Mice aren't dead because I spotted one under my futon.
Mice aren’t dead because I spotted one under my futon.

Breakfast is dead. It was murdered by the empty fridge.

I first realized that this morning, after I read this story about the death of pens, absorbed its logic and decided I needed a snack. (I didn’t even disagree with the premise, particularly! I just liked the arsenal of tools its approach afforded the opinion writer.)

There was nothing in my refrigerator — just a six-pack of beer, some mint jelly that had been changing color in a way that suggested sentience and that I was consequently too frightened to throw away, and some shredded cheese that had gone bad. I did not have any bread, either. There was only one conclusion.

There was no more food in the world.

It was a shame, but there it was. Some experts had predicted we might run into a food shortage one of these days soon, but I had not expected it would strike just now.

On the bright side, that meant we would be able to stop debating what was the new cupcake. (The cupcake was also dead, as was bacon, neither of which I had in my fridge, either.)

I was also distressed to notice that theatergoing was over (I am not literally typing this from a theater right now), nobody drives anymore (I don’t have a car) and something terrible has gone wrong with the children (in a piece like this, that is always a safe bet).

I’m overplaying this a bit, of course.

I am familiar with this trouble, often having had it myself. It is one of the common afflictions of people who write for a living. Whisk together What Is Happening In My Apartment As We Speak and a few statistics (and a quote or two from an expert, if it’s That Sort of Story) and you feel pretty confident that what you have just described is a universal human experience. And sometimes it is! But sometimes it is not. I am reminded of a quote from an Alan Bennett play: “I saw somebody peeing in Jermyn Street the other day. I thought, Is this the end of civilisation as we know it? Or is it simply somebody peeing in Jermyn Street?”

Most often it’s the latter. Especially if you haven’t been able to leave your apartment in a few days, or are in a bit of a funk, in which case it turns out that, as a civilization, Nobody Talks Anymore and also People In Their Mid-20s Are Tired And Wonder What The Point Is.

Which reminds me:

Great news! I think the pen is back. There are dozens of them in my immediate vicinity. Maybe it’s a new wave of hipster pen-embracing? Like that time everyone embraced the monocle? Whatever it is, it bears studying. I will telephone some experts and inquire, except that it turns out The Expert no longer exists (none in the apartment, at least not in the part of it that I can see).

But, more pressingly, the sun is dead. There is no sun inside my apartment physically right now, and this, combined with the fact that I have learned from experts that the sun will one day go out, makes me feel certain that this is what has occurred. It’s a shame, but there it is. I wonder how long it will take for the news to reach the rest of the world. I have the feeling it might be some time.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day.