanently stocked. Or they're just too posh to poop.

There was an abundance. And you didn't even have to crowd-surf through a mosh pit in the pasta aisle. I didn't want to leave! What if ducking under the radar was just a fluke and I was never allowed back in?

But I was. The following day I breezed past the security guard while pretending to have a fake phone call and loudly saying things like "investment properties" and "plunge pool". But the land of milk and honey and toilet paper didn't last.

At the start of this week, supplies had dried up and lines for the check-outs snaked around for miles. Did the rich people finally get down in the gutter with the rest of us and start buying everything in sight? Perhaps other poor people found out about the abundance and started sneaking across the border too. One lady was panic buying a whole trolley-load of Double Dipped Magnums so it was probably a bit of both.

It was the kind of scene you just don't see everyday. In the cosmetics section, a rich lady pistol-whipped an influencer with her credit card. A Chanel clutch purse was then hurled like a ninja throwing star.

But the carnage was short lived. A few days later, the dust had settled and the air was once again sweet and the statement lemons at the nearby cafes were no longer being used as weapons.

The toilet paper aisle was bountifully stocked (disclaimer: we can't guarantee there's any there now) and the suburb's wealthy residents swanned in and swanned out with a pack of six roll proudly tucked under their arms for the world to see.

Now a pack of double ply has become the ultimate status symbol. Gucci, Mercedes Benz, Quilton. Anyone who's anyone has some.

You literally have to crowd surf in the mosh pit.
You literally have to crowd surf in the mosh pit.

YOU HAD ONE JOB

We're quick to write off most people who enter reality shows as complete morons, but the current crop of contestants inside the Big Brother mansion are smarter than all of us.

The new incarnation of the original social experiment is currently being prerecorded in a Sydney warehouse. Contestants had the foresight to self-quarantine in an environment that has a steady supply of food and toilet paper. They're going to outlive us all.

After much deliberation, producers decided to tell contestants inside the Big Brother house about the global pandemic they had escaped. But they didn't bother filming the reaction. Kinda defeats the purpose of putting people in a house and allowing Australia to monitor how they react and respond to what's being thrown at them.

And it's not the only thing that didn't get filmed. It was reported this week someone forgot to press the "record" button during an eviction, so they had to get the contestants to do it all again.

Something's clearly going on with Endemol Shine - the production company behind Big Brother as well as Married At First Sight.

MAFS has been copping flak from viewers for the amount of drama that somehow didn't get captured on film but is now getting revealed by the contestants.

Endemol Shine, you have one job.

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram: @hellojamesweir

The safest place in Australia ... The Sydney warehouse housing the Big Brother contestants.
The safest place in Australia ... The Sydney warehouse housing the Big Brother contestants.

Originally published as Toilet paper wars at Woolies for rich people


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