We were at the grocery store over the weekend and I noticed that there was a section of the laundry detergent that was mysteriously empty. In front of the section was a hastily hand-written note, indicating that the Tide was available at the service desk. As far as I can tell, there’s not that much demand for soap to the point where it needs to be rationed.

I had read that the laundry detergent pods had become a problem. Young children think they look like candy with their bright colors and bite size design and would eat them, becoming seriously ill. So I figured that perhaps they were cracking down on the particularly appetizing ones and making parents go to the service desk for them.

It wasn’t until I stumbled upon this article which explained the new trend in street currency that I had to sit back and really think about how bizarre the world has become. Yes, people, Tide has become street currency. People are actually stealing it and using it to buy drugs. In some weird, seemingly post-apocalyptic world, the humble jug of laundry detergent has supplanted the almighty dollar.

I find it stranger still that it’s just Tide and not other brands. How did they get the street culture to curry such brand loyalty? Indeed, at the grocery store, it was only that one brand that was missing. I have such difficulty imagining street thugs carrying around the bright red containers and making drug transactions with it. It seems such a difficult item to steal or conceal, and in order to use it, you need to either have a washing machine or go to a laundromat or something.

At any rate, it’s not like I’m so tied into a brand loyalty that we wouldn’t buy another brand. Honestly, having to go to the service desk to obtain one would be just enough hassle to make me buy another brand anyway. It just boggles the mind that this is happening, and has apparently become such a problem that my happy little grocery store has had to take action.