I hadn't realised that I was addicted to Marmite until I lived in an Asian country where it was not available. I'd taken a jar with me, as comfort food I thought (I hadn't realised it was more of a medical necessity than a mere reminder of home). When my supply ran out, I suffered. After searching for it in local supermarkets fruitlessly (it wasn't even available on the underground "black market" that dealt with goods purloined from the American army bases).
Having to admit I was powerless to cope without my fix of salty tarry yest extract, I sent out a plea to a fellow expat to bring me back a BIG jar on her next visit home.
Meanwhile I consoled myself with regular recourse to the dark salty taste of miso soup.
When the news came out earlier this year that the NZ Marmite factory had been damaged by the Christchurch earthquake and that production of the great NZ breakfast spread had been interrupted, and that supplies had ceased, I rushed out and panic-bought some small expensive jars at local dairies.
I thought that I'd be OK with those few emergency stocks because the original prediction was that Marmite would be flowing again by about now. Not so.
Now my last jar is half-empty, or half-full, and there is no new Marmite on the horizon.
I have already bought a jar of the dreaded rival Vegemite, and given the dire circumstances (the prospect of Vegemite or nothing), I'm thinking that I might just have to change my allegiance.
According to the famous mathematical thought experiment, Schroedinger's cat is neither dead nor alive. So it's a cool concept if you don't like being locked into binaries. Not so good if you don't like being locked into a lethal booby-trapped box. And from the cat's point of view, there is no ambiguity at all.